Charlie and I found a house that we really liked today. It was built in the 60's and hasn't had a SINGLE upgrade. But, it's situated on over an acre of beautiful land, on a beautiful street, with a babbling brook cutting through the back portion of the property.
As Henry traipsed around through the grass, and darted past mature maple trees, I could just imagine our children perched on rocks with their fishing rods trying to catch dinner from the brook, or squealing in delight as a tire swing, suspended from one of the solid branches, curved out over the expansive lawn.
This is the exact kind of space we want. So thank goodness our Realtor finally came around because we were ready to find a new one on Monday.
Now although we both like this house, these are a few points we're pondering...
1) It's at the upper end of our price limit which means that if we bought this house, we'd have to live with the almost 50-year old wall mounted oven that's the size of a toaster and baby blue bathrooms until we could scrounge up enough moola for any replacements. Of course, if we were to buy this house, we'd try not to dwell on these components as being significantly outdated and instead, consider them cool vintage.
2) It was evident that the person who lived in the house had been older. And it was obvious that people had been packing up and cleaning out the house, organizing piles of things to possibly keep, possibly donate, and possibly haul off to the dump. As soon as I walked in the front door, I was struck with a feeling of sacredness. It was difficult to shake that feeling as I was walking through someone's home and imagining where I would put my desk, amid their life time of memories. When I went downstairs in to the finished walk-out basement, and saw the stacks of dusty trophies and an antique baby cradle amid a box of stained photographs, I got totally choked up.
My father has been in an assisted living facility for the past 18-months, and soon, his home will be going up for sale. Very soon, my siblings and I will be sorting through his belongings, and life time of memories, discussing who wants what and what goes to charity. I know that it will be challenging for me because so many of my father's belongings I will distinctly remember him using. And yet, just because I distinctly remember him using, or touching, or storing something, is that enough of a reason for me to want to take it to my own home? In a way, it feels like by keeping my dad's belongings, he will always be with me.
Sorting through a loved ones possessions is not easy because in doing so you are definitively dividing up what was once whole. As you disassemble a collection of that person's treasures, you are continously reminded that time has passed, those days are over, and an era has ended.
As I stood looking over the belongings in that house today, I said a little prayer for strength for the family of the owner. Moments later, I was joined by Charlie who was walking around and nodding in agreement that this space might work for us. But then, without even so much as exchanging a single word about the "feelings" that I had, my husband turned to me and with wide eyes, held out his arm and said, "OH MY GOSH. Jen, check out my arm! I'm COVERED in goosebumps!" Despite the hot temperatures, not only were his arms covered in goosebumps, his legs were too.
He pulled his arm back in, scrunched his shoulders up and very quietly whispered, "Someone died here. I can feel it." Then he slowly looked around the room and up at the ceiling while murmuring, "Respect. Respect. Respect."
We stood for another moment, wondering if the space might be haunted, until the silence was broken when our Realtor called out that Henry had stripped off all his clothes and was running around the upstairs, stark naked.
Either he heard the spirit tell him, BE FREE!!
Or, he'd had enough of being fully clothed in 105 degree temperatures.
Tonight, I came back to our hotel home and Googled the owner's name. Within a matter of seconds, I confirmed that Charlie was correct. He died in the house, just a few months ago. My husband was almost unnerved, and told me this could be a deal breaker for him.
Consider Charlie's mother passed away in his family's home in Santa Barbara. A few years ago, one of his nieces went to knock on the door and see if she could walk through the house where she had created so many childhood memories. The new owner let her come in, and then wasted no time telling her that they totally felt the spirit of the woman who had died there, 18 years ago.
So my question to you internet is two-fold:
1) Would you buy a house where you know someone had died?
2) Would you be worried that you might be haunted if you put in a low bid on a house where someone had died because it really is crazy expensive and totally outdated and how in the world does someone cook in an almost 50-year old wall mounted oven that's the size of a toaster?