I thought that buying a house would be more fun.
In my mind, it would be like having a new baby -- lots of excitement and hoping and planning and dreaming.
Instead I just feel fatter and less smart and I'm tired and kind of grouchy, so it is kind of like having a baby after all.
Mr. Ashley is obsessed with watching Fixer Upper, Property Brothers, and other real estate reality shows on Netflix and when I'm not making fun of him for that, I'm making fun of the buyers who CANNOT POSSIBLY SURVIVE without a huge dining room because they entertain all of the time or the people who might faint dead away at the site of laminate countertops.
I thought that I had more reasonable expectations. My only parameters were that it had to have two bedrooms, room for my dining room table (I don't even need a dining room, but I'm emotionally attached to my farmhouse table, okay?) and no farther from the beach than I am now.
That last part was hard because I'm only two miles from the beach. This left me with a very small and often questionable strip of neighborhoods to search. I knew I'd end up in a tiny old house that needed a lot of work but I live in one now and I'm a survivor like that so I was looking forward to my fate. I started watching Fixer Upper with a new begrudging appreciation.
(How does she just put weird shit on walls and it looks okay? If I did it I'm pretty sure it would seem like I put some tractor parts on a wall or whatever, and not look okay.)
Not long into the search, Big Kid protested for a third bedroom. It was a reasonable request from a 12-year-old who has been sharing a room for far too long. So we added another bedroom to the wish list.
little kid wanted a neighborhood with kids. We have 10 kids on our little corner of the street -- a roaming scooter gang having the best of childhoods. Also a reasonable request, but we made no promises.
We drove up and down every street in my designated area searching for options and the whole car was quiet. As we passed a row of duplexes with some people sitting out front on plastic chairs with a case of beer at their feet on a Saturday morning, little kid said, "This reminds me of...what's the word?" He thought earnestly for a moment as we waited. "...the apocalypse?"
As they say, children, drunk people, and leggings always tell the truth. So I gave up on my area and widened the search.
The house we have under contract is in a very family-friendly community with sidewalks and streetlights and a playground. It has three bedrooms. There's not really room for my dining room table but maybe Joanna Gaines from Fixer Upper will come rip out some walls (and, I mean, maybe she'll come willingly. I wouldn't kidnap her. I haven't been thinking about ways to do that because that's illegal and I'd get caught. And it's not right to do. And how would someone even do that? I mean, if someone was going to do that, how could they pull that off without getting caught? And then make her realize she wants to be friends? Hypothetically, of course.)
Or we can eat on tray tables.
But I can assure you that buying a house is way more fun on television, and not having a dining room does kind of hurt.