The Zen of House Hunting

March 5th, 2014

On Monday I put an offer in on a house I fell in love with (not an uncommon occurrence, me falling in love with homes). I wasn’t necessarily in the market for a house, but Julie, one of our agents here at Sprinkman Real Estate, forwarded me the link to this listing knowing it was exactly what I’ve been looking for in Madison. 

After looking at the photos of the house online at least fifty times and starting a Pinterest page with ideas for that specific house, I went to the open house on Sunday full of hope and fear. Both were realized. 

As a mid century modern fan, I hoped the original 1950‘s finishes were of good quality and intact. They were. I hoped the home had spaces that could be remodeled to suit my family. It did. (Oh! You should see the possibilities I posted on my Pinterest page!) I hoped the space was filled with light and gave me that “this is it – this is my dream home” feeling. It was and it did. Hell, I even waxed poetic about the hallway when describing the house to friends. 

As for fears, they were well represented, too. I feared that all the other mid century modern lovers were going to be at the open house. They were. Every single one of them, I think. I was concerned that a lot of remodeling money would have to be moved out of my “I am going to cover a fireplace in Heath Ceramics tiles before I die” fund  toward un-beautiful but essential things like a water heater and furnace. I was right to be concerned. I was afraid the price point and school district would draw people with deeper pockets than me who were unaware of the true beauty of this well-designed home – people who would fill the space with no regard for the period or architecture of the house. (Yes, yes, I know. Taste is subjective. But it’s still a fear that haunts my design-centered self.) I can’t prove it, of course, but I’m sure that fear was legitimate, too. 

I sat with the house for a night knowing I was going to put an offer in. I showed my three kids the house online (another fifty or so times) and we plotted out who got which bedroom and what color to paint the lower level after we remodeled it. I added to my Pinterest board. I had a mental garage sale deciding what had to go before the move. I dreamed about my boyfriend and his kids moving in some day. In other words, the house was ours, it just didn’t know it yet.

Perhaps here is where I should mention this is not the first offer I’ve made over the past year. This was number five. None of my offers had been accepted for one reason or another, and not all because I was outbid. I guess you could say I was aware the offer might not be accepted, but that was greatly overshadowed by my extreme optimism – despite my knowledge of at least two other offers on the house. I put in a full-priced offer with no contingencies. I was golden. 

Or so I thought. 

Within just a few hours poor Julie had to tell me (again) my offer was not chosen despite  me being the apparent highest bidder. Wasn’t even countered. I’ll never know why. People are emotional about their homes and a seller can choose one offer over another for any reason. I know this. And having gone through this experience of rejection several times before, I was not surprised. Admittedly, a small part of me thought this was not to be. You could chalk it up to being scarred by my past, or maybe it was simply intuition. Either way, I’m not moving into my dream home. Not this particular one, anyway. Am I crushed? Of course. But I know I can't dwell on it. (Pun entirely intended, by the way.)

So I let it go. I haven’t let go of the dreams attached to the house, but I have accepted that someone else will be living out their own dreams there. I have to allow myself to believe that the Universe has other, better plans for me. A home that’s even more perfect for me and the people I love most in this world. 

In the meantime, I do wish the people with the accepted offer a wonderful, happy life in their new beautiful home. And if any of you know of a mid century modern coming up for sale in the West High School district in Madison, call me. I guarantee I will love your home as much as you do.