Today Mr. Q and I are in Edinburgh, Scotland and we’re planning to take a Book Lover’s Tour. Our trip is winding down at this point with just one more port of call after today.
But meanwhile back home in Minnesota, today is a super big day for my sister. While I’m away, she is closing on her new house! I’m a little bummed to be missing this momentous occasion. I would have liked to pop the champagne and toast her new status as a home owner, but we’ll just have to do that when I return.
In the current housing market in the Twin Cities, you have to move really fast and you have to outbid your competitors. Debbie learned that the hard way after placing bids that were not accepted on two other houses that she really wanted.
The first house she bid on was really adorable. It was built in the 1920’s and had some great original details like wood floors, cove ceilings and a fireplace in the living room. It was in a really lovely neighborhood with giant trees where the houses were really far apart. The seller had done a really spectacular job of preparing the house for sale by repainting all of the rooms and just really cleaning things up in general. It had a charming farmhouse style kitchen with a little breakfast nook that jutted out into the back yard, and it also had a brand new furnace and hot water heater. Unfortunately that house had somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 bids, most of them far over asking price, or so we assume since Debbie bid slightly over asking price and was still not in the running.
Perhaps it was just as well that she didn’t get that house since it was further away from her work, and a little bit closer to some less than ideal areas of the city.
The next house she bid on had tons of potential. It was an 1884 farmhouse and much like my own house, suburbia had grown up around it. It was a funky place. For one thing, it faced away from the street it was on. I’m sure at one point in time the house was accessed from another street that was actually in ‘front’ of the house, but over time the neighborhood was rearranged. Here’s the front of the house that faced the back yard …
It also sat way back off the street, so much so that you couldn’t really even see it from there. It was on a huge lot, I believe an acre. It would have been really fun for me to blog about that house because it needed a lot of work. The kitchen was a really big room with nothing in it except a free standing fridge, a free standing oven and one small bank of cabinets with a sink. In other words, a blank slate. On the down side, a lot of the original details were long gone. At some point in the 1950’s or so someone had gone through and ‘updated’ the doors and baseboards throughout with cheap replacements. I’m sure there must have been wood floors on the main level originally, but they were all gone and currently there was just some awful carpeting over some sub-flooring.
This time there weren’t lots of competing bids, there was just one. And it was higher than Debbie’s.
She was even more disappointed by the loss of this house. But in the long run I think the house would have been a lot more work than she is ready for both inside and out. She didn’t really want a ‘fixer upper’ and this house was definitely one of those. So it really was not meant to be.
It seems that the third time was the charm! After missing out on those two houses, Debbie knew to move fast on the next one she liked. She looked at the house and put in a bid on the very first day it was listed and that strategy worked. Today she is becoming the proud owner of house no. 3 (that’s just counting the houses she bid on, not all of the many houses we looked at and passed on).
When she first started looking I told her that she needed to stay within a one mile radius of my house. That seems reasonable, right?
Well, she came close. Her house is 4.2 miles away from mine in a charming little neighborhood in St. Paul. She will be just half a block from Beaver Lake.
If you go upstairs and twist your head just so, she has a lake view!
Her house is a typical post WWII 1950’s ranch. It’s the perfect cozy size for my niece and her to share.
Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while know that my sister moved to Minnesota two years ago after living in New Jersey for the previous 30 years or so. She’d been in an apartment in New Jersey, and then rented an apartment here for the last two years. In other words, it’s been a long, long time since she’s been a home owner. She’s super excited about it, and really looking forward to having her own yard and a space to host BBQ’s (hopefully I’ll be invited to lots of those).
Since Debbie is in charge of monitoring blog comments until I return, I hope you’ll take a moment to wish her the best in her new home!