Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Home Sweet Fixer Upper

 Welcome to the Hotel California Harrell Style!!!! 

If you read my last post, you know about the craziness of our move to California and the fact that we went shopping for a house on just two hours of sleep.  Well, that insanity paid off.  WE FOUND A HOUSE!!!    IN FACT WE ARE CLOSING IN JUST TWO WEEKS!!!  On only two hours of sleep all five of us toured eight houses that Saturday.  We then narrowed it down to two.  On Sunday, Scott and I were up again at 5AM discussing the pros and cons of both houses.  In the Bay Area, there is no perfect house, nothing even close to perfect unless you have $4 million to drop (no joke, and that isn't for a mansion). 

We were back visiting the houses by lunch and, of course, decided on a third!!!!  A house we didn't even consider in a bleary exhaustion on Saturday.  But we are so happy that we changed our mind and picked the one we did.  Because, it is the perfectly, imperfect home for us.  We were the winning bid of three competing offers, one of which was an all cash-offer, but somehow we scored a house.  It is like winning the lottery in reverse.  You win and then owe a fortune.

Our new home, a 1959 Ranch with "Endless Potential".  The original owners bought it as a young couple and lived in it together raising their family creating infinite memories until their heirs passed it us.  We could only be so lucky to spend over 50 years together in the same home. 

First the half empty!!!
It is a 1959 ranch in real estate agent speak has potential.  For the rest of us, that means, it has a blue tarp for a roof.  It has original plumbing and water pressure equal to a Caprisun straw.  Original electrical, a fuse box, no grounding, and all two-prong plugs.  A kitchen that is not quite ready for Iron Chef or even a water line for the refrigerator.  And unless wood paneling makes a big comeback in 2014, the entire house's interior is entirely out of date. 

Now the entirely full!!!! And why we are buying this house!!!!
The first rule of real estate!  Location, location, location!  We love the town.  It is in the charming town of Los Gatos.  It is a small town in the midst of the big, giant sprawl of the San Francisco Bay Area.  It is a great commute for Scott - and commute is king in the Bay. 

Next, there are the schools, which are fantastic.  Let's face it with three kids private school ain't an option.  So, we are guaranteed into the Los Gatos schools, of course, which specific school is still TBD.  But that is a problem for another day.

Then, there is the lot which is flat and a 1/3 of an acre (giant even by Cary standards), so there is plenty of room for the kids to play and all of us to enjoy that spectacular California weather.  Plus, the house design will allow us to, theoretically, live through the remodel.  Talk to me at the end of this endeavor, but that is the plan.  Some of the other houses, would have required us to move out of the house to remodel them, which after facing two moves already, we really didn't want to face two more. 

Finally, there is our street/neighborhood.  This was the surprise, the bonus, the icing on the cake.  We haven't even closed on the house yet, but the neighbors on the street have already embraced our family.  There are kids all along the street the same ages are our kids and they are already playing together.  The neighbors invited us to a Summer Solstice block party and to an upcoming 4th of July fireworks night.  Plus, they have given me recommendations for camps and cable providers and more already.  My next door neighbor hugged me the first time we met.  What can I say - I was sold!!!!

So like the Girl Scout Motto - Make New Friends, But Keep the Old!!!!  Cary Meet Los Gatos!!!!  And As of July 9th, the Hotel Harrell California will be Open for Business. 


Dani said...

Great news Gigi, congrats!!!

Unknown said...

Smiles headed your way! The hug would have sold me too!

Unknown said...

Smiles headed your way! The hug would have sold me too!

Legal Teas said...

Congratulations!! (Just don't like that next door neighbor TOO much) - just kidding but really miss you!

Amy Murphy said...

Thrilled for you guys! I think it's a cool house. Awesome location. You guys are familiar with Los Gatos. All good! Logistics sounds ideal & house stuff will work out. Projects don't scare you. Schools are really, really good out there - jealous! Enjoy everything! Amy Murphy