A house to write home about

I guess my golden locks are coming in handy.

We ended up seeing six houses in Cochrane. One was too stinky. One was too haunted. One was too decrepit. One was too small. And one was too nice (yeah, that’s a thing).

If you’re doing the math at home, that’s five houses that were knocked out of contention for being too something. But if fairy tales have taught me anything, and if houses can be readily compared to porridge or chairs or beds, then the one remaining house would definitely be just right. Right?

The last house was – is, I guess – a little out there. Literally. It’s about six kilometres outside the town, and it has all the ingredients of a typical rural house. Let’s review, shall we? It has about an acre of land. It has a well. It has a septic system. It’s heated with a wood furnace. And it has exactly one neighbouring house.

Are these things we were looking for in a home? Absolutely not.

But it also has all the things on our wish list. It’s move-in ready. It has three bedrooms on the same floor. It has two working toilets (in case of pooping emergencies). It has a fireplace. It has a double attached garage. It has a workshop.

In that sense, the house is just right.

Neither one of us fell in love with it when we first walked in – in fact, we both had our hearts set on other houses we had already seen. One of us (him) really liked the decrepit house and one of us (me) really liked the nice house. We both ended up ranking the house in question as a moderate second choice. But we each appealed to the other’s practical side to dissuade our respective first choices.

On the decrepit house: “I really don’t want to have to walk down two flights of stairs through a dingy basement to have  a shower – especially when we have a baby. And we’re going to have to tear down the sun room, and we won’t have the time or money for that. And the room configurations are awkward and might limit what we can put in them.”

On the nice house: “It’s just not us.”

So after seeing the whopping five other choices in our price range, we opted to go back and have a look at the house that could have been any number of things – too rural, too rustic, too isolated, too wood furnace-y – to see if we could fall in love with it. Looking around it with a more critical eye, I saw a lot of flaws. The windows are old. The main washroom doesn’t have a window or a fan. The other washroom is a little cramped. The kitchen is dated – more dated than when my parents still had orange cabinets and a matching yellow stove to boot.

But then, it happened; I caught myself thinking about the changes we could make when we bought the house.

When, not if.

Flaws be damned, I guess I loved the house. And I could see in my husband’s eyes that the prospect of a wood furnace was really starting to appeal to his lumberjack tendencies. “I guess I should start taking pictures so we can show our parents and figure out where we’re going to put everything, eh?” “Yes.” It my mind, the house had already become our future home.

To be clear, it isn’t ours yet, but we’re working on putting in an offer.

It turns out the house is too something, though – it’s too good to be true. (Except it is true. We saw it and intend on buying it.)

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