I believe I’ve mentioned that the house we’re currently living in is a rental. A spacious, beautiful house with a magnificent backyard — not your typical rental. The only drawback to this house is that we have to be out by the end of May. No option to extend the lease, as the owners are returning home from overseas and would kindly like their house back, thank you very much.
We’ve known this since day one, so in January we began looking for houses. Having gone through this process a few times before, we knew that it would be both exciting and frustrating; interesting and potentially heartbreaking. In the past couple months we’ve had offers on two houses that didn’t go through (both were in some process of foreclosure), but neither of those was particularly traumatic, as they both needed some work and we thought each would be great if we could get them for a really good deal. If not, no big deal — something else would work out.
Now, we’re shy of 6 weeks from having to move out. We’ve been getting a touch nervous. Generous friends here have offered to share their house with us, indefinitely(!), if push comes to shove and we don’t find a place we can afford that will also work for us for the foreseeable future (these friends are much, much better people than we are). So I take great solace in the fact that we won’t be homeless; but I’m also just ready to have a house that’s ours. After spending 2 years in a live-in reno in Athens, then moving into a rental here, that makes over three years of living in houses that just don’t feel like ours. I want to finally frame all the kids’ artwork; plant a garden; paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint. Call a place our home.
We’re on our second realtor, and have looked at many, many houses. But I’ve yet to walk into a place and just think, This is It. Until yesterday.
Tim found it online, and the listing details sounded great. It’s a neighborhood we weren’t targeting, but it’s very centrally-located to schools, work, friends, church, etc. We walked into the house, and — I know it’s a stretch to claim that I knew from just standing in the doorway — but really, I knew from just standing in the doorway. My heart started racing a bit, and my excitement began mounting. From the entry, you get a good view of the living room, dining room, and open kitchen. So of course, I did a cursory sweep of the living room, but then hurriedly made my way to the kitchen. And I’m standing there, taking in the stainless gas stove, the broad plains of counter space, the glass-faced cabinets, the kitchen door that leads to the fenced backyard. And then, my eyes fall on the kitchen sink.
But let me stop for a moment, and feed you some back-story. Our reno in Georgia — I loved my kitchen. I designed it, and considered it (my opinion, of course, being nothing but biased) close to perfect (just missing that 6-burner gas stove and double-electric-convection wall oven). It wasn’t until after we left that house, and lived in another, that I realized that — truly — one of my very favorite things in the kitchen was my Ikea farmhouse sink. It was a double-sided, spacious, ceramic beast, with a swan-neck faucet:
Isn’t it lovely? Can a person be in love with a sink?
So, back to the house, the one we looked at yesterday. I’m standing in the kitchen. Just one of about 30 kitchens I’ve stood in, in houses we’ve viewed for purchase. Of those 30 or so kitchens, I’d say 95% of them had unbelievably crappy kitchens. But — this is the catch — “updated” crappy kitchens. So, the person who “updated” the kitchen went to Lowe’s, purchased the absolute cheapest of everything a kitchen needs — from the floor, no less — and installed it. I kept wondering, hasn’t anyone heard of Ikea? I know it’s an hour and a half drive to Cincinnati, but really? Those Swedish kitchens might not last much longer than the ones out of boxes stocked at Lowe’s, but at least they’re cuter.
As I was saying, I was STANDING IN THE KITCHEN. And what do my eyes behold, but the VERY SAME IKEA FARMHOUSE SINK that I have sorely missed since last July.
Now, me? I think it’s meant to be.