Little did I know, when I gave my husband the freedom to lead our family to a new city, that he already has his eye on a place. I should have known; the man loves research. He shops for cars online for months before finding just the right one. I refer to it as “car porn.” Well, houses replaced cars and Zillow replaced AutoTrader. He had his sights set on a particular house in a particular neighborhood within walking distance of our church and a park, shops, and restaurants.
I asked him to protect me from falling in love with any particular house too quickly. I didn’t want to become invested emotionally only to see a house bought out from under us. He showed me a few houses in a few neighborhoods on Zillow, just to show me what was out there. I can’t remember now how long it was before he showed me “THE HOUSE.”
It turns out (and again, I shouldn’t have been surprised) that my husband had already walked through the house, already spoken to the owner/builder. He was already in love with the little white house with the bright green door.
My husband has a man crush on Edd China from “Wheeler Dealers.” Edd takes old cars and, with pain-staking attention to detail, restores them to their best possible versions. I’ve seen my husband approach our own car repairs with Edd China in mind. My husband had found the Edd China of home restoration in John. John bought the “green door house” two years ago and has been slowly gutting it and restoring it, using as much of the original pieces of the 100-year-old home as possible. Everything inside of this 100-year-old shell is brand new.
I liked the sound of it. I wanted to see it. So one day, while the boys were in school, my daughter and I joined my husband in the city after men’s breakfast and we toured the house. John walked us through the 1300 square foot home with the newly added vaulted ceilings and the open concept kitchen, dining, living room and it happened. I fell for the house.
I didn’t even try to show a poker face. As we shook hands and thanked John for the tour, I said to him, “So now that I’ve seen this house and we love it, you’re going to hang on to it for us and let us live here, right?” He laughed, but I was serious. I wanted the house.
The trouble was, we were really in no position whatsoever to make a serious offer. We had thousands of dollars of repairs and unfinished projects at our home. And besides that, I was only very recently semi-on-board with the idea of moving, right?