A couple weeks ago, we took a family trip to Connecticut to check out the area and to secure a rental home. The kids were so excited to fly! Audrey had never flown, and Jacob does not remember the time he flew. As we were lifting off, a big smile spread over Michael's face, and he exclaimed, "Awesome!"
Connecticut really is beautiful. I know fall is going to be extraordinary. And I'm sure winter will be gorgeous as well. I plan to look upon its gorgeousness from a window in my new rental home.
Our realtor set aside her whole Friday for us even though we thought we had already made our decision just based on our online searches. I'm thankful she did. We were excited as we pulled up to our first pick and had all but decided this was the one. It was the one closest to Mark's work, and it was a great size for our family.
We hopped out of the car, armed with a camera because pictures would make planning easier. The realtor opened the door, and we all crowded in. And that's when it hit us: Dog Smell. It was overwhelming, so much so that I forgot to take any pictures. We failed to take note of any of the details of the house. We only noticed Dog.
So we didn't make the decision right then on that house like we thought we would and proceeded on to the next. The next house looked like a newer home, almost like a regular ol' Georgia home in a regular ol' subdivision. It did have a gravel driveway, though. Which I thought I could deal with until Mark had the sense to ask the realtor what happens to the gravel driveway in the winter. "Oh, well as you plow the snow, the gravel gets pushed to the end of the driveway, and you have to re-spread it in the spring."
That seems like an awful lot of work because of precipitation.
The gravel driveway turned out not to be the worst part about the house, though. There was no walkway to the front door. Nope. Just lawn. And not a very nice one at that.
Who would build a house and not take the time to pave a little walkway to the front door?
So we moved on to the next house, which was a nice one. Very private. The kids would have had a WONDERFUL time exploring this property. There was a little stream running through, lots of woods. The current tenants happened to be there and said they saw a lot of wildlife. They also told us they were being transferred to Atlanta. I may have said, "Oh, I'm SO jealous!!"
We were close to choosing this house, but it was quite a trek from Mark's work, plus the windy, hilly roads, coupled with the fact that I have absolutely no idea how to drive in snow only conjured up pictures of me and the kids in a crumpled van at the bottom of a ravine. So we nixed that one.
Then came the house of my dreams. It smelled old when we walked in. Not old like mothballs and old granny shawls, but old like History. It was a magnificent house. Huge. Storage everywhere. And it had a kind of heating system that is through the floors. I think maybe it's called radiant heating. So that in the middle of winter when it's a thousand below outside, you and your toes are nice and toasty because the flooring is hot! That would be awesome.
And so much better than the heating at the other homes. They all use oil heating. With oil heating you have to remember to get a tank in the basement filled. Which means if you forget to keep an eye on it, you could run out of hot water and heat when it's a thousand degrees below outside. Plus, instead of having nice, out-of-the-way vents set in the ceiling out of which blows the hot air, there are these little box things that run along the baseboards of most walls. Which means--where do you put things? Like a desk or a dresser or a bookcase? I guess you just put it there, thus blocking the much needed heat, plus looking stupid because it's halfway out in the room instead of flush against the wall.
Anyway. This house seemed perfect. Yes, it was the farthest from Mark's house, but the rent was cheaper, plus they would cover landscaping and snow removal. BUT their 6 month to a year lease was very strict. And we have no idea if we will be ready to buy a house in a year.
So we passed on that house. The main reason we passed was because of the time restriction. What we certainly don't want to do is to have to move into another rental in a year. Another almost as valid reason is because I don't think we'll be able to afford to buy a house like that, and I sure would much rather feel like I'm movin' up from the rental rather than down.
In the end, after weighing all the pros and cons, we decided to go with the house with the Smell. A smell, after all, can be eradicated. I hope. It's in our contract. The Smell must be gone by next week. We're sending our realtor in to make sure it is. And for cryin' out loud, can't you just wash your dog every once in awhile? But we decided on this house because it is most convenient to work, and I'd rather be close to Mark's work during our transition than living with toasty toes.
So we move in end of next week. I plan to bathe our dog shortly after the move. But, please...if you come to visit and our house smells like Dog, be honest and let me know so I can take care of it. Thank you.