Day 29 of January Blog a Day: Home
Today is kind of a big deal, you guys.
Precisely 365 days ago, Scott and I stepped on a plane bound for Minneapolis. The tickets? One-way. That’s right…today is our one-year ‘Sota anniversary!
It’s crazy to think that our big move was just one year ago. In some ways, it seems much longer than that…this cold, snowy winter feels as if it’s been dragging on for the better part of two years. At the same time, I often feel like I only left Seattle a few months ago. Regardless, one thing is for certain — neither Scott or I have any regrets about our relocation to Smalltown.
Sure, leaving the comforts of the West Coast for the wild, untamed prairies of the Midwest was a huge risk at the time. We didn’t know anyone, Scott wasn’t sure if he would like his new job, and I wasn’t certain I would be able to continue working from a remote location. And then there was the whole “not living within 100 miles of a Nordstrom” thing. It’s obvious why we were both tentative about the entire decision.
Yet with the past year behind us, I’m confident we did the right thing. Uprooting our lives certainly wasn’t easy, but we’ve both discovered that ‘Sota actually is sexy, and we love our new lives here. Truth be told, Minnesota has felt like home for quite some time now.
Which is why we’ve officially begun the house hunting process. Or as I like to call it, “The hot mess that is Scottrina trying to make a major life decision.”
Let me preface this with a little bit of house hunting history. In 2009, Scott and I were all fired up and ready to buy a place in Seattle. As far as we knew, we were staying in Washington for life–and with the recent market crash, we were hoping to snag something fabulous for a really great price. After a few weeks of searching, we went under contract for a brand new condo in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
Unfortunately, the company behind the condos was super shady and ended up jerking us around quite a bit. Thank goodness we were able to get out of the deal without losing our earnest money. We walked away from the incident with some healthy perspective and settled on renting in Ballard for a while before launching into super-focused house hunting mode. Three months later we had looked at close to two hundred properties (and made offers on four of them) before realizing we just weren’t quite ready to buy a house.
Scott made me break the news to our realtor, who had invested hundreds of hours in our ultimately futile mission. To this day, I don’t think I could bear to look him in the eye. (And yes…I’m one of those people-pleasers who would purchase a home for fear of disappointing our real astate agent.)
Fast forward 3.5 years to present day. (Unfortunately, things haven’t changed all that much.)
October: Katrina locates fabulous modern lake home that is well within price range while back in Seattle. It was designed by an architect and has a state of the art gourmet kitchen. She phones Scott about it, and he makes an appointment to see the property. It’s love at first walk-through. He brings Katrina to the house just two weeks later. She loves it too, but is concerned that there are only two bedrooms. (She’s also concerned about the purple shag carpet and general “jazz-themed lounge on a cruise ship” vibe.)
November: Scott and Katrina decide to make an offer on the house. A ridiculously low offer. The sellers are insulted. Did I mention Scottrina’s realtor happens to be their realtor, too? After forty days of back-and-forth, the realtor goes out of her way to convince the sellers to come down to a lower price. They do, but Scott and Katrina reject it anyway. It’s safe to assume all parties involved are pissed.
December: Katrina locates a second fabulous lake home that is less modern and more…well…log cabin-y. Still, it has more than two bedrooms and she thinks she can update it with lots of kitschy pop art and make it “log cabin chic”. Scott doesn’t seem quite so convinced.
January: Scott and Katrina finally decide they’re ready to commit to a home with a knotty pine log bannister. In true Taylor fashion, they make an offer that is once again, ridiculously low. Surprisingly, the owner accepts all but one of their conditions in the counter offer. Katrina is shocked and thrilled.
Scott then informs Katrina he doesn’t actually like the house.
Katrina informs Scott he should have informed her of this before they signed a legally binding document.
Scott informs Katrina that he didn’t inform her because she pressured him into making the offer and he just got tired of fighting her.
Katrina is initially offended by this, but then slowly begins to question whether or not she even likes the house in the first place. Is she really a knotty pine type of gal?
The whole thing is a sloppy, log-filled disaster. Katrina is, once again, tasked with relaying the bad news to her poor realtor. She’s a genuinely nice person, and Katrina truly regrets sucking her into the Scottrina web of indecision and “just kidding!” house offers.
When I finally worked up the courage to tell our agent we were sticking with our original offer, she reminded me the seller’s counter offer would only mean a $30 difference in our monthly payments. Basically, we were splitting hairs at this point.
(Naturally I took her side and said it was all Scott’s fault. That’s what he gets for refusing to ever face the realtor.)
Fast forward two weeks. The owner, who initially remained firm in the counter offer, has had a change of heart and now wants us to come back with another counter.
While I really love the house, I’m just not sure I’m quite ready to commit to a living room made entirely of logs. Scott’s coping by ignoring the situation, choosing instead to focus his efforts on all three seasons of Portlandia. When he does feel like addressing the issue, it’s with a comment like “I don’t really want to buy a house anyway. If we buy a house we can never move to New York City and Hawaii.”
So…apparently we’re moving to New York City and Hawaii*.
(*Over my dead body. I’m not moving 3,000 pounds of IKEA furniture that far ever again.)
I suppose what I’m trying to say is that finding the perfect home has been stressful. Really stressful. So stressful in fact, that I’ve begun to…umm…self medicate.
With this little guy:
Before you judge, let me point out that it’s been nearly a year since the handbag of shame and manipulation. Twelve months with the same handbag? Let’s just say my contract is up and I’m well within my rights to take advantage of the
Also, the new handbag is actually doing Scott a favor, if you think about it. You see, every time someone compliments one of my LVs, he retorts with a snarky “Pfft! That handbag is the reason we still live in an apartment and can’t afford a house.”
So really, my latest purchase is simply ensuring we don’t actually have to buy a home anytime soon, which is what Mr. Portlandia wants in the first place! New Louis = Scott getting to move to NYC and Hawaii!
See? Everybody wins. (Except the realtor, I guess.)