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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Lucky in Real Estate

Last Sunday, after driving up to Speed’s Kitchen for lunch in celebration of Poppy’s life, P and I rode down to The Village Pier so he could see his daddy off. Lawrence was waiting there for the pilot boat to ferry him out to a large car carrier so he could climb aboard and pilot it into the harbor. We talked for a minute while we waited for the pilot boat to reach the pier, and then he was off. Honey was in day care at Puppy Paradise, and we drove toward mid-island to fetch her. I decided to go the old way and drive down Old Demere Road and through to Frederica Road by way of our old street, Broadway.

When I turned the car onto Broadway, I noticed a real estate company's “Open House” sign. Something moved me to follow the sign. Hell, it was late Sunday afternoon, and we didn’t have anything better to do. For a month I’d been trying to find a new place to rent because, for several reasons, not the least of which are the exorbitant rent and the aggravating view of a doctor’s office across the street, where, every afternoon at six-thirty, a white van pulls up and the driver allows a young child to honk the horn incessantly until the door opens and a woman walks out, I had decided to move. My lease expires on August 15, and with only two months to find something, I had been scouring the internet and the local paper for prospects.

The signs led us to Meadows Drive. I’m familiar with the street. It’s practically around the corner from where our old house on Broadway once stood, and it curves around a lake with a house built on an the island in the middle of it. When I was a kid, I always wanted to live in that house, and one of my best friends in high school lived on Meadows Drive. The houses, most of them red brick, some ranch style and some bungalows, date from the early 1960’s. As we continued down the short street that dead-ends at the marsh, I got the feeling that I was at home.

About half way down the street that only has six houses on each side, I saw the for-sale sign. The red brick bungalow sits back a decent distance from the curb, sporting a small white picket front porch and white shutters.  There are old azaleas planted around the largest of two huge oak trees in the front yard. I pulled up in front of it, and not knowing what I would find inside, went to the door and rang the bell. 

The agent, Robert Jennings, who was two years ahead of me at Glynn Academy, greeted me and showed me into the precious little house. I was in love before I completely negotiated the threshold. There are beautifully finished hardwood floors throughout - not a scrap of carpet in sight! Oh, how I detest wall-to-wall carpet. The rooms are small but charming, and the master bedroom suite has a sitting area between it and the master bath. There are two other bedrooms and two other full bathrooms, and a den (with a fireplace) as well as a living room. The owners added a sunroom, paved with the brick they took from the exterior wall, and it features sky lights and ceiling fans. 

And - drum roll please - it has an outdoor shower off the deck! When I saw that shower, I knew I was home, that the house was meant for me. If you’ve never had an outdoor shower, you don’t know what you’re missing. We had one on the deck off our bathroom on The Point, and we used it exclusively. It was never too hot or too cold to shower outside. Hell, even our guests all showered out there. It’s what I miss most about that house.

The back yard of the bungalow is fenced, which is a must for Honey. The house measures 2400 square feet which means there is plenty of room for our things. There are two attics and a storage room in the carport. The more I saw and learned, the more excited I got.

Without hesitation, I decided to make an offer. Unfortunately, Robert told me that a couple had just that day made an offer and the owners had accepted it. There was hope, though, he said, because the prospective buyers had attached three contingencies to their contract, one of which was that their closing would hinge on the sale if there current home. I'd never wish ill luck on anyone, but at that moment, I had every intention of doing my best to kick that couple right out of the sale.

It was Tuesday before The Inspector General (that would be Lawrence) could meet us at the house and give it his once-over. He inspected it thoroughly, checking all the important things like heat pumps, plumbing, the crawl space, and the roof. He loves that kind of shit. I was surprised he didn't arrive with a tool box. He was almost atwitter about the copper wiring. Pleased at the prospect of us finding a place of our own that’s in good shape at an excellent price, he advised me to make a clean (no caveats) offer of a little more than the existing one. So, on Wednesday afternoon, I went to the bank, got pre-approved for a loan and drove myself to Robert's office and started signing papers.

Then the waiting began. Once notified of the new offer, the couple who made the first one had 48 hours to decide whether to drop their contingencies or withdraw their offer. 

I’ve always been lucky in real estate dealings and had a good feeling about this little beauty from the moment I walked through the door. Not intending to buy a house at all when I arrived, I left with every intention of making it my own.

On Friday, the 13th, almost 48 hours to the minute after I submitted my offer, Robert called me with the happy news that the other potential buyers had withdrawn theirs.

We close on July 15, and all I have to do before we move is have the deck framed up and screened in. Ah, the prospect of a sleeping porch is almost more than I can bear. 

© 2014 cj Schlottman


Mary Beth said...

Now you know you are talking my sweet language of real estate don't ya. How exciting of a journey ! I'm so thrilled you found your new sanctuary that is great ! I wish all buyers could be as diligent and decisive as you lol. I hope you nothing but the best of luck !! It's a brilliant little ranch and you painted the picture beautifully, felt like i was walking through it with you. And my Lawd yes CARPET MUST GO !! yuck lol. Talk to you soon. -MB

Judie said...

I KNEW that you would buy a house! Congrats! Once you get settled, the creative juices will burst forth like Old Faithful, and there will be no stopping you! I wanna see!!!! xoxo

Pam Beers. said...

Congratulations! It sounds like the perfect place for you. Your creative juices will flow abundantly once you're all settled in.

Grantham Lynn said...

Well congratulations! I can't wait to see more of it!
Enjoy getting settled in!