I think Jaimie and I bought a house yesterday.
No, we bought one. We've got emails to prove it.
Or we tried to buy a house. I guess we can safely say that. We tried. All I know is that there’s a house in northern Taylors that is listed on Zillow, and that now has a pending sign beside it. That pending sign was not there yesterday. When Jaimie got a Zillow notification last evening saying that this house, she was pending she was beyond excited. She was like—that was us! We pended that bitch!
So I guess we did. I guess we bought a house.
It was such a day. I'll try and walk you through what I remember.
The whole reason for the buying of the house is that we have to move. I can no longer live on the third floor and moving requires buying a place or renting a place. I would have leaned towards renting, out of nothing but self-centered fear. However, Jaimie has kept reminding me that moving is the hard part. The finding and the packing and the lifting. If we have to do all of that any way, we might as well buy a place and not have to move again unless we want to.
We started looking for house in Easley. Yes. Easley. We wanted to spread a wide net, see what all was out there. The first house we saw was very nice but it was on a busy highway with a auto shop right across the street. I could have have sat on the front porch, written my blogs, and then test drove 2000 Ford Explorers in my free time.
The second house was more downtown Easley, and it was built in 1920. 1920. For those math majors, that was a 100 years ago. There was something so charming about the house, but then again, it was 100 years old and that is going to cause problems. Am I right? I don’t know. I’ve never dealt with a 100 year old house before. The back side of the house was new. There was a side yard with a garden. Like a real, Meatless Monday, survival garden. She had tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers. The holy trinity of small upstate gardens. That seems to be what you’re getting this season. That leads to, what, I don’t know, kind of a sad salsa, but hey at least you did it yourself? The garden had a compost pile and a fire pit for burning all the veggies I didn’t properly grow and for getting rid of the Swiss Cake Roll Packages I would be eating while I threw away my ruined tomatoes. For a good thirty minutes I pictured myself as a kind of person who transformed himself into a gardener. This blog became a place where neophyte gardeners came together and learned from one another. But if there is one thing about me, it's that I know myself. I know that I'm not going to do that. So I quickly let that version of me go, and accepted myself for who I truly am.
The third house was back in downtown Greenville. After a lovely lunch at the Swamp Rabbit Grocery, we left feeling rested and refreshed, only to be promptly greeted by a man sitting on the back porch of the house, daring us to enter. I was kind of oblivious to him, forgetting that I was going around looking at house with my wife and Real Estate Agent. Both women. Both needfully more aware of their surroundings than I need to be. So as soon soon as Jaimie and I showed up, we pulled around and left.
The fourth house was a place Jaimie had looked at before me and was really hoping to love. We were calling it the Sunshine House, because it was on, wait for it, Sunshine Lane.
Jaimie and I are nothing if not literal.
There were issues. The place had no dishwasher. Yet they had totally redone the place. Which means they had decided, no dishwashers. Like this was 1993. Also, it was just shitty. It was clear they were looking for a sucker who was afraid someone was going to think the house was going to be bought out from under them. Who loved the fact that it was five minutes from downtown so much that they were willing to overlook the fact that it was built on a bedrock or mosquitoes.
As much as I have sucker written all over my face from time to time, this, fortunately, was not one of those times. I left Sunshine House sad, but still optimistic that we would find something we wanted.
The next house was in West Greenville. Living in West Greenville makes me nervous, because I never want to feel like I’m gentrifying. Who wants that on their conscious besides people from Northern Virginia who come down here and pay cash for things. But this part of West Greenville felt settled. Like we were moving in yet it was an equal trade. The other amazing thing was the location. It was two blocks from the West End of Greenville. Two Blocks, and I didn’t once feel I was gentrifying. I pictured a life of walking to The Anchorage, to having my coffee at Village Grind every morning. In a way, that was it it. That was making it in Greenville. Being able to walk to Golden and Crusty without feeling like part of the problem.
But there was a problem. Jaimie hated the house and hated the neighborhood.
The house had an issue. There were ten birds in one of the bedrooms. Ten. Not wild birds, but pets of the people who currently owned the house. I guess you can’t really take birds on a walk while people are rummaging through your things, so the birds provided what I can only call a traumatic viewing experience. These birds were squawking directly in your ear every time a suggestion was made or a thought was proffered. I stand by my theory that without the birds that place would have been off the market, but alas, they were there, and we left this funky little West Village Home as we found it—without an offer.
This led us to our third home close to downtown. This one was off of Piney Mountain Road, right next to the Piney Road Bike Shop. A straight shot to my moms and my sisters, a straight shot to both our jobs, and an even straighter shot to downtown.
To say the inside was funky would have been an understatement. Each kitchen cupboard had like a Lazy Susan or some weird thing we would have had to fix and get rid of. The yard was huge, but the bottom of it was a giant ditch that seemed to be where the fancy neighborhood Monticello got rid of their unwanted tree trunks.
There was also the world’s saddest koi pond in the front yard. It wasn’t even a koi pond. It was a pond, shaped like a koi pond, that a frog had just jumped in and committed suicide.
So by this point, Jaimie and I were dark. And I wasn’t sure whether or not our wonderful Realtor, Liesel, was about to drop out on us. We had each wanted to see the Sunshine housed the house off of Piney Mountain Road. I was worried she was starting to judge our decision making skills.
But the day had gotten Jaimie and I close together. I was beginning to see what she wanted in a place. She has dreams of doing projects and fixing places, but she also likes privacy and being close to family. I think she’d rather have privacy, her own little spot in the world, and then drive twenty minutes downtown to hang out. It scratcher her itches as an introverted extravert.
That led us to the last house of the evening. It’s in Northern Taylors. Taylors is where my parents have lived for the past 30 years. This house was kind of on the way we went to church every morning when I was a kid. So I was familiar with the neighborhood.
We entered the street and we loved in immediately. The problem was, the street kept going. And going. And we we were like NO! WE MISSED THE PRETTY PART!
But we didn’t! The pretty part came back and there was out realtor’s car, sitting in the drive way of a super cute house. It had so many little surprises. Like a freaking dishwashers. Thank you someone for remembering this was the 21st Century. There was a bedroom they converted into a walk in closet. The shower had a sunlight like my bathroom had in Brooklyn for ten years. And then there was the yard. A screened in porch, led to a patio, led to a bar and a fire pit that they all want to leave with us. The yard is huge, which is amazing and terrible. But the yard ends and a giant meadow begins. I drove around today with my mom to see if the yard was being built into a subdivision anytime soon and it doesn’t seem to be. There seems to be no clear and present danger. In fact, my neighbors built what can only be described as a play house with an above ground pool to give themselves a view of the meadow. That might be something I need to look into. Hmmm, if only I was handy.
During my time in the field is when things got serious. Apparently, I was out there and our realtor grabbed Jaimie and told her to look at me staring at the meadow at the edge of our yard. They could both tell I needed to be there. That the place inspired me. And it did. I loved it, even though I wasn’t yet sure why.
And they were right. Jaimie felt the same way. So we sat down on the screened in porch, I asked what to do next, and it was determined that it was time to make an offer. Which we did. And they accepted. So we when Jaimie and I got home and saw the email from the listing, all she could say was we pended that bitch.
And yesterday I was nervous. And yesterday I was scared. But today I feel great. I think a place like this is what I need. To fully heel. To get off the third floor. It’s always been a dream of mine to be an artist and own a house. And now I get a chance to do that. Of course, I have to wait until the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed. I bought a house before and it fell through in the most dramatic of ways. And while I’m still here, and I know I can survive anything—we did pend it. It would be nice to take it home, and make an honest home out to it. I don’t like getting into what I do and don’t deserve, but part of me feels like Jaimie and deserve this.
So yeah, I think Jaimie and I bought a house yesterday.