This blog post has been two years in the making.
You see, just over two years ago, Mr. B and I picked up our very happy, comfortable and far more exciting lives in London for opportunities and challenges on this side of the pond. It made sense: we were about to start our lives as Mr. and Mrs., so why not go all out and move countries?
We didn't know anything about the area we moved to, so we were patient and rented a lovely little cottage on a river. The views were breathtaking, the lifestyle was relaxing and it bought us some time to figure out what to do next. We've been lucky in life (what are the chances of meeting the way we did?) and we were lucky with the timing of our trans-atlantic move. A hot, perhaps overinflated, property market started to cool, so in early 2009, we decided it was time to jump on the property ladder sooner than later. How hard can it be?
Apparently, it is hard. It didn't have to be. But it was hard.
I guess I had underestimated how picky we are. I'm not talking picky like when you watch "Property Virgins" on HGTV and the young couple wants a 3,000sqft home with 4 beds / 2 baths with a granite kitchen and a large yard for five digits. I'm talking a different sort of picky. But that's another post.
So, we started viewing homes. I believe, at final count, we must have viewed over a hundred. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was well over 100. It's not like we couldn't pull the trigger. We were under four contracts. Four houses to call home. But for one reason or another, it didn't work out. The survey came back bad, the appraisal didn't match, etc. So, in March 2010, when this house, I certainly wasn't holding my breath.
I knew from the listing this was going to be right up Mr. B's alley. A home that had tons of potential (read: needed lots of work), was located in a rural-ish area with land, had good schools and decent commutes for us. We immediately put in an offer. A few phone calls and minor negotiations, it was accepted. There were hurdles. I won't get in to the details but imagine septic tanks, mortgages and general bureaucracy and you'll quickly get the idea.
So, nearly seven months after we first viewed it, and on our 2nd wedding anniversary, we had the keys. It wasn't the Anniversary House when we started, but fate has a funny way of making things right. When we signed the papers on 9/27/10, the Anniversary House was ours.
It would be a great ending if just getting the home was the happy ending. But as I mentioned, this home needs some TLC. Project details to come, but I hope you'll share with us the ups and downs of a new roof, kitchen, three bathrooms, decorating, landscaping and many, many, many other projects.
In the meantime, bear with me as I find my way around the blogging universe. I promise lots pictures and videos and a more "user-friendly" layout. One step at a time. For now, I need to concentrate on unpacking a few boxes...