We bought a house yesterday. Here is the view looking from the street at the house:
You enter the house by going down the side path:
The doors are accessed from the deck on the back:
In some ways, the fact that we bought a house is unremarkable; we've bought 5 properties before. But when we sold our last house, the house in the historic district in South Florida, I thought it might be the last time we would be homeowners. We had managed to sell in a hot market--why reinvest in real estate?
There are many reasons, of course. But here's our reason: we had what feels like a once-a-decade chance to buy in a neighborhood we've had our eye on for years, the neighborhood of residential houses at the church camp, Lutheridge (where we go for family reunions at Thanksgiving and the location of my favorite retreats and where my spouse was on the board), which is in Arden, near Asheville, NC. For a while those houses were non winterized houses that were built in the 1950's and ‘60s. Then other houses were added to the neighborhood. As houses in that neighborhood have come on the market, we've thought about them, but the time was never right.
In fact, we had looked at the one we just bought before, back in 2011 when it was about to be offered for sale, so we had a good sense of it. It needed work then, and it still needs work, but it has good bones; it was built in 1976. The people who bought it in 2012 used it as a vacation house.
We remembered it as "the green house." Below is the kitchen in all of its avocado glory.
The wood paneling is also green, as are the rafters. Here's a view of the loft with the doors leading to storage under the eaves, a picture taken as I stood on the stairs looking into the loft:
At the time we saw it in 2011, it had green shag carpeting throughout, even in the bathrooms. Now it's just subflooring.
Here's the view facing the other way:
When we saw it in 2011, my mom was thinking about having a Lutheridge house as a place for family reunions, but it's too small for that. In 2011, this house wouldn't have been a possibility for just my spouse and me. We had jobs in South Florida, where we also had property: a house that needed work and a condo we couldn't sell.
Back in April, as the Create in Me retreat ended, I said to one of my pastor friends who lives at Lutheridge, "I still dream of having a Lutheridge house." A few days later, she told me that this one would soon be available. I almost didn't mention it to my spouse. I assumed he would be uninterested or that it would be out of our price range.
Instead, my spouse called the owner, they chatted, and my spouse came up with an offer that was close to what they had in mind. My spouse has said he always wanted to work on rehabbing a house when no one was living there and when there wasn't a high pressure timeline. Now he can have that experience. I will still go to live at Wesley Seminary where I will be a full-time student, and he will be at Wesley part of the time and at the house part of the time. He will get trees and nature and a house project. Having a house project is not something that appeals to me, but this will be his project.
My pastor friend said, "The timing is excellent. Seminary housing is fine, but feels like a perch more than a nest. Now you’ll have both!"
I couldn't have said it any better.