(You can catch up on G‘s story right here: A Third Baby, Fighting Panic, Connecticut to Oklahoma, You’ve Got the Job, The Birth Story, 95 Degrees, She struggles to breathe, I struggle to walk., The Liquid Diet, Not Enough Oxygen, Getting Out of There, Let’s Party!, Fitting Our Lives into a Minivan)
When we arrived in Connecticut, we headed to my parents’ house. We knew that’s where we would be staying for a little while. Perhaps a few weeks. Everything was still very new and exciting at that point.
I remember arriving and sitting out on my parents’ decking, nursing my still-newborn daughter in the unseasonably cool June air. My husband had to be at his new job the very next day. It was all very chaotic, to be honest, but we were very happy to be there and ever-so-grateful that he even HAD a job… the economy of 2009 was most certainly not a kind one.
Anyway, there were really wonderful things about staying there (e.g. Bama being able to rock sweet sleeping G. at night while we visited in their living room) and I will forever be incredibly thankful that my parents let us stay with them. However…
Two or three weeks was turning into months.
It was incredibly challenging to find a home we could even afford. My husband’s income hadn’t budged much at all from what he’d made in Indiana, but housing costs were easily more than twice as high. Our midwest house was on the market, but wouldn’t sell for a very, very long time. We were going to have manage two mortgages simultaneously. Rentals were even worse at that time because people were losing their homes left and right.
We weren’t looking for anything at all fancy, but we were hoping for three bedrooms for our family of five. Two bathrooms were on our wish list, but not a deal breaker. The list of homes for us to look at was pretty dismal. We were totally open-minded about “fixer-uppers” that needed cosmetic work, but we knew we couldn’t get into a huge mess that needed major structural overhaul– the mortgage payment alone (even with a sizable down-payment) was going to be a LOT for us.
We found a darling home that I loved. A picket fence in the front and gorgeous backyard lined with flowers. Wild berries. A tiny terrace off the master bedroom and a little alcove covered with fairy lit vines.
We made an offer. They gave a wishy-washy acceptance that required that we produce oodles of bank paperwork– we did. To make a long story short? They used our paperwork to force the hand of a previous offer they had received (but, of course, had never disclosed to us.) We lost out.
We found another home we liked well enough. Made an offer. It was accepted. We ordered the inspection. The well and septic failed. Feeling skittish, we backed out.
Time marched on. My poor parents put up with us, but it was hard all around. It’s never easy to try to rein in two preschoolers and a new baby in a beautiful, “grown-up” home.
The school year loomed close and, all of a sudden, I had to figure out where to send my older two. I registered them in the public preschool in my parents’ district. Since that was our address at the time, the school accepted it.
Anyhow, summer was ending, school was beginning, and we were still, wearily, hunting.
We found a house that was a perfect fit for our family. A three bedroom raised ranch on a quiet road.
We made an offer. They didn’t really like it and countered. We made another offer. They accepted it.
And then their realtor called me the next day to tell me that, since they hadn’t filed it with the attorney yet and the deal wasn’t “official”, the owners had happily accepted a higher offer than ours the very day after having signed the paper that said ours was approved.
I don’t need to tell you all that I spent a good part of that summer sobbing.
Finally, our realtor gently nudged us toward a home for which she was also the seller’s realtor. Normally, this isn’t always the best way to go. However, in this case, it meant that she promised us that she flat wouldn’t LET her clients do to us what had just happened– if they accepted our offer, that was that.
And we were finally about to have a home of our own…