Sunday, December 31, 2006


Dream House

Ahhhh. Just had a sip of coffee from one of the nice mugs Miss Lola got for us. Did I mention she's getting married in a few months? She'll be Miss Loto then. And the coffee was brewed in a nice new coffee maker that the Matron got for us. It's no Guitar Hero I or II, but still, a pretty good deal.

Miss Tori and I made the move to our dream house this year. It's been quite a journey. We got engaged. I moved in with her. We got married. The Hermitage finally, finally sold. We had to drop the price there, which was a bummer. Fortunately, the same market downturn that forced us to drop the price was more than made up for in the purchase of the dream home.

I thank my stars every day for Miss Tori, who, even though I was tired of looking and just wanted to go home, convinced me to go to just one more development. We really liked it because this was the only place in which almost every single lot had enough back yard to put a pool on the right side, left side, or directly behind the house. If you've looked at houses in California, you'll know that the usual practice is to cram lots so densely that on the side yards, you can usually touch the side of the house with one hand and touch the fence with your other hand. Sometimes you don't even have to stretch to do it. Maybe your back yard is sixteen feet deep. The large lots alone pretty much sold us.

The next hurdle is the inside. Every place we had looked before, I did not like. It wasn't just dislike, though. I would actually get angry at the models. Look at this crappy island in the kitchen! GRRRRR! And this is supposed to be a breakfast nook? It's nothing more than the bare floor between the island in the kitchen and the couch in the living room! It's empty floor! It is not a nook! ARRGGGHHHH!!!!! Hulk smash puny kitchen! Hulk make breakfast nook pay! Ok, so maybe I'm exaggerating, but seriously, is it just me? Isn't a nook sort of like a little offset space attached to the side of a room?

This was pretty much what I was expecting when I walked into the models of our development. Maybe I was still a little giddy about the lot sizes, I don't know, but as we went through the models, I found myself saying "That doesn't suck," or "This isn't lame," or "I don't hate that." Perhaps selecting a home based on negative affirmation is silly, but for my alternately wired brain, me not hating something bears some equivalency to someone else loving something.

We picked out some lots we liked and signed up for them since the development is still in the building process, and waited for the Hermitage to sell. One nice point was that every time we came up, the available homes were showing discounts, and some of them were significant. We quit looking anywhere else. Finally the sale went through, and we hustled on up to see what was available.

Do you ever have those moments in which you can't believe how fortunate you are and how amazing it is that things have fallen into place in just the right way to give you the best possible result? Somebody once said that luck is what happens when preparation and opportunity meet. We got lucky.

Looking at the available homes, we saw that most of them were freshly built. At the time, I think they had completed between seventy and eighty homes, with perhaps another forty still to be built. The goal of the developer is to sell houses as they are finished, and they adjuast the pace of the building process to match that. They don't want to be starting construction on six new houses if they've still got twelve sitting there waiting to be bought. However, sometimes things happen.

While the freshly built homes were on lots in the seventies, we noticed one home sitting on lot forty-six. Turned out that the people who tried to buy it had some financing problems and had to back out of the purchase. It was still new and unlived in, but it wasn't exactly freshly built either. Discount it. It was an empty home in the midst of an otherwise fully sold cul-de-sac. Another discount. Bad market conditions. Another discount, plus installing backyard landscaping (in California, it is common for a developer to only landscape the front yard that you see from the street, and leave the back yard bare dirt).

When we toured the models, our second favorite floor plan was the best we could afford, and our favorite was beyond our means. Suddenly, we had our favorite plan, a landscaped back yard, and a price we could afford. We jumped, and here we are.

My favorite feature? Why, the shower heads, of course. This is probably the first time since I was twelve that I can actually stand under a shower. You shorties don't understand how nice that is. You have the luxury of standing right under the shower head and having it drop straight down onto you. You don't have to do the limbo rock or otherwise contort yourself to rinse the shampoo out of your hair. When you're washing your face and your eyes are closed and you go to rinse the soap off, you don't have to worry about smashing your nose or your lips or your teeth against some metal fixture. To you, it's nothing. You wouldn't even notice it. To me, the high shower heads in this house are a wonderful luxury.

Sometimes, it's the little things that make life sweetest.

Happy New Year.
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