I wrote this post over a week ago, but because the details weren’t settled, I didn’t want to post too much information just yet. Anyways, all of my references are now in past tense, but I still thought the story warranted sharing, so enjoy!
During the second day of our house hunting adventure we set out with high hopes and were not disappointed. The first house we saw met all of our needs, it had some character, but not the over-the-top-hard-for-an-American-to-handle type. Four large bright bedrooms and a fireplace set the bar pretty high, since if was one of the first we had seen that day, we decided to keep looking and see what else was out there before we could make a commitment to it. It was the safe choice, and we didn’t come to Germany to make “safe” choices!
We saw several of the quirky homes that I spoke about yesterday, and then we stumbled upon a real gem. I really shouldn’t say stumbled upon it, because I have been eyeing it on the housing website for over a month, I was shocked that it was still available in fact. We pulled up to a lovely stand alone house, surrounded by a well kept garden and yard. Upon entering, we were greeted with marble floors in the entry way, arched doorways, and a stained glass window!
Four large bedrooms filled the upstairs, and downstairs housed a beautiful living room with herringbone wood floors, a wooden ceiling, nice sized kitchen and a wrap around terrace, perfect for entertaining. I was sold, completely, but then came the complications. There was another couple interested, so we were told to get our paperwork to the landlord and then he would decide between us. We agreed to do that, but in the meantime, we had to keep looking for a home in case this one fell through. I resolved to get through the rest of our appointments for the day, but I was certain that nothing would be able to compare to my dream home, and they didn’t. Three more showings that evening and we headed home to prepare our paperwork for our dream home which was due in the morning.
We were just getting the children dressed for bed when I decided to check my email, lo and behold, there was a response from another landlord I had been corresponding with. I had seen a few pictures of her house listed on a civilian website, so I knew that it was nice and did want to see it. I tried to squeeze it in in the morning before our housing appointment, but that didn’t work for her, it had to be that night! So out we went again, four exhausted people, two of which were dressed in pajamas.
We showed up to a mansion styled home, painted light blue and looking slightly decrepit from the outside. Unsure of what to expect, we ventured inside. The landlord told us that this home had been an elementary school in the 1950’s. We could tell from the solid stone stairs, giant panels of stained glass, and the winding corridors that we were in for a treat!
Since the schools conversion in to homes, the landlord has been working to renovate and improve her sections (multiple people own parts of the building, she owns two “apartments” and lives in one). We made our way through the foyer and in to the main living area, nice tile covered the floor, huge curved windows lined the room, and a corner fireplace rests in the center of the living area.
The kitchen is the largest and most American that I have seen, there is even an ingenious childproof gate built in to it. The landlord is a single mother of six, some of the children became hers through foster care, including her autistic son who still lives with her. So, she is well versed in child proofing and keeping the littles out of the kitchen. There are two bedrooms off of the open living/dining/kitchen room. Down the hallway lie the other four rooms, all bright with floor to ceiling windows and wooden floors. Currently we’re unsure how we’re even going to fill all of the available space, a dedicated library, craft room, exercise room, bike shop? The possibilities are endless and we are so, so excited about it!
After seeing this place, Jon and I were both on board to move forward with the paperwork, however, there is one little problem. Because this house has not been pre-inspected by the military housing office, we have to have that taken care of first. And, of course, since this is the military we’re talking about, the housing office is booked solid until the 22nd…
There are two ways this could go down, we could wait until the 22nd, housing could okay it and we could sign paperwork and move in. Or, housing could find something wrong with it, and/or the landlord could choose to rent to someone else in the meantime unethically negating our verbal contract. If one of those things were to happen, we could be without a house and left with only one week to find one before our TLA (temporary living allowance) ends. Meaning, we would have to move out of our “hotel” and in to some other short term lease housing which we would be responsible for locating. Long story short, it would be a mess.
We’re choosing to be optimists though, hoping that this is indeed where God wants us to end up, because it’s where we want to be. I love a project house, and this place is so rich with character and possibilities. The landlady is also a real sweetheart, Jon says she reminds him of his grandma S., and I agree, you can tell after only spending an hour with her that she is a giver.
Anyways, that’s the tale of our crazy house hunt. We have now taken our name out of the hat, and let the first landlord know that he can lease his house to the other couple he was considering. If this falls through, we have no back ups… It’s a risky decision, but one that could pay off hugely. We’re hopeful that we could be settled by the end of May… We shall see!
Update: We have a contract for our house now! The inspection was today and things are finally getting settled; we move in next week!