In 2007, I was living in Oxford, MS, while Chris was deployed to Iraq. We had a one bedroom, one bath apartment, and I knew before we actually got to live in the same location for long, we would need something bigger. Unfortunately, I didn't know how long it would be until we could actually live together. Chris was stationed in Germany, but the Army had no desire to let me move there when Chris got back unless he reenlisted. Neither of us had any desire for him to stay in and face more 15 month deployments and Army red tape. As it drew closer to time to renew my lease, I discovered the apartment was changing management and no longer did 6 month lease extensions. Lovely, I was going to be stuck with my apartment no matter what we figured out for when Chris got back from deployment.
One night we were chatting via Yahoo IM, and Chris mentioned he had been looking at some houses in both Kansas and Tennessee. I looked at the links he sent me for real estate sites, and thought it was pretty cool -- for later. I had a Christmas party to go to that night and friends calling and asking where I was, so I signed off from Yahoo, and left Chris to play on the computer alone. When I got back from the party, my email was filled with house pictures. One was a really cute old farmhouse near my family. Housing prices were considerably better in Tennessee than in Kansas, so that more or less settled where to buy IF we decided to do so. We could get all the things we wanted on a manageable budget, where in Kansas the best we could do was a run down fixer-upper.
My mother had a client who sold real estate, so when I mentioned to her that we had been talking about houses, next thing I knew I had an appointment to meet with Candy, the real estate agent, and talk about what kind of house we were interested in.
The farmhouse was no longer listed, but I gave Candy some requirements: 3 bedrooms, at least 2 baths, real trees around it, preferably somewhere with at least an acre of land. She gathered up some ideas, and the next day we hit the road. The first house we saw was this:
I thought it was adorable, but everybody says you can't buy the first house you see. But really! Three bedrooms, two baths, a bonus room upstairs, lots of closet space, Jacuzzi bathtub, stained glass pendant lights above the kitchen island, and a gorgeous carved fireplace! Plus it sat on about 2 acres!
We saw four more houses. Three were in the same subdivision, and all the houses there were pretty close together, with plans to build more behind them. One had a really nice formal dining room, but it also had a broken front door pane and black widow spiders! EEK!! The other two in that subdivision had weird layouts, and the last one was very cute and cozy (built in bookcases!) but the upstairs hallway was so narrow I could put my hands on my hips and touch both walls with my elbows, and outside there was some kind of leaky pipe. I just kept thinking about the first house.
I described the house to Chris when he called, and he told me to go for it. "But you haven't SEEN it!" I argued. "It will be perfect," he assured me. So I proceeded to buy a house my husband had never seen! We closed on it in January, one month after we started looking, and he came home on R&R about a week later. We spent most of his R&R moving in, and for a few nights we didn't even had a bed and slept on the floor in front of the fireplace. It was absolutely worth it!