Our family's journey to the heart of a handmade life

Almost there

This is serious. There is no turning back now. We are buying a house.

This is, indeed, a monumental undertaking for someone with serious control issues, very specific tastes, and trouble choosing what socks to wear in the morning. (For the record, they’re always two different colors, which makes the decision doubly difficult.) This event is three years in the making, three years of waiting, hoping, wanting.
Buying a home is one of the top three socially agreed upon Biggest Decisions of Your Life. Right up there with First Baby and Marriage, though not necessarily in that order. I keep worrying that this is too much, too soon, too impulsive. We’re too young, too inexperienced, too idealistic. Perhaps I just worry too much.

But after many, many disappointments, dead-ends, and disingenuous prospects, we finally found The One. An offer was made and accepted.
Wait, let me clarify: our counter-counter offer was accepted. As in, the sellers are ridiculous and seem to have zero concept of the real estate business, so there was much back and forth over stupid, petty details that could have easily been avoided. Much like a run-on sentence, they just kept going without any real purpose.
Normally, I would not name names and point fingers. But I must, for the sake of all Mainers. Our seller is none other than Schiavi Home Builders, a modular home company based in Maine. The situation is this: They built a home for someone who very unfortunately lost their job before it was finished, and was unable to follow through with the purchase. Now Schiavi has an unfinished house on a hefty plot of land with no one to pay the bills. Enter my husband and I, who were informed of the property by our fabulous real estate agent before it was even an MLS listing.
We fell in love and made an offer, a very good offer that was only a couple thousand below their original asking price. (Original asking price being the key here. In this market, we’ve seen houses that started at $180,000 and dropped to $130,000 after sitting untouched for almost a year. Our offer was too high, at best.) And Schiavi, though undeniably well-off and the recipient of a fantastic offer, countered. They came back with an offer just two thousand below their ORIGINAL ASKING PRICE. Really? REALLY? So we counter-countered, meeting them halfway between the two offers. And you know what their counter-counter-counter offer was? That instead of them loaming and seeding the currently wrecked and desolate lawn, as they have always intended to do and as is required by the mortgage company, they wanted to drop everything off and have us do it. Meaning we would also have to grade the whole area…which involves bulldozers and crafty men folk and no no no! They can’t even give us a lawn that they were going to do anyway before we came along? We said no, obviously. And they came back again: they wanted it made more clear in the contract that they would do only the lawn, not including any sort of flowers, bushes or shrubbery. Yes, they said shrubbery. (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, anyone? Anyone?)
Long story kind of short, we agreed to their final request, though we thought it terribly amusing that “loaming and seeding the lawn” wasn’t specific enough.
For years, we have visited their showrooms and drooled over their model homes. Their website is fantastic, replete with virtual tours, floor plans, and details unmatched by any other builder’s. But when the going turns business, Schiavi goes haywire. You have been forewarned.
Okay, deep breath. All ranting aside, I am SO excited. The whole situation still seems like a half-remembered dream, lingering long enough to make you wonder if it’s a surfacing memory. But in forty nine days, the husband and I will be enjoying a cool glass of champagne whilst gazing upon acres of trees and springtime blossoms that are ours, all ours.

“There is a magic in that little word, home; it is a mystic circle that surrounds comforts and virtues never known beyond its hallowed limits.” Robert Southey