News to the World Part I

It seems like we just gradually admitted to ourselves that we were in the jobs we were in until we retired. Thea has always worried about where she would be in ten years and dreamed of a job closer to home. One where she didn’t have to commute to an office an hour away. I kept trying to figure out how to renovate the computer room. We basically both work six and half days a week. There wasn’t any way to transfer the functionality of the office area to another section of the house to have time to tear out the carpet and paint the walls. We basically started looking at houses on a lark. I don’t think that either of us thought we were serious. We were looking at houses to see if we could get an idea what to do with ours. That was in November.

By January, we were looking at our jobs and our finances and thinking that there was a possibility that we could find a new house in Norman. Someplace closer to the highway to offer a faster commute. There certainly were a number of them on the market. We could possibly get some place bigger and have room enough to even have a person spend the night. Some place other than the futon in the media room. Or Thea could let me have a place for my photography/tinkering. After all, she’s always had her sewing room. I’ve always just made do. It still needed to accommodate our diningroom table and a few other aesthetics that we had.

By February, after we returned from skiing, we were in full search mode. And we were realizing that limiting ourselves to Norman only solved so many of our problems. We like Norman and wanted to stay near it. But none of the houses that we were seeing really seemed to be right for us. For one thing, neither of us like the current trend of the open floor plan. How were you supposed to work without interruption when you could see the person in the kitchen wasn’t paying attention to the boiling pot because they were watching the TV in the media center? We weren’t looking for a house to draw us together as a family. We wanted separation. So we expanded our search to Moore and started looking there too.

By March, we had expanded our search to North and South OKC and we were having realtors show us the houses that Zillow had pictures of online. We both liked looking on Zillow but it was annoying at times. While we were willing to look in North and South OKC, neither of us wanted anything to do with OKC itself. Nor were we entertaining notions of Warr Acres, Bethany, Yukon, Del City or Midwest City. But Zillow didn’t let you search more than one area at a time. Well, you work with what you have. In our case, that included Zillow, Trulia, Red Fin and Homefinder. There was a lot of overlap but each had houses that the other didn’t.

(It was also the month we lost Carlton. Were we being sent a message from the universe?)

I did notice a strange trend. It seemed like the houses that we both liked had a pool. Neither of us wanted a pool. But a similar floor plan for a house without a pool was twenty grand more. Would we be economically driven to have a large home with a pool? I did the pricing and found out that it would cost about a thousand dollars a year to maintain a pool. But if you save twenty, it’s like someone saying, Please accept this pool with this house and as a token of our appreciation, we will pay for the first twenty years of maintenance.

Fortunately, we did not have that happen. In the first week of April, when we went back to look more seriously at a house with a pool, the realtor told us that it was now off-market. So we looked on Zillow and asked to see a house that had just come on the market that Friday. It had no pool, but it did have four bedrooms, a three car garage, an unattached (but electrically tied) shop in the back and a storm shelter. The floor plan included the large space we needed for our diningroom table. The kitchen would need a small remodel. I hate drop-in ovens. I feel like I need to have a gas range and a wall oven. I could probably get by but why bother trying when you can afford to get what you want. It was all in our price range. So we bid on it.

It came on the market on Friday. We saw it on Saturday morning. We put in a low bid on it on Saturday afternoon. Our offer was accepted on Sunday morning.

Now comes the remodel.

3 Comments

  1. Richard Barron

    Please don’t start using House Hunters vernacular like “open this area up,” “backsplash,” or “shiplap.”

    Reply
    1. Michael (Post author)

      I’ll try not to. But I have to use a vernacular (definition 2: concerned with domestic and functional rather than monumental buildings). And, I don’t know of another name for a counter’s ‘backsplash’. However, since I don’t have any siding, I probably won’t need to use the term ‘shiplap’.

      Reply
  2. Wil C. Fry

    My least-favorite HGTV phrase is “for entertaining”. Every space in their house that they’re really concerned about is “for entertaining”. The deck. The living room. The bar. The media room. The front porch.

    How much entertaining do these people do?

    Oh, and CONGRATS on the house.

    Reply

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