Yesterday, I realized we were at the one year anniversary of making an offer on the house that we now own. I was trying to figure out when my wrist surgery took place last year (May 2), and along the way, I figured out another piece of history.
I didn't blog about the process in real time, in part because I had a broken wrist that made it hard to write. In larger part, I didn't blog about it because I didn't want anything to happen that might jeopardize the process. I did write some blog posts after the fact, once we purchased the house in June (here and here).
At the time, a year ago when my spouse was talking to the owner of the house on the phone, I remember being a bit worried about making big decisions in a place of emotional vulnerability. I remember saying words to the effect of, "I'm happy to have a house at Lutheridge, but right now, I'm focused on my wrist surgery, so I might not be thinking clearly." My wrist was not the only thing shattered a year ago; my faith in my ability to know my body took a hit too, and I was feeling vulnerable, because if a little tumble could do so much damage, what other catastrophes might be waiting?
Yesterday my spouse and I talked about some of the decisions we've made in the past year. We felt lucky to get this house at a really good price because it needed work. We may end up spending almost as much (or more even) on it than we would have spent if we had bought a house that was more move-in-ready. But oddly, I feel O.K. about that. We're making good decisions (like putting in a high quality/efficiency HVAC system) that people who wanted to sell a house quickly at top dollar might not have made. We're making design decisions that work for us.
A year later, I am glad to have this house in more ways than I would have anticipated, and I anticipated being glad to have this house. I didn't anticipate that seminary housing might become more precarious. Now I know that there are plans to bulldoze the building that has apartments, including mine. I don't know exactly when that will happen, but I've felt lucky to have a place to go. I knew the housing market had been weird, but I didn't realize it would continue to be weird; yesterday I read an article in The New York Times that noted that lots of people want to buy houses, but increasingly, as interest rates rise, many people don't want to sell and lose a lower interest mortgage. If we had waited to invest the money from the sale of our prior house into another place to live, we might not have been able to find anything.
I am glad to have a house in an area that's a bit safer from all the destruction that climate change is unleashing; several weeks ago, I looked at pictures of flooding in our old neighborhood and felt a bit of survivor's guilt. But more, I felt relief.
A year ago, the people who owned this house accepted our offer to buy it. And I continue to be grateful.