It became official for us today. Apartment living will soon be just a memory.
It's weird to think that in two weeks - when the movers arrive - all of this stuff that's sitting around me will be carted off, arriving a few miles to the southwest. The desk, the computer, all these books, the trinkets just above the computer... well, maybe the old Sawtooth wine bottle will find itself in the recycling bin. It's only sitting here to remind me that I mischaracterized the varietal, a problem long since fixed.
We got lucky on a number of fronts.
The market is unbelievably soft, as I'm sure you've seen, read or know first-hand. The choices were almost overwhelming; our real estate agent sent us like 20 new listings every few days.
And when we did find the one we wanted, we got a damn good price on it. In a stronger market, we'd still be looking.
Our house - and it's still weird to write that in any instance but the middling 80s hit by Madness - was on the market for three months with nary a nibble. When we went to closing today, the listing agent said she had two inquiries about the house in recent days - stroke of luck No. 2.
Stroke of luck No. 3: We almost didn't visit the place. The original listing price was near the upper reaches of our limit, but we were out and about one Sunday and figured what the hell. So we went and had a great time with a fill-in for the listing agent. She said she'd been in real estate enough years that when people find the right house, it's immediately apparent.
We walked out of the house that day. I asked Linds, "So, what did you think?"
"I'd move in tomorrow," she said.
"Yeah... me too," I replied.
Lastly, and most importantly, we had a bunch of really wonderful people in our corner.
Katharine was our real estate agent. (Go give her your business, slackers!) She was our age, a joy to go house shopping with and just someone very fun to be around. Above all, she got it - increasingly I find that's about the best compliment I can give someone (though, sadly, I seem to use it rarely anymore). She's a Redskins fan and her favorite player is Santana Moss, but surely you can look past that.
Marianne was our lender. She too was awesome; she's been at her job for several decades and knows it cold. No question was made to feel silly. And, like Katharine, she's a joy to be around.
We both have letters of recommendation pending to them. Both will be glowing.
We hit the jackpot in a lot of areas. Any sort of snag along the way - or even dealing with people we didn't hit it off with - would have made the process less smooth and more of a challenge.
Because, really, it was a breeze. From discovery to offer to negotiation to agreement to settlement, it all seemed like it was just too easy.
Luck played some part in that, but a secondary one to the great people we had the pleasure of dealing with.
(A final note: We have a gallery of photos from the place, one way too big to post here. If you haven't gotten the e-mail and would like it, shoot me an e-mail.)