Home Invaders

This house shopping stuff is tough. Not only because they all have their merits, and all have their compromises (especially given our requests versus our budget), and not even because they all start to look alike after awhile.

It's just that you feel so *terrible* about tromping through all these people's homes and then not buying any! I feel like the worst houseguest in history:

"Lovely place you have here; thanks so much for cleaning it top-to-bottom in anticipation of my arrival. I see you've built a lifetime of memories within these walls, and are now tearfully considering handing over the key to a total stranger. Hmm... NOPE!"

You really do feel bad about disqualifying each contestant. I'd make an awful Simon Cowell.

And it's never anything that's their fault, either. One beautiful place in Irvington (an older neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis) had a wonderful porch, original doors and windows, really interesting books and art all over the place (which don't stay of course, but has to make you like the folks) and a huge, lush yard with mature oaks and a lovely deck and a place for bonfires and... twenty huge air conditioners roaring a few dozen feet away on the building that backs up to the property.

Another, a beautifully restored home on the north side of downtown Indy, had soaring ceilings, well-proportioned rooms, a balcony overlooking the secluded back yard and... gang graffiti covering the abandoned houses all around it.

And the geodesic dome (a geodesic dome!) was awesome in every way, with unique spaces, a huge kitchen, a heated pool *and* a hot tub, a big garage and even bigger workshop, a creek running through the tree-lined back yard and... two narrrow spiral staircases that were the only way of getting to the upstairs or the downstairs.

The one that stung the most, though, was the farmhouse. We looked at this special place out amidst the "sea of green" fields on a two-lane country road, and I've never felt such stillness and peace in a stranger's home before. All the windows were open, but there was almost no sound except the gentle wind blowing across the cornstalks, fluttering the antique drapes. The sun streaming in through the high barn window made it feel like a country cathedral. It felt (and looked) like Grandma's House in every idyllic novel you ever read. But it wasn't for us.

We'd have wrecked it, in fact, with our modern decorating and world-bazaar interior design. Knowing us, I'd probably have ended up painting the woodwork one day, lord help me.

So we're still looking.

But it's really an honor to get a glimpse into these other people's homes, and I'm really hoping soon that we find one we can say yes to, and that all their stories can start becoming ours.


Anonymous said...

We are house shopping too. We are having trouble finding a house with more than 3 windows total. Seems like Brownsburg residents don't like natural light.

Anonymous said...

I have experienced both extremes: immaculate houses with fatal flaws (one super cute house sat right next to a power substation and I imagined the kids getting brain tumors), and horrible dens in iniquity where I let myself fall behind the realtor long enough to look my kids in the eye and say, "DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING," then politely followed her around for another 15 minutes thanking God for my current home. I hope you and a perfect home find each other soon.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there Col, take this from someone who felt guilty for gutting a 100+ year old farm house, but did it anyway...don't fear treading on the memories or the previous owners...see it as an opportunity to build on a firmly established foundation of love, hope and dreams. You two are the next chapter in one lucky home's future...and what a chapter it will be! RLB:)

jikam82 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jikam82 said...

maybe you should look into the world of condos! preferably one with a regal sounding name...like Ladywood Estates ;)

Just Plain Jane said...

What I admire most about this post is your sensitivity to the situations of tromping through people's homes and then declining. It wouldn't hurt to repeat (under your breath) "We are seeking the house that is seeking us." It'll happen.