Thursday, July 23, 2009

The House

I'm a new blogger and this is my first post. I thought it would be nice to have a record of this house and its people and activities. This is so timely. I just had a message from the new owners asking about life in my great-grandparents house. I wish I knew more to tell about that life than I do.

This is the story of how I got my addition, what we're doing and
how we're enjoying it.

We'd lived in the same house for 30 years, loved the neighborhood, raised two children and a garden.

We'd wanted to add on long ago. So to amuse myself while PFS was out on Sundays visiting the golf course I would visit open houses with an eye for addition ideas. I saw a lot of houses looking for kitchens and first floor master suites. My Mom lived alone in New Jersey and her first choice to move to my sister's townhouse was not practical. In all my looking I never seriously coveted any house as a whole.

But one Sunday, following an ad to a street I'd never been on (after 30 years in town!) that changed. Down a gravel drive was what appeared to be a small house...not what the ad said. A friend's 4 year old later took one look and asked "Where are the bedrooms?" Don't judge a house by the outside.

There was a first floor suite for Mom.

Upstairs a master/bath for us, a third bedroom, office, bath, great closets, cedar closet and attic space. A great kitchen that needed new counters (which they installed as the listing got older),

Bright living and dining rooms and powder room.

A family room with a fireplace.

A laundry with another bath.
A two+ car garage.
A deck. Three quarters of an acre backing to a park.

And in the basement:

a hall, bath, full kitchen, living/dining with fireplace, laundry, two bedrooms AND a huge storage area.

Well. Covet time.

Brought my friend/real estate agent, PFS, Mom, sister, daughter, friends. But it cost way too much. I kept going back, trying it on for size at every open house. In rain, in sun, sitting in the kitchen keeping the listing agent company. Finally we made an offer. Rejected! No harm in trying.

So OK, I still loved my house and neighborhood. We got a builder, drew up plans and were ready for a zoning hearing when...PFS re-ran the numbers. No way could we build to match that house. But for the same extra money? We made basically the same offer as we had months before.

By now the house had been on the market a year with no other interested buyers in sight. Offer accepted!

So that's how I got my addition and the old house is still in the family, now owned by my daughter.