laurapants: Craft, Cooking, Creativity

Our first visit to the house

Posted on January 28, 2018 by

When we decided to buy a house in December, 2015, we didn’t have any hard and fast ideas about what part of Sonoma County we wanted to live in. But there was one neighborhood I had a soft spot for in Santa Rosa. We’d been coming to this neighborhood to pick up our farm box for awhile, and I was drawn to the winding streets, the trees, and the older-but-not-too-old houses. It wasn’t a tract neighborhood where all of the houses looked alike, and it seemed peaceful and friendly. It seemed like a good place to have a family, with good schools and parks, and the commute to work for me was easy and very lovely, through vineyards and over hills with spectacular views. It was close to the parks where Sean does trail work and hikes, and there was a Whole Foods and a few good shopping centers nearby. It was more suburban than I ever imagined a place where I would live would be, but I’d more or less accepted my suburban lifestyle once we moved to Sonoma County.

There was a house in the neighborhood that had been on the market for awhile. It was at the very top of our price range, and the pictures on Zillow showed a very dated interior, but we decided to check it out; it was actually the first house we looked at. Here is what we saw.

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I’ve always had a good imagination, and I could see the potential of this house right away. Yes, it was cluttered with stuff, and the carpets were surprising, and the wood paneling was extensive, and there would be a lot of work to do. But I could see what it could be.

We looked at a few other houses, but none of them seemed right. So finally, we came back to this one. On our second visit, the owner was there. He was an older gentleman who reminded me of my late grandfather, and he showed us even more of the house we hadn’t seen the first time around, like the giant wood shop and pantry, the paths down to the creek and the retaining wall he’d built with his sons, the way the upstairs bathroom could be turned into a dark room, and every detail of the home that he’d lovingly built with his family over the 51 years they had lived in the home.

After our second visit, we were in. We wanted this house. So we made an offer, and it was accepted, and all of the thrilling details of financing were negotiated and my parents came to visit and looked at us like we were crazy for buying this house, and finally, it was ours.

Then the real adventure started.

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