Three months ago today, I saw the listing for the house that would be our new house eventually. Of course, I didn't know it would be our new house. I wrote an e-mail with this subject line: "I might have fallen in love with this one!"
I was looking at lots of listings online. We were spending lots of time driving through the neighborhood where we wanted to buy. We even went to an open house here and there.
On Monday, April 29, my friend and I were going to the Richard Blanco poetry reading. I asked if she minded if we drove by the house that was the subject of the e-mail. She was agreeable.
I recognized the house from the online picture, but there was no sign in the yard. I thought it was curious, but the Zillow listing I stumbled across, it was a For Sale by Owner, so I didn't think much about it. I thought it was priced a bit high.
But I was intrigued. It was a good house on a good street, one of the wider streets in the historic district. It had an undeniable charm. I went back to the Zillow site again and again.
Finally, on Thursday, I called the owner. I said, "Is your house for sale? Because I've seen one Zillow site where it is, and then there's another one where it doesn't appear to be."
He had taken the house off the market because he wasn't getting any interest in it. He had decided to do some repairs and upgrades and try again later in the summer.
I said, "What if you didn't have to do the upgrades? What if you had a buyer who wanted it in an as-is condition, if the price could be lower?"
We talked a bit more. He was leaving town, but he'd be back in 10 days. We agreed to think about it and be in touch if we were still interested.
In those 10 days, we continued to look at other houses. We made many trips through the neighborhood. There was a morning of flooding rains, and I drove through various streets to see how they handled torrential rain. I was more and more impressed with the house that would become our new house.
Finally, on May 23, we met the owner at the house. By that point, in a way, it didn't matter. I was a goner, head over heels in love with a house I hadn't ever seen inside.
Of course, if it had been dreadful, I have no doubt I'd have fallen right back out of love. If we couldn't have come to a mutally acceptable price, I'd have stayed in love and mourned the house that got away.
Happily, we made offers and counter offers and came to an agreement and headed towards closing. And not a day goes by that I don't shake my head in wonder at it all. It's only strange luck that I stumbled across the Zillow listing at all--strange luck or an inscrutable algorithm.
I'm happy, whatever the reason: luck, algorithm, God, destiny, or chance. Let me take a moment to pause in gratitude.
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