April 20, 2012
A few days after the disappointment of realizing we had lost out on buying "The House Around the Corner (HAC)," our Realtor, Carol Kelly, emailed me with the news that there was another house listed in the same neighborhood. Within minutes, my neighbor, Bliss, had emailed me about the house, too. When John and I looked up the location, we were thrilled. But we were warned that the house needed some “upgrading” on the inside.
We went to see the house that afternoon, and immediately saw the potential: high ceilings, a relatively large side yard, a pretty exterior, lots of light streaming through the windows, a finished attic space with cathedral ceilings, and a roof deck! Best of all, we liked the location even better than the HAC. We knew pretty much immediately that we were going to make an offer.
Of course, the downside was that the interior needed a complete remodel. But the HAC gave us a vision for what this place could be. Better yet, we would truly be able to make it our own! Once again, offers were due over the weekend, and once again, there were many other families who seemed very interested. Carol advised us to make a strong offer, and that our best bet would be to make that offer without any contingencies. We thought maybe we could have an inspection done during the open house, but were unable to find an inspector who could do it that quickly. We finally decided that we would waive the inspection. Carol called a builder friend and asked if he would come take a look at the house for us and give us his opinion. He thought it was in good shape structurally. He also gave us an idea of what it might cost to renovate. We decided to move ahead with the offer. Sure enough, there were eight other offers. But much to our delight, ours was the one they accepted!
We got in touch with Marcus Gleysteen, the architect for the HAC, and decided to work with him because we knew he could turn this house into the kind of home we envisioned for our family.
Fast forward to March, when "This Old House" had just taken us on as their next project house. The producers, Deb and Jen, wanted to hear about our “inspiration” for the project. I told them about the HAC, and how it had led us to Marcus. Deb asked if it might be possible for them to see the HAC. I was unsure, as I didn’t have any connection to the couple who bought the house. But once again, I relied on Carol to help us out. She was able to get in touch with the family, and they agreed to let me and the TOH producers see the house. Julie, the homeowner, was gracious and lovely. She gave us the grand tour, and made us feel comfortable. She even agreed to let "This Old House" film a segment in their house. It was kind of funny to realize that she was the person we had been bidding against. But I couldn’t be happier with how everything turned out for us and for them. And I am looking forward to being neighbors!
(5) CommentsComment on this Blog
Congratulations! From the windows to the roof deck, the house does sound like it has a lot of potential, not only for renovations, but for a big family to live in. I hope you guys have fun moving in, and making the home your own.
It's a cool house, congratulations. It will definitely not just a house but a home. The design is just a second factor of what makes a house a real home.
Congratulations! I was the "chief gawker" on the Bedford house. The experience, although vicarious, still has me glowing. Enjoy every minute and I guarantee that you will love the entire TOH cast and crew.
Hi Dave! It was great to meet you this morning. Sorry we didn't get more time to talk. You know first hand how busy this process is. We'd love to have you visit again sometime!