Now, if in the course of buying a house - you have a complete and thorough nervous breakdown - and you find yourself curling up in to a fetal position and sucking your thumb while crying for your mother, that's perfectly normal. Rest assure, that phase of hysteria will soon pass.
For those that missed it, yesterday we had some very minor second thoughts about this whole moving cross-country thing. It suddenly struck us that our house in California is under contract to be sold and we'd convinced ourselves that we had absolutely zero prospects in Virginia. We were feeling so desperate and frustrated and scared that Charlie went so far as to call our Realtor in California and ask what might happen if we decided to back out of the contract. All of the color drained out of my face, as I watched all the color drain out of my husband's face, once he heard (and recited to me) words like "breach of contract" and "lawsuits."
Lawsuits? But it's OUR house!
That doesn't matter.
We signed a contract.
Once Charlie got off the phone with our Realtor, he thought about calling the woman who signed the contract and asking her if she would please back out. He was going to tell her that he is married to a woman that has had a very difficult year (it's true) and is emotionally unstable (what?!) and we made a terribly hasty decision and please, oh please.
We want our house back.
Thankfully, we both fell asleep before we went TURBO crazy. And when we woke up this morning, we each had a fresh new perspective. A new perspective that involved us saying to each other something along the lines of, "We need to GROW up. We made the decision to leave California for a number of valid reasons and this is where we are meant to be. We can totally do this. For Pete's sake! This is a wonderful opportunity for us, for our children, for our entire family unit. We create and are solely responsible for our attitudes and our happiness!"
Besides. What is life if not one great adventure?!
So we decided to stop being scared and instead, embrace being happy.
We decided that when it's time to get our Virginia license plates, we want to get personalized ones that read, "BE KIND" and "BE NICE" and when we're jetting down route 267, much like we did when we'd cross over bridges in the Bay Area of San Francisco, we're going to pay the toll for the car behind us. We are going to recklessly commit random acts of kindness all over the mid-Atlantic. We are going to SMILE at strangers on the metro and TALK to people in line at the grocery store and by golly, WE ARE GOING TO LOVE IT HERE.
And then, we decided that we (and our children) LOVED the old, possibly haunted house by the creek, despite the fact that it's nearly 50 years old and hasn't had a single update since 1960-something. We decided that it is the absolute best lot in the best location with the best layout and we WANT it. We don't want to play hard ball with the grieving owners, and since they've come down almost 20% off the list price, we feel like we've negotiated it well. So we decided to bump our third and final offer up by 7%. The owners came down by 3% and we now have a fully ratified contract and are in escrow.
A whole fleet of inspectors including a home inspector, lead-based paint inspector, septic inspector, fireplace/chimney inspector, and asbestos inspector will be descending upon the house over the next few days. We are very hopeful that everything will go swimmingly and we'll be able to close escrow and move in by the end of this month.
Beyond that, it might seem like Bob Vila has taken over my blog as I start detailing our progress of knocking down walls, tearing down wood paneling, removing trees, and replacing windows. I've always dreamed of buying an old funky fixer upper house, and I'm convinced this is it. I'm also very glad that we possess so much excitement about it and hope that our enthusiasm sustains us as we tackle the 1,001 things to do.
(Including #1 on the list: have a priest come bless our new home.)
Tonight, I was telling Charlie that it's a good thing we enjoy camping so much, because the cook top in our new house isn't much larger than our Coleman propane stove that we bring along whenever we head for the outdoors.
Yep. I suspect it will be a lot like camping for a while.
(Squee!! I CAN'T WAIT!)