A Very, Very, Very Fine HousePosted December 20th, 2004 by Sean Williams
Jordana and I put in an offer on a house a few blocks from us that I am fairly sure we won’t end up getting. It was a fun experience, taking the plunge and offering up hundreds of thousands of dollars that we don’t have in an effort to have something we probably don’t deserve and borrowing the money from someone we don’t know in order to do it all.
In the discussions we’ve had with people, it’s amazing how much people reveal about themselves, and how much I reveal about myself. When I told my friend Ehren, I found myself explaining that we would be up to our eyeballs in debt, lest he should think that I think I can afford to be a homeowner. When I talked to either Seth or Mac, I tried to get them to move in to the rental. When Ian heard we had to re-do the kitchen, he said, “that’s at least fifty thousand dollars right there”, which will give you some idea of how far he’s come from the six hundred dollar kitchen we had at the beachwood house. Tessa just smiled when we said Astoria and said “I *knew* that was where you guys were happy, I’m so glad.” She’ll regret that we live so far away when she needs an emergency pair of babysitters, but she knows we’re chosing for our own happiness.
All the parents are thrilled. It’s interesting, if I had to borrow two hundred dollars to pay a parking ticket, everyone would be pissed, but they would totally loan me a thousand dollars toward a down payment.
The first floor of the house will be the social floor, and the basement will be our bedroom. There is a full bath down there and, strangely, a full kitchen (which we will have to re-build upstairs)(to the tune of somewhat less than fifty thousand dollars…) but it is a huge flow through space with no real windows, and Jordana and I realized that we have been trying to create this bedroom for ourselves for the last five years.
My favorite bedroom growing up was the one in the basement at our house in Iowa, and two houses before that, I loved Kent’s room in the basement. It may seem awful to some (In fact Jordana’s grandmother recoiled when we told her) but to me it’s the absolute best part of the house. The idea of having a den, an actual den like lions or bears, is just fantastic.
Jordana is totally light-phobic, and otherwise she is *completely* low maintenance. She does her make up in bed with the lights off, and it takes her about twelve seconds. The only pea for this princess is light too early in the morning. If we haven’t sealed out all the light at a motel or something, Jordana jumps straight up. Plus, this is the floor that is naturally cool in the summer, and with the hot water heater and washer/dryer it’ll be plenty warm in the winter. And, if not, we’ll buy extra blankets.
In any case, we gave an absurdly low offer because… well, because we offerred all the money we could possibly offer if the circumstances are perfect and, y’know, we have a tail wind. It’s a nice negotiating place to be in, knowing that if they want one dollar more we have to say no. But it also means we won’t get the house. Mostly it’s just a thrill to say, “Hey, Sean, remember when you thought your life was over at 28? Well, look what you’re doing now. Buck up, fucker, and quit yer bitchin’”