Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Home. Sweet!

I learned something new about myself in the last week. I've always known that I bite my fingernails when I get stressed out. What I didn't know is that when the stress passes a certain level I stop biting them. Yikes.

We flew up to Boston for a five-day househunting trip — told ourselves that we'd look around, get a feel for what was available, and if we found something that looked good we'd make an offer on it. If not, we'd rent for six months to a year and see what turned up. And we found it: a 1963-vintage split-entry raised ranch, hardwood floors, big backyard, two-car attached garage. It needs work, beginning with a new circuit breaker box (I said the house was of 1963 vintage!) and a good coat of (white) paint in the (otherwise gloomy) downstairs den. Then the kitchen, which may or may not even be functional (my guess is not) since the appliances are as old as the house is. I mean, the in-wall oven is yellow. So I've just spent half an hour looking at Ikea kitchen ideas.

I feel like such an adult. Yikes. All of a sudden I have weird homeowner-type questions floating through my head: Are there French drains to keep water out of the basement? How soon will the furnace need to be replaced, and is it worth it to convert to a geothermal system when it does? Do the garage door openers work? ('Cause we forgot to check.) How much will the fact that the commuter rail line passes right behind our backyard affect the resale value of the house?

But we're happy with this. A little freaked out, but happy. Beth is in love with the bathroom in the new house. Everything is pink: bathtub, sink, toilet, all the tile. All the fixtures in the bathroom (and in the tiny tan half-bath off the master bedroom) are the exact same make and model as all the fixtures in the bathroom of our first apartment, which were pale blue. Eerie.

The house is in Belmont. Boston neighborhood names still mean nothing to me; likewise with Boston college names, other than the obvious ones. But every time I told someone we were looking for houses in Belmont, they said, "Oh, Belmont," just as every time Scott said he was going to be teaching at Bentley the reaction was, "Oh, Bentley." Anyway. The house is 2.4 miles from Scott's office, and 1.3 miles from church and the temple, and four blocks from the elementary school. The town is unbelievably Mormon (two wards in the town; neighboring areas have four towns to a ward), has excellent schools, and feels, you know, friendly. Homey. People wave to each other from their cars. Road signs at the town borders say, "Welcome to Belmont. Please be courteous and obey all traffic laws."

Beth and Sarah were angels during the trip — even with the missed naps and the hours in airports and our real estate agent's car and the random stops to eat. Beth complained a bit in the car, especially if I had forgotten to bring along her newest Babybug magazine, but was thrilled to sit down and play with the temporarily abandoned toys belonging to kids who actually lived in the houses we were touring. (She threw up at dinner one night, but that's another story — and at least it wasn't while we were on an airplane.) Sarah grinned at everyone and let us subject her to the car seat for hours on end and slept through the night every night. And we took them on the swan boats — the swan boats! — Sunday afternoon when we went downtown. I loved it. Beth was thrilled. And Sarah, placid Sarah, hung onto her daddy and smiled.

Pictures to follow (I'll embed them in this post), so check back in a day or so. Shots of the house are on our Flickr page.


Jen said...

Congratulations! How exciting! Those hardwood floors in the living room look very nice, and a sunroom is high on my list of things I want in a new place in Denver. Send some of that house-hunting mojo my way!

Sarah said...

AH! I Love iT! Saw the pics on the flicks. You're like a REAL adult now. Wowo.

Jen Stanford said...

Libby it is beautiful! You'll make it even better with your style and eye for decor.