Archive | August, 2013

Dream House

30 Aug

The plan was to get more serious about buying our first house this fall, but we hadn’t made any great strides toward this effort until this past weekend. I’d been griping to our neighbor Alyce about our renting frustrations (like my pathetic gardening space and horrifying lack of storage) when she firmly advised that buying a two-family was the only way to go without strapping ourselves. Her own mother had slowly acquired 3 homes in her lifetime that she (Alyce) now rents out as income properties.  I was intrigued.

So on a whim, I pulled up the listing for a two-family on the real estate website Trulia that I’d seen for sale near us and saw that there was an open house happening that day. Right then! I figured, ‘What the hell, go!’, and threw my shoes on. The place wasn’t for us, but I got such a high from starting the process.  It was so fun to check out a house and start to imagine the possibilities. Renovations. Gardens. Making things ours.

I found myself on Trulia again Monday night, just poking around. We had a general idea of where we wanted to be, a very rough idea of what we could afford, and some sense of what we wanted, but the overarching mindset was that we’d know “it” when we saw it. And then we stumbled across this and fell absolutely in love:

picture-uh=56fb386d5d198e4b5309c4244901350-ps=158acac1fb68ae7c631cdda22fd91c-109-N-Main-St-Sharon-MA-02067 2-barn back - 4 back houseIt sounded like it needed a lot of work, but it was pretty clear that it was a steal considering it was a historical colonial sitting on a nice piece of property in a town with a stellar school system. Either a developer would snap it up immediately for cash, or it would sit on the market. And if it did, we might want to be ready for a drastic price reduction and make a move. With all the respect in the world for Alyce and her real estate mogul mother, a two-family income property was shelved for the moment.

The next day, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. My Nana put us in touch with her mortgage broker and we contacted the listing agent for more information. Brian had a fantasy football draft that night, so I decided to go check it out with my mom that evening. Crazily enough, when we pulled up, the seller was there! She waved a welcome down the driveway and offered to show us the house; I couldn’t believe my luck. So we took a quick, lantern-lit tour of the barn, property and home, chatted a bit with the seller and practically floated out on a cloud of ecstasy. It needed a LOT of work (the kitchen needed love badly) but I could picture us there with a family! It’s so us.

My mom advised that she thought it was priced high and would likely sit on the market unless a very specific type of buyer came along fast. She and my Nana both said that ultimately, if it’s meant to be, it would be, which is exactly how I feel.  Brian and I drove down to see it again yesterday evening and poked around more of the property and neighborhood; we still love it. If we could get it at a lower price so it’s affordable it would be a dream come true. But if we can’t, we’re just happy to have started the process!


Sister, sister

9 Aug


It’s this girl’s 27th birthday today! My sister Vicky is one of the funniest, most loving, generous, and hardworking people I have ever met. But it’s not just her sense of humor that I love so much. It’s the epic stories she has in her repertoire like “the hydrant” and “the soft serve incident”. No one re-tells them like she does. We laugh. We cry. Occasionally, we snort.

It’s just a fact that wherever Vicky goes, something fabulous is going to happen. And she’s always wrangling my brother Kevin, Skylar and I into adventures — the Walk for Hunger and the Boston marathon are two memorable examples. Just look at her regally reclining in that lawn chair at the garden. Typical Leo fashion. Typical Vicky zest.

But I think what I love most about my sister is that she has the most incredible spirit. From the second you meet her, you know exactly what she must have been like as a child because she has managed to retain that childlike wonder about the universe that we all too commonly lose or bury deep so we can “be adults”. Paired with the effortless mop of dark hair, gorgeous hazel eyes, and long legs, it’s hard not to be a little envious of the incredible package that is my sister.

To my beautiful younger sister who has nearly always been a little taller, I hope you know how much I look up to you — both literally and figuratively. I wish you the happiest of birthdays and I love you very much.