Tuesday, July 1, 2014

our house hunting update….(grab a drink)



Have you ever been out somewhere and bumped into a old friend that you haven’t seen in a while?

You have this electric eye contact and the next thing you know, you’re in the middle of a deep conversation, happily sharing the latest happenings in your life. Then afterwards, you wonder why the heck you lost contact in the first place because this person is someone you really enjoy?

Well that’s how I feel about YOU and this little old blog of mine.

It’s hard to believe it’s been four big, fat weeks since my last post—my longest break ever---so today I thought we should bump into each other. Do a little catching up.



Tell me. How’s your summer going?

Lots of relaxing? Reading? Traveling to cool places? 

I sure hope so.

Our summer has been …well, let’s just say…interesting.

I certainly thought I’d be in our new home by now, slathering white paint everywhere and sharing my photos with you, but isn’t that how life goes?

The good news is that after being here in Huntington Beach since mid-March, we’ve figured out that we want to live in a neighborhood with easy bike access to the ocean.

Well, actually, I was more focused on the house and square footage, but the men in my family all said in various ways, “Hey, if we’re moving all the way to Huntington Beach, we have to be close to the ocean.”

And since the downtown neighborhood with the charming parks, tree lined streets and cool vibe are out of our price range, we are limited in our areas. Plus, living in a tiny condo has reminded us that we want square footage, and did I mention we’d like a fixer upper that doesn’t need too much fixer upping? With a reasonable price tag too?

I know. It sounds like a lot but our wish list hasn’t been the issue.

The main problem is that week after week there haven’t been ANY homes for sale in our chosen neighborhoods. I mean ZERO. The last two homes that have come up, were both too close to a loud, busy street.

That’s really it. Lots of homes everywhere else-- in fact we made an offer in another area that didn’t work out —but nothing for sale in our preferred areas.

It’s downright strange if you ask me.

Although there was This ONE House that came to our attention.


not it, but looks verrry similar


Did I tell you the story about the house with the black Dutch door? 

(If we were together, this is the moment I’d refill your wine glass)

It was a Friday evening and we were meeting our realtor over at this house that wasn’t even on the market yet. Hooray!!!!  It turns out our realtor met a homeowner in one of our favorite neighborhoods who was willing to offer us a private showing; she had decided to sell after her divorce and wanted to avoid the hassles of listing her home on the market.

As we walked up to the house the first thing I noticed was this black Dutch door. The top was swung open and I could see a warm, yellow glow from inside and the first thought I had was, “this is SOOOO cozy!”

And the second thought I had was, “I want a home with a Dutch door!!!!”

The pale, yellow house was in a quiet cul de sac and there were lit candle lanterns on the ground as we approached. The owner was a stylist for a Pottery Barn-like store and she had wonderful taste. Beautiful hard wood on the floors and warm wood cabinets in the kitchen with granite counters.  Not my choice but still lovely.  And even though there were glaring issues that needed to be fixed…like a missing bathroom upstairs ( the three bedrooms shared the master) we were ok with it.



You know how it is when you tour an open house. You immediately think of all the changes you could do to make it yours.

The seller’s best friend was showing us the home and she was outgoing and chatty, telling us about the close-knit neighbors and all their block parties and wine tasting and general friendliness. As Michael sat on the floor petting the seller’s old Lab, she showed us photos of her pretty, blonde daughters who were the same age as my boys. And we found out all about their schools and jobs.

Does it sound perfect? Pretty much. Plus our realtor had assured us that our price was right on.

So… a happy ending right?


Actually our realtor did reassure us about the price. But the seller had evidently had a change of heart because we were WAY off and so was the deal.



But…not forever.

Three weeks later Mr. M got a text message from this homeowner. In the interim we had parted ways with our realtor (we had no written agreement with him) and decided to pursue a home on our own and the short version is, she was willing to negotiate her home with us.

Hooray again. Sort of..because by this time we’re cautious. But we agreed on a price and she proceeded with the termite and home inspections, tentatively setting the closing date to mid July.

However,  in-between a few positive text messages (she preferred texting to phone) we got scant information. Her messages were vague and confusing even though she was a realtor herself.

So even though our boys were loving the fact that this house was walking distance to the ocean…Mr. M and I were getting nervous.

Finally she sent us a reassuring text telling us to expect the contract the next day. But the next day it never came. And at that point, we knew.


The following day when I sent her a text message (this texting was feeling very odd) her response was immediate. She was sorry to have wasted our time but she just couldn’t sell after all. Her son was upset about moving and with the divorce, she felt like it was too much for him.

When I showed Mr. M the phone screen I don’t think we said anything for a whole minute. Were we discouraged? For sure. Confused by the way it played out…definitely.

At this point this deal had stretched over weeks, an infinite amount of time when you’re waiting on a house. And this was also our third failed offer, I felt impatient and discouraged.

But the worst part?  We were back to square one with no new houses on the market.

Only… you won’t believe what happened next.

shauna quote




As a favor to anyone still reading this long, blathering post I’ll cut to the chase.

We are officially in escrow right now on an entirely different house…

and guess what?

It has a charming Dutch door.

I know, isn’t life fascinating?





I’m sharing this post with friends: 





ℳartina @ Northern Nesting said...

I've missed you my friend and I'm so happy to hear your close to getting your new home!! I truly believe everything happens for a reason! Sending good and positive vibes your way :-) ...oh yeah on another note I wish we could chat over a glass of wine :-)

Calypso In The Country said...

Hooray for the dutch door! And hooray that you found the right house! I can't wait to hear more and I wish you all the luck in the next few weeks as all the details are sorted out. I have missed reading your posts. Have a wonderful 4th of July!
Cheers! - Shelley

Unknown said...

There you are! I've popped by a couple of times in case I'd missed a post....but I knew you must be busy, I hoped you had found THE house. Sounds like you have....hoorah & fingers crossed! You will be in with that white paint before you know it....I cannot wait to hear more :) Xx

Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh my word, what a trial to go through with that first house, can't wait to see the final one and the Dutch door.

Vickie @ Ranger 911 said...

I'm so excited for you, Leslie! As disappointed as you must have been for the offers that fell through, you must be over the moon that you are so close to settling in a new house And a Dutch door, too. :)

Things are looking good and we look forward to updates on your blog! Happy 4th!

Custom Comforts said...

So glad to see your post. I was beginning to worry about you and have missed your lovely posts.
So glad you are in escrow. Sounds like you have had an up and down time of it, all the harder when you just want a place to make your very own. Can hardly wait to see it and the Dutch door. Enjoy the beach from one who is land-locked and longs for the sea.
Hugs . . . Cindy

Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap said...

Wishing you a happy ending soon.

Carla from The River said...

I have missed you too.
Oh my! I am excited for you and do hope you are able to enjoy summer with all going on.
xx oo

Something Nice and Pretty said...

I'll take a glass of red glad for you and your family and your Dutch door!

Sarah said...

I've so missed you, but thrilled to know that you are soon to close on your new abode…….one with a Dutch door. How exciting!
Good luck with all the details. I anxiously await more news and photos.
Happy 4th of July, Leslie!

Art and Sand said...

I have missed you too and selfishly wanted you to end up in a house soon so I could come bearing house warming gifts.

Oh yes, walking distance to the beach and a Dutch door - a must.

I mentioned you in my latest post. I finally made a plate with writing on it like you did Father's Day 2013.

AntiqueChase said...

pour me another glass... I want to hear MORE!!! Congrats!

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

See, I told you the "perfect for you" house was out there waiting - yay! I hope all the final details go smoothly. And most of all, I hope you'll be sharing photos soon! ... I'm so excited for you Leslie!!

Unknown said...

* tilting my wine glass for a refill...*
So excited form you!!!
Hugs, Gee

Susan Nowell @ My Place to Yours said...

Nice to see you today, Leslie! (You had me at the first pic, but the Dutch door up and grabbed me. I, too, would love a Dutch door, but I'm thinking on the back of the house off of the kitchen -- leading to the porch. Of course, our house is still on the market, and I haven't even started designing my new-to-look-old farmhouse (except in my mind!), so you'll obviously be enjoying your first. YAY! I'm so happy for you. Can't wait to see pics of the real deal.

Anonymous said...

I was wondering and hoping we would hear from you soon, and here you are : ). So good to get caught up and fingers crossed the house contract goes through smoothly for you. Patty

Sew a Fine Seam said...

Fun to catch up with you! What a whiplash of a ride on house hunting - ugh. But so glad things look to be working out - and that the house has a Dutch door - that is so cool!
Have a happy Independence Day!

Karen said...

Such a roller coaster, but still, a happy ending. We have a Realtor friend who has said that Southern California real estate market is crazy. I love Dutch doors. They are so welcoming. Congratulations.I'm so happy you're back!

karen@somewhatquirky said...

And now I'm drinking to your new house. Hoping all goes well for the next weeks as your close on the house and move in!

Gypsy Heart said...

Let's have another drink and keep talking! :) What an experience you've had but it's leading you to the right home. Can't wait to see it, especially the black dutch door ~ love it!

Happy 4th ~

Beeutiful by Design said...

Congratulations -I hope it closes and you get moved in with your Dutch door. Goes to show it's all in God's time not our time, a point I often forget! Happy 4th~Jennifer

Christy James said...

Yay! Congratulations! I'm so happy for you! I hate the ups and downs of home buying. It's such an emotional roller coaster! I can't wait to see a tour and then watch you transform it into something amazing! :)

Leslie said...

Leslie! I am so excited for you!! I can relate to those ups and downs..... it really creates anxiety after awhile. The dutch door was meant to be and it sounds like you've found the perfect spot to meet everyone's needs. Congratulations and I'll look forward to hearing more soon.

Enjoy the 4th of July weekend ahead!


Unknown said...

Phenomenal flooring. And the Dutch doors are awesome. You must be a great interior designer. This luxury home is incredible. Me and my family are going to migrate to Laguna Beach in next month. Can I have any options there? Currently I have renovated my kitchen by Bespoke Kitchens provider in Stirling.

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry that house fell through, but honestly, with all the chain yanking you we were put through...that house would have likely had bad "vibes"! I'm excited to hear you're in escrow with a new one. "If it's meant to be" is a tough pill to swallow sometimes, but true most of the time. All fingers and toes crossed for you.

cindy hattersley design said...

Congratulations Leslie! Boy did I have matters screwed up ! I thought you had already found a place. Apparently I am nearly as cookey as the other homeowner!!

Jeanette@Creating a Life Studio said...

So glad to see you here, Leslie! Wow, what an adventure you've been on. Here's to a happy ending with the dutch-door house. Can't wait to hear the update!

Lori said...

Oh Leslie ~ I am so happy to see you and happy that you finally found a house. Soon it will become your home and I cannot wait to see what you do with it! I have not been on social media a whole lot myself ~ I posted about it last night so instead of bringing your comment section down you can read it when you get a chance. I raise my glass to you and your new place ~ so exciting xo

Vannessa@Luxuria said...

Hi Leslie
SO happy to hear things are moving in the right direction. That quote you posted says it all (do you remember we spoke about this when we emailed-how sometimes we can not see the ending but just have to have faith it will end as we want it too ;-)
So pleased for you Sweets-it will be SO worth it xx

Unknown said...

Well how amazing is that? Now I want a Dutch door badly - thanks very much LOL
I sometimes wish the owners of this house we bought had of backed out let me tell you - we bit off far more than we could chew......
Can't wait to see the photos Leslie and congratulations on the Dutch Door ( and the house )

Unknown said...

I think the market is currently not really that good in real estate, which may be why you’re having a hard time finding a nice house. Anyway, too bad about that last deal, though. It would have been a great choice. Maybe the seller is having a hard time trying to take in the divorce, plus the children’s reaction about them moving out. Good thing you found a house with a nice Dutch door. Haha! Wishing you luck! :D
Denise Bolds @ Vancouver Canada Homes

Donna@anangloinquébec said...

Oh Leslie, so great to hear from you. I was wondering about you and your "adventure". Girl, you have some patience!! I sooo hope this works out and you can run out and buy a few gallons of white paint and get busy painting and then show us photos upon photos of all your plans and transformations and....oh here is hoping. And really... I was on glass number 4 by the end of that post. ;)

Linda @ Itsy Bits And Pieces said...

I'm looking forward to seeing that Dutch door, Leslie...and all the rest of your new home! Keeping good thoughts that all will work out for your this time!

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