Surprise! We’re having a…

by Mrs. Smith on November 22, 2018

A house. We’re having a house.

But I don’t feel bad about leading you there because there are a LOT of similarities between having a house and having a baby.

  1. It’s a life-changing transition.
  2. It’s super exciting.
  3. It’s super stressful.
  4. The process takes longer than you want it to.
  5. You kinda wanna keep it secret at first because it might not work out like you’re hoping/planning.
  6. Although totally worth it, it’s an expensive decision you’ll be paying for, monthly, for a very long time.
  7. You can estimate the delivery date but there’s no guarantee it’ll really happen when you want it to.

I could probably go on for a while… but I won’t. Instead, I shall talk story about it. I go on and on, so, if you have something better to do, you could totally stop here. Or, check out the funny meme & scroll to the bottom where there’s a couple of pictures. I won’t judge.

Once upon a time…

Mr Smith’s employer changed the way they work their housing benefit, all-of-a-sudden making it feasible to get in to the housing market in this incredibly-expensive state.

In case you need a reminder, this is a totally accurate representation of the way things are:

Image result for buying a house in hawaii meme

So, not even two weeks ago, mostly on a whim, we went to look at a couple of homes. I set up the appointments myself, even, how great is that. Good job, Me.

Redfin makes it really easy to schedule that kind of thing, so thanks for dropping their name in conversation, Dad. I hadn’t heard of them before. So far, I’m loving using their realtor services, too. It totally changes the vibe when they pay their realtors a flat salary with reviews-based bonuses, instead of earning money off commissions. Dang, someone got smart when they set this up! I could go on, but I won’t. 

Okay, okay, just one more thing. Our contract with our Redfin realtor only applies with this one property. If for some reason it falls through, we’re free to go find someone else to work with in the future. Isn’t that great? 


We show up at this house and we walk in, and… it’s lovely. Open, bright, airy. The unobstructed cross breeze is amaaaazing.

We walk through the dining room and I notice the den to the right. It has its own door to the outside, and these amazing, double sliding-pocket-doors to shut it off from the rest of the house.
I love pocket doors.

My foot zoning room, duh.
Whoa. Awesome. That’s perfect.

I didn’t know it at that point, but in the next hour, I was going to have about a hundred reasons to say, “Whoa. Awesome. That’s perfect.”

We walk into the kitchen, and my heart kind of skips a beat without my permission. It’s really nice. The owner had been out in the covered patio, and she comes in to join us in our walk-through.
(I love getting to talk directly with the owner.)

“Do you like cooking?” she asks.
“No, not really,” I confess.
“That’s too bad…” she says.
No kidding, I think to myself, You have nooooo idea.

— but this kitchen!…

It’s beautiful. Everything about it is perfect for me, and I’m standing there letting it soak in. Normally, this is my least favorite room in the house, but this one… I actually didn’t hate it.

Not too big, not too small. Not too cramped/squishy, but not so big that you have to take a dozen steps to get things you need when you’re cooking. The more I looked around, the more I started to realize that, oh my gosh, I actually liked it. (Again, this is weird for me.)

It’s got those fancy-dancy self-closing drawers.
Everything is smooth-hinges and glorious.
The granite counters, the tile backsplash… the, what??? Are you kidding me?! The gas stove???? No way! I LOVE GAS STOVETOPS.

(You have to have your own propane tank in Hawaii to have a gas stove, so it’s not very common and I’d TOTALLY given up hope of ever having one here.)

And there’s a glass-block-window above the stove. I LOVE GLASS BLOCK WINDOWS.
And the oven is set way up off the ground. I LOVE UP-HIGH OVENS.
And there’s a sky light. I LOVE SKY LIGHTS.

Then the owner points out that the cupboards are fancy-dancy self-closing, too. I didn’t even know that was a thing, you guys.
I may or may not have actually squealed when I saw it happen for the first time.

And the fridge isn’t all that old AND it’s massively huge with an awesome tilt-out freezer drawer. I’d never seen a freezer do that before, but – yeah, wow – I LOVED THAT, TOO.

When she showed me the custom spice cupboard she’d made, I pretty much declared, “I don’t deserve this kitchen,” and that kind of still sums up how I feel about it. I don’t deserve it, but I’m okay with trying it out anyway. Kind of like a complete beginner getting a super-nice quality piano. You know what? Not gonna hurt ’em one bit.

All that, and okay, one more thing – the little “fake” drawer thing under the sink that usually just looks fancy but doesn’t actually do anything?
It’s one of those tilt-outward drawers to store your dish scrubber in! I love those!

Every single little thing in that kitchen was, for me, a deal-sealer, and we hadn’t even seen the rest of the house yet. I don’t just like all these things I’ve mentioned here in this silly, long rambling blog post, I love them. Love love love love.

As we walked through the house,

I discovered that pretty much every room had an “and…” list like the kitchen. I could go on like that all day, and many of the things that work really well for us are things not everyone would love. (Like the pink flowery custom paint job in the girls’ room and the bright ninja-turtle-green paint job in the boys’… and the garden gnome stuck in the tree out back…)

The bathroom upstairs was so beautiful, I gasped loudly enough that the realtor thought I might have gotten hurt or something.
What she said was, “You okay???” but I’m pretty sure she was thinking, OMG, what is it??? Gigantic spider? Centipede? Heart-attack??? 

No, no, everything’s okay. I just, um, very much like this bathtub. #awkward! 

We finished off with the living room upstairs.

The view, you guys. That room looks down the street to the ocean on one side, and looks out to the gorgeous mountains behind. On a clear day, she said, you can see a waterfall back there.

The feng shui in this place is unreal. This house is aligned with the energy grid it’s built on. I didn’t even know I could feel that kind of thing so clearly until I walked in there.

We left pretty speechless. That was a nice home. Really nice. We could totally fit there. It’s perfect for us. I definitely did NOT expect to find a place with everything on my invisible list and then some.

An hour later, I took Mr Smith to the airport for a business trip… and we naturally talked about it on the long drive way down.

As we went over all the awesome-sauce stuff about this place, I realized one big, sad downer:
it didn’t have a climbing tree.

Shucks. I thought it had everything on my list.

“Well, the place we’re living in now doesn’t have one either,” Hubby logically pointed out, “And in the townhomes, they aren’t allowed to climb the trees, so it’s really not any different.”

“Oh, I know, but if it DID have a climbing tree, that would be a huge selling feature.” 

I mean, I really really love trees. There’s some place deep in my soul that just… longs for it. A nice big old climbing tree was high on my list of things I reeeeeeeeeeally want in a home. 

So, on the way back from dropping my Sweetie off at the airport, I drove back to that house to check out the neighborhood. My eyes had been so full of the house and the yard and the view of the ocean/mountains, I hadn’t seen anything else.

We pull up and then I saw it. Right there next to the house. Not one, but TWO big old climbing trees.

If I’d been in a different mood, I might have burst into tears.

They aren’t on our property, but they’re in a place where everyone can use and enjoy them…
which means, I don’t even have to worry about raking these leaves or having branches fall on our house or whatever. And there’s a stream running out to the ocean.

(Running water nearby was such a pie-in-the-sky dream that it wasn’t even ON the invisible list!)

It’s like heaven designed this place just for me. For us.

Just 2 months ago,

the happy owner wasn’t planning on selling, and we weren’t planning on buying.
She had a change in her family and decided to go ahead and retire, sell her home, and move off island to live closer to her grandkids…

POOF! Just like that, it all came together. I am feeling a little bit of wow and a whoooooole lot of gratitude, mixed with some bittersweet “goodbye, old neighborhood,” and some “thank goodness I grieved leaving the townhomes when I did,” and a dash of “WOOHOOHOOHOOOOOO, goodbye employer-controlled-housing!”

So. Now we’re under contract, expecting a house in a little bit here, and hopefully everything sails through as planned. It’s a tricky time of year to try to push through to close this kind of deal quickly, with lenders putting a freeze on funds in mid-December – but we’ll give it our best shot and if we’re lucky, it won’t get dragged on forever. Even if it does, we’ll be in the new house before Valentine’s Day, for sure.

The nice thing about having moved recently is that it almost doesn’t feel like we’ve really unpacked.

One more big change, kiddoes. One more move and then we’re done moving for a long, long, long time.

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