Getting there

Getting there

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


I've always thought that "serendipity" is a lovely word. It has a certain lilt to it, and a flow, but I also love the meaning. The best definition I have found for serendipity is "to find something valuable or delightful when you are not looking for it". To me it is also when events come together in a way you could not predict to provide a result that is better than you could have wished. So it was that we ended up in the house in which we now reside, and I would like to tell you the story, dear friends, as we found this house almost a year ago.

Last year at the end of May my daughter had her annual spring piano recital. After the recital we took a drive to relax as the recital usually causes some nervousness and anxiety (for both pianist and parent). While driving in an area we'd always liked I noticed the sign for an open house, and suggested we stop in and take a look. Now dear friends, this is quite unlike me. This was a total whim, and I am not generally given to such whims when it comes to real estate. We were not looking for a new home. We had no immediate plans to move. We had discussed moving "some day" - our house at the time was a little crowded for us, but it was right beside the forest and we all loved the location. We had designed much of that house and were quite attached to it. We had noticed some troubling changes in our neighbourhood, though, and we had discussed moving. But immediate plans? We had none.

So, into the open house we went, and from the moment we opened the front door we were impressed. Serendipity grabbed hold of us at that point, but it was not to be an easy path. We toured the house and we were wonderstruck. 5 bedrooms, enough for me to have my own office and craft room. Hardwood floors and a living room with incredible windows. A beautiful kitchen with an amazing island. A huge separate office for my husband, something of which he had long dreamed. A fully finished basement with a lovely little family room. A separate bathroom for my daughter who was now becoming prone to extended time periods in the bathroom doing hair and make-up (so it goes with children on the verge of the teen years). A fully, and beautifully, landscaped yard, with an incredible little "crowsnest" deck. A cobblestone patio. It was, quite frankly, perfect. And it was a good price, too.

We spoke to the realtor and pretty much determined we would make an offer that day. We would list our other home with her immediately, and we would hope.

And so our offer was accepted, and so we listed our other house. When our house had not sold by the conditional date on our offer the deal fell through, but at that point we had decided it was time to move. We were already in the game, so we decided our house would remain on the market and if it sold we would look for another house. The owners of our dream house decided to remove their house from the market for the summer, and we thought the hope of owning this house was gone. Serendipity was not done with us just yet, however.

It was a long summer of real estate showing and disappointments. It seemed our house would not sell, and we discussed taking it off the market. And then, in August, it happened. A buyer appeared with an offer. A good offer, too. A sincere offer. We accepted, conditional to us finding a new home, and we asked our realtor if she would consider contacting the owners of our dream house to see if they still had any interest in selling. She did - and they were. We decided it would only make sense to look at other houses, too, so one Saturday last August we went to view 8 houses in quick succession. There were a couple of lovely houses, and the second last was right across the street from our dream house. The last house was the house we had hoped for and dreamed of, though, and when we stepped in we knew this was still it. This was home. This was, and would be, the house for us. We offered the owners the same offer we had made in May, they accepted, and the rest, as they say, is history.

On September 24th 2010 we took possession of the house in which we now reside. I thought I would desperately miss my other little house, with it's forest view. I was wrong. I miss aspects of our other home but this new home is so much more than I ever imagined owning, and it is completely reflective of who we are. It is quirky, and yet it is lovely. I wake up every morning and step into my living room and know this is home. I loved decorating it for Halloween and Christmas, and while last year we were away for the Christmas holidays this year we will celebrate here. I cannot wait.

So, serendipity. This house came to us by chance, and yet in some way our ownership of it seems pre-destined. I could not have predicted a year ago that we would wander into an open house and embark on a journey that would end with us owning it. In fact had you suggested such a scenario I would have told you that you were quite mad. What surprises even me, though, is how I embraced this adventure. I do not like change. I do not like moving or real estate transactions or all the effort involved. For some reason, though, this time was different and when I stepped into the open house I knew what I needed to do. Now I know why it was different. It was because that I was, even then, coming home.

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