Hunting Season

Hunting Season

I’ve been watching a lot of HGTV’s House Hunters recently.  Before I go on, I would like to address the humorously unrealistic premise of this show.  Ever notice how they ALWAYS tour exactly THREE homes, and ALWAYS decide to live in one of them? People – it is never this easy!!  What REALLY happens on House Hunters, I am convinced, is that realtors take the couple through approximately 78 homes over approximately nine months, and then trim it down to the three most interesting ones to make for good TV.  “Now remember to ONLY talk about houses #14, 39 and 51 on camera, folks,” say the sly producers.  “Our viewers can’t know you actually saw more than three homes on the journey to find the perfect one!”

I digress.

What I DO find realistic about House Hunters is the commentary I now find myself repeating verbatim.  Constantly.  Mockingbird style, as Aaron and I tour home after home, if not in person then “virtually,” online (how did people with busy lives house hunt before the internet???).

For example:

 “I love the character, but wish it had more modern finishes.”

 “Love the house, hate the commute” OR “Great commute!  Really tiny/unattractive/old/creepy house”

 “A bidet?  Seriously?”

 And we do not make it easy on our realtor.  Oh no, she is earning that commission with every fiber of her well-connected being.  To illustrate this point, let’s play multiple choice quiz.  Which options have Beth and Aaron seriously considered for their next move:

A)  5 acres on rural Bainbridge Island where we could someday raise goats

B) A postage stamp lot in Madison Park

C) A furnished apartment in the heart of downtown while we wait for the perfect home to hit the market

D) Taking over the oversized (and very nice!) “living room” of our company’s Georgetown office

 Okay, though we haven’t quite gotten so desperate as to truly consider living at Aaron’s work with an 8-month-old (though the blogger in me is drooling over the potential material here…), we have actually (seriously) considered options A-C dependent on the season, time of day, how much sleep, wine, coffee and road rage we’ve had at any given moment.  Option D – it’s only a matter of time. 

 My husband’s family moved around a LOT growing up –  from Washington to Iowa to Southern Oregon back to Washington.  I think he’s pushing 20 homes by now, going on four just since we’ve been together.  His mom has told me that each year when she was packing up the Christmas ornaments, she would find herself wondering where she would be unpacking them the following year.  So as the holiday season officially kicks off today with Halloween, I find myself wondering the same thing.  Where will we be putting up our tree next year?  Heck, where will we be putting it this year?  House hunting is nothing if not wonder-inducing, that’s for sure….

This is our current house:

 

Image

It’s a good, sweet home.  It’s been a really great place to live and start our family, and we’ve been blessed with the most wonderful neighbors.  But it’s a lease, and the lease is almost up and that means it’s time to buy and time to move on.  Exciting but nerve-wracking.  Bitter but sweet.  Stress-inducing but trust-inducing. 

I’m excited to see where we end up, and thankful for the homes that will always be a part of our story.  I’m a big country music fan, more than anything because the artists are so gifted at telling stories through songs.  There is a song I love recorded by Miranda Lambert called “The House That Built Me.”  It talks about the deep emotional connections we build with the homes we live in.

“You leave home, you move on and you do the best you can.  I got lost in this whole world and forgot who I am….

“If I could walk around I swear I’ll leave.  Won’t take nothing but a memory from the house that built me.”

I love that idea of a longing to return to the home(s) that helped shape us, to hang on to the hope that maybe if we just touch their walls we’ll be reminded a little bit more of the heart of who we are.  I want that for my family – a home we can all grow in and be shaped by, and help shape.  A place we can thrive, build memories, love each other, and be the best that we can be.  I look forward to putting down some roots and being built up in this new home – wherever that may be, however big or small, new or old, near or far.

Now back to the hunt.  🙂 

4 responses

  1. I don’t know if you know this or not, Beth, but John and I bought our first home together in 1985. In 1991, he got promoted and we moved to Wenatchee. We sold our home. We bought another. Promoted again,…sold and bought… Finally, we were going to build.
    We’d lived in enough houses to know what we wanted in our home. Looking in the paper every weekend for ‘acreage’ for our new home… how I came across the listing is beyond me…but there it was…’cute rambler, knotty pine and built-ins throughout, Fircrest…’ and I told John that I think our old house is on the market. He asked if I wanted to go look at it. I told him I didn’t need to…I’d lived and loved that house before. A month later, we were moving into our first home again…and have lived here since 1997.
    Johnna’s first and last bedroom is here, we’ve buried pets here, …it’s just ‘home.’ It’s not fancy…it was what we could afford at the time, the first time…but it was plenty big enough for us then and what we thought we would need in the future. We did the whole big house, street-of-dreams-house, house with a pool, house on a cul-de-sac, house in a development… and turns out we got it right the first time. We’re not fancy, big house people. We could’ve afforded more the second time, but we ‘knew’ where our ‘home’ was.
    We have a 3 bedroom rambler that served us well when we needed it to and will serve us well as we start to move slower. What we learned throughout all that moving is that you ‘know’ when you’re ‘home.’ A house is not a home…but you can try to make it one…and if it becomes your ‘home,’ you’ll know… You know we wish you well in your search…and the house across the street from us is for sale…;-) and it has a pool in the backyard, too! 🙂

    • That story makes me smile. I did not know all that – what an incredible journey back “home.” Thank you for sharing! Sometimes you have to take some totally different paths to find (or circle back to…) the one that is truly “home”. I think it is so awesome you guys found that. Twice. And thank you for wishing the same for us. Love you guys.

  2. I applied to be on House Hunters 🙂 You actually have to have already made an offer on the house before they film. You film for a week straight, picking 2 of the houses we considered and then one that we bought. We decided to not do it because Ben would have had to take 3 days off of work due to the camera crew only works during the week as a general rule. You have to film between when you make the offer and before you move in. Then they come back a while later to do the “3 months later” or whatever part.
    Yeah, buying a house was the most frustrating, irritating process ever. We looked at over 30 homes during a 6 month process. We made offers on 3 different houses and all of them never worked out. By the time we actually bought a house, I was so frustrated and worn down, it took all the fun out of actually moving into a brand new home.

  3. Molly, that’s so interesting to hear how House Hunters actually works. I’m sorry the process was so draining for you guys…. We are about 3 months into it and have come extremely close to buying 3 homes now, the latest of which fell through yesterday. I cried. There is no inventory in the neighborhood we want to live in, and when something that fits our search does come up it is CRAZY competitive!! Ugh. I hear you on the wear down….it definitely starts to feel more like work, less like fun.

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