Selling and Buying a Home

Our house went on the market yesterday. So if you know anyone who knows anyone who wants a beautiful starter home with amazing woodwork in a great neighborhood, check out our house.

We’re not actually leaving St. Paul, we’ve just out-grown our house. When we moved in it was just the two of us. Then we added a dog. Then I started working at home and needed an official home office. Then we added a second dog. And then we added the baby. While the dogs and working at home didn’t make us feel cramped, adding a kid to the mix definitely did. So even though we love our house and love the neighborhood and location, it’s time to find something bigger.

Selling your house is kind of an uncomfortable process. There’s all the decluttering and impeccable cleaning, but once that’s over you put your house up and it’s like you’re on display. And you’re naked. Everyone can see the dollar amount you’re asking for. Everyone can see exactly what kind of shape your home is in. Anybody can call up at a moment’s notice and want to see your house. They can walk around, open drawers, nose around in your cupboards. It’s like being a stripper, without all the sexuality and dollar bills.

On the buying end it’s just as stressful. Thankfully we’re trying to sell our home first and once it sells we’ll get serious about buying, so for now there’s no real pressure. We’re just looking and seeing what’s available.

But it’s still hard to find exactly what you want. And we probably won’t find exactly what we want–every home has its disadvantages (yes, even if you design it yourself–just ask my friend who lived in his parents’ basement with a baby for nearly six months waiting for his home to be built).

We went looking a few weeks back and found a home with an amazing porch, entryway, living room and dining room–beautiful woodwork and stonework–but the rest of the house didn’t measure up at all.

We found a home that had the rooms and bathrooms we wanted, plus a great kitchen, but it had this goofy set up where the front door opened directly into the dining room. No entryway at all. Just a front door in the corner of the dining room (though tonight I was arguing that we could easily add on an entryway, trying desperately to make the house seem doable).

Today we saw a house where everything had be redone–and redone well–and it had a huge upstairs full bathroom and a nice half-bath on the main floor. But the living room and family room flowed into each other–which kills the point of having a family room where you can send the kids off to play while the grown ups talk (or whatever it is you do).

Today we also saw a cute little house with a workable bedrooms, a nice kitchen, good bathrooms–but then this goofy office/bedroom on the mainfloor that also had the backdoor to the deck and the washer and dryer in the closet. Good luck getting work done with the laundry going and people trapsing in and out to the deck. And good luck using it as a bedroom when it also has the backdoor to the house.

There was another cute little house that might have worked except the basement bedroom was more like a family room with the door to the garage on one end. Another house had the only shower on the main floor, so if you slept in one of the two bedrooms upstairs you’d have to come downstairs, through the dining room in order to take a shower. I can just see coming out of the shower in a towel and waltzing through the dining room, waving to the company in the living room, and then heading on upstairs. Um, no thanks.

We did go through one house that I loved today. Mainly because it had a turret. And a spiral staircase. And a stone wall with an iron gate. And a six car garage. Unfortunately it wasn’t a mansion. It had a goofy kitchen and a whirlpool tub sunk into the floor so you felt like you’d fall in. Plus the only staircase was the spiral staircase–hope your matress folds in half. It didn’t have all the rooms we wanted anyway, but I just loved the idea of it. Plus it had a little three-season porch type room that attached to the six-car garage. And it was literally a six car garage with six automatic garage doors–this was no falling over carriage house with folding carriage doors. It’s the kind of house that would have made a killer office for a startup company with half-a-dozen employees. I think Abby and the realtor were just humoring me as we walked through. Totally impractical, but I loved it.

So the search continues. We do have a front-runner house that has most of what we want. It doesn’t have the ideal bathroom set up and the garage does have folding carriage doors–but like I said, every house has its disadvantages. This one just has the disadvantages that we can live with.

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