April 20, 2012
First, let me say how excited my husband, John, and I are that our house has been chosen to be remodeled on "This Old House!" We still need to pinch ourselves several times a day to believe that we are really going to have our house and yard done by Tom, Norm, Richard and Roger! We have no idea how we got so lucky.
The Thursday in October before we bought our house on Avon Hill, in Cambridge we had seen another house on the market just around the corner (pictured above). There was a feeding frenzy at this "House Around the Corner (HAC)," with many potential buyers milling about, whispering with their realtors—including a very pregnant looking woman and her husband.
It was a beautiful, and surprisingly original, remodeled two-family house. We had been looking at houses for a long time and hadn’t come across anything like it. We loved the simplicity of the interior and the accent created by its Douglas Fir wood ceilings. We especially liked the way wood ceilings were used to define individual spaces in the open living area. They provided a visual cue that marked off the different rooms, while still keeping the open, flowing feel that we wanted. We also loved the wide staircase that led from the first floor all the way up the third creating a soaring, open feeling. The other thing we noted was the quality of the craftsmanship.
We instantly fell in love with this house, but, unfortunately, it was clear to us that many other people had fallen in love with it, too. The sellers accepted all the offers on a Saturday evening, and soon got back to us, asking for our “best offer.” It came down to a bidding war between us—and the pregnant couple! Over the next twelve hours, the bidding war went back and forth until we hit the very top of our budget and backed out. We had made the right decision, because it was more than we wanted to spend. But I'll admit, I was disappointed. Having watched the market for a few years, it felt like the chances of another house we would like as much coming on the market in this particular neighborhood were slim.
To be continued...