One of my favorite things to do is to go dream house hunting. By this I mean house hunting in my imagination, not hunting for my dream house. It started when my sister was looking to move to a new neighborhood in San Diego. We would hop in the car and drive up to the housing developments to walk through the model homes. While my mom and sister critiqued the size and layout of the "great room" that all those places seemed to have and bickered over how many bedrooms one actually needs, I would climb up one extravagant staircase after another, descending how I imagined a princess might.
On our drive back, we would talk about the things we liked about the houses, about which floorplan we would choose and how many of the add-ons were really necessary. We would laugh at the silly decorations or the oddly placed furniture. And then we would stop for snacks. These are HAPPY memories.
I still love walking through homes. I like regular open houses and am often tempted to attend the ones that happen in my own building. I also particularly enjoy walking through model homes because the realtor and owner are seldom present and I am free to make snarky comments or just stand in the middle of the echoey space with my mouth open.
I'm not in any kind of position to buy a house right now, nor will I be for severalmany years. But it is fun to dream house hunt.
EXCEPT, this past weekend, I found it. My actual dream house.
It was a sweet little 3 bedroom/2 bath home in the countryside with lots of dark wood paneling and big windows. The rooms themselves weren't that large or impressive and the whole place looked a bit rundown. Actually here's what it looked like: the owner was an old man who had been living there for a few years after his wife died. So there was some clutter and dust and tatteredness. And when he decided to sell the place the realtor had him run a wet washcloth over the hard surfaces, shove the clutter under a bed, and buy some new drapes for the open house. Can you picture it?
Despite all of this I thought the house was adorable. It had character. It had a story. It also had a theater room and an outdoor cooler that had been converted into a bar. And a wraparound porch and a koi pond with three trickling fountains (I love fountains). And 12 acres of fenced land. And a barn. And two sweet old horses that the realtor told me would come with the property if the buyer wanted them.
AND I WANTED THEM. I WANTED IT ALL.
It was a bittersweet experience because I fell in love with the place but I also knew there was absolutely no way it could be mine. Somebody else will buy it and I'll have to wait until I'm out of school and, y'know, financially stable enough to entertain the idea of homeownership. And landownership and koipondownership and convertedfridgebarownsership and oldnaghorseownership.
But I can dream.