Last month, when Penelope and I put an offer on a new house in the middle of the two week wait after my IUI, we had in the back of our minds the idea that buying a house might prove a good and necessary distraction from the interminable wait to see if I’d get pregnant. And yes, when my period arrived several days early (indicating it probably had been a bum cycle from the get go), the fact that we had a new house under contract softened the blow a bit. I wasn’t pregnant, but we had good things happening in our lives. I didn’t have much time to dwell on my disappointment: I had to schedule the home inspection and gather the mountains of documents required by the bank for financing.
The yard that may soon be ours: +/- one acre, level lot, with fruit trees and plenty of room and sun for a garden.
This month, though, all the uncertainty is dragging on me. I am drawing near the end of another two week wait. Gut instinct tells me I have had no better luck this month, but then again, Penelope was dead certain she’d just gotten her period when the nurse called with the news that her second IVF transfer had worked. (She’d had some bleeding that morning — in retrospect, it was probably implantation spotting.) UPDATE 6/18/12 – My gut instinct was not wrong. No luck this month — harrumph!
Porch #1 (open). The house is a 2,900 square foot New England farmhouse, circa 1850ish, with attached garage/barn. 14 rooms, including 4 bedrooms and 2 baths. (Yes, that’s a lot of space for the three of us, but there will be a mother-in-law apartment for Penelope’s mom, and besides, it might not be “just the three of us” for long!)
As for the new house, the inspection went fine. It needs some insulation and the barn roof needs patching, and there are plenty of cosmetic changes we’ll want to make, but for a 160+ year old house, it’s in great shape.
Porch #2 (enclosed) — hot tub not included in sale, which is fine with us: Penelope and I both think hot tubs are a bit skeevy.
Here’s the hitch: the sellers agreed to have the septic cleaned before the closing, and when they did that, they learned that the leach field was failing. They (the sellers) have some relative who they thought would be able to do some kind of ‘quick fix’ for just $1,000, but we didn’t think that would fly with our bank, and we didn’t want to wind up buying the house and having to replace the leach field two weeks later when the ‘quick fix’ failed. For a while, it seemed like this would derail the whole deal, but eventually we negotiated a new agreement: they will put in a new leach field, designed by a real engineer, and we will pay half the cost (but only if the sale goes through).
Nice, bright kitchen that might be ours. The cabinets aren’t even ugly! (Every house we’ve looked at — and we’ve looked a lot — has had ugly cabinets.)
Now that we’ve settled that, we still have to wait for the results of the bank appraisal (which was done on Thursday), which is the last hurdle we need to clear in order to get our mortgage.
Dining room that might be ours. I’m a sucker for French doors.
What about the house we already own, you ask? Good question. It’s been on the market forever, with very little interest — not because it’s not a nice house, but because the housing market in our present town is one of the most depressed markets in the whole state. But the rental market is booming, and we’ve had a lot of interest in our Craigslist ad, so that’s the plan: to rent it until the market improves enough to sell it. We’ve had a few prospective tenants in to see it, and we have two more families coming on Tuesday, so we’re confident we’ll be able to find tenants.
Enormous living room. The fireplace is in the middle of the room, so this photo only shows about 2/3 of the space.
Here’s the other big hitch: We want this move to disrupt Hank’s life a little as possible. That means not starting to pack until we are 100% certain it’s actually going to happen. Initially, we thought the inspection would be the decision point, and that was scheduled within 14 days of going under contract, but we extended that deadline when the leach field problem was discovered.
Wide center hallway between the living room and dining room. Not the best use of space, but definitely period appropriate. We’re thinking we’ll put the piano in here, and maybe a big ol’ antique hall stand, if we can find one. Plus, we always need space for our many, many bookshelves.
Now here’s what I’m worrying about: the contracted closing date, while not set in stone, is on-or-before July 13. That is now less than a month away. UPDATE 6/18/12 – It’s going to take longer to get the new septic system than anticipated, so it looks like the closing will be pushed back by about 2 weeks.
One of three upstairs bedrooms. (One, not pictured, is a terrible pink that is sort of cross between Pepto-Bismol and that dreadful “dusty rose” that dominated grandmotherly decor in the mid-late 1980s.)
Tonight at dinner, I made lists of things that need to be done in our present house before we move out, and things that will need to be done in the new house before (or shortly after) we move in. (Hank sometimes takes a long, long time to eat, and we try to stay at the table with him until he finishes, so it’s good to have something to do to pass the time.) Both lists were intimidatingly lengthy, and the tasks on each list were both time-consuming and expensive.
Downstairs bedroom. This room, the attached bath, and several other of the downstairs rooms will be a mother-in-law apartment for Grammy, if all goes well. It will be so great to have Hank’s babysitter under the same roof.
Here’s my fear: All the stars will align, the septic system will get fixed, the appraisal report won’t make the bank balk, we will get our official closing date, and we will have a mere two weeks to get everything done. Penelope and I moved seven times in the first decade of our relationship, so we have packing down to a science… but that was before we had a baby. As every parent knows, it’s hard to get anything done with a toddler nearby, especially if the task in question involves putting things into boxes: toddlers like nothing better than to pull things out of boxes so that they can look at them, play with them, carry them around, and hide them/flush them/break them/eat them.
And if my gut instinct is wrong, and ALL the stars align, toddler-patrol might be the only job I can do, since many of the things on the lists (painting, insulating, heavy lifting) are not safe for pregnancy. I should be so lucky, right? But if I am, will Penelope ever forgive me?