Flashback, May 2012. Mr. Mouse, "Are you serious???" Me, "Yes....they wanted to know if we want to sell the house and in this market, it'd be downright stupid to turn down an offer." Thus began the summer where so very much in the Brouse House changed. We were lucky, there was a house on the market that I'd had my eye on for a year or so. It was about twice the size of our little lake house; had a huge (acre+) fenced in back yard with a pool. After the first walk through, we knew it was meant to be our house.
They say that money is cheap these days with rates the lowest they've been in years. While that may be true, the strangle hold banks have on loans make it nearly impossible for people with excellent credit and an impeccable track record to get a new mortgage. Why? Because banks no longer have any faith in the real estate market. They won't hold the mortgage so even local banks will only lend if they can turn right around and sell your loan to another institution. Welcome, to the era of "UNDERWRITERS ARE KINGS!" That said, through persistence, creativity and a lot of prayers I was able to secure our mortgage and we finalized the sale of the old home and purchase of the new home in early August. We moved in 5 days later.
Now let's be clear about this. Even though I took 2 weeks off to handle the pack up, move out and move in, we're still 1/2 living out of boxes. But the important stuff is done. The rest will happen when it happens.
I was worried how Mouse would handle the transition, but he was generally unfazed. First night in his room there were ZERO issues. And to say he loves his new backyard is an understatement. He now has a huge playroom but of course still prefers to play under my feet in the kitchen.
So now...we're just trying to get back into a regular routine and schedule. It'll be a while before this place really feels like home. I'll admit, when I walked around my old house that last time after it was empty, I found my self awash in memories and tears. That house meant a lot to me. I helped come up with the layout and decided how it would sit perfect on the land, watched as every board and wall was put up and carefully stressed over each fixture. All this I did as a single girl in my early 30's....not bad for a kid from very very modest means. (Some day, I'll share the stories of how my Mom provided for a family of four on my Dad's security guard salary.) That house saw my greatest love, my greatest heartbreak, the death of my father and the birth of my son. So many tears...so much laughter.
It's funny, the old house I always considered mine. Not because of any sense of meanness but because I put so much of me into it's building. When I built it, I was a me not a we. While I do miss it, I'm not sad. Our new house feels more like ours. I'm looking out into the evening twilight through the sunroom windows and looking around I can imagine how our first Christmas tree will look in here. I can look out at the pool and imagine my son, as a teenager, horsing around with his buddies. In time, this house will indeed become our home.