Today was a very, very filled up day.
John slept in, and then commented on my document, and I had to do some serious thinking about how some things were written. That was actually pretty stimulating.
Then, of course, he found the box of chocolates and the note that I left out for him. *grin* He really loved the Valentine's day card, and Jet proudly told John about how he'd glued the heart. Hee.
We had John's waffles for breakfast. John called Colleen, last night, with the houses we wanted to look at, and she said that she could show them to us at 11. So she did. We drove out to meet her, after hitting the bank for our traveler's checks for Mexico and hitting up Lily's Cheesecakes for MY valentine's day fix. Yay! Chocolate covered strawberries, chocolate covered petit fours, and big, chocolate marbled slabs of cheesecake for tonight! Swoon!
So the first house we went to was the ranch house right by work. We went through it, discussed why we should like it, but I'll have to admit that while I loved the location, the interior of the house was still... small-seeming. The kitchen and family room were the smallest. With a living/dining room separate from the rest, and a pretty huge master suite and two bedroom cluster at the end of the hall. An office/cave hung out just inside the front door, and there was a HUGE basement with a bedroom and bathroom split by a giant rec. room. So we'd still have two-floor living, but all the informal stuff would probably have to go downstairs. Still, it did put Jet right next to us.
The kitchen was more of a disappointment than I remembered. With glass-topped electric cooktop with a meager down-draft. We could still see the grease splatters all over the cooktop and around it as well. The family room was still small, and oddly shaped with one angled wall that made placement of furniture hard.
So we went on to the Longs Peak house, which is a 40+ year old house that we'd spotted while driving around. No covenants in the neighborhood, so we could probably do anything we wanted to the house and no one would complain, including building a stall for the Stoat. So it only had a two-car garage, but we were willing to work with that.
The house had character. I'll say that for it. An old kitchen that had an add-on to open it up, and then a huge sun-room addition that had an utterly astonishing view of the mountains from it. Snow-capped peaks in the livingroom. Wow. It really reminded John of his parents' house, in that there's this great room with the astonishing view (though Isabel and George's is of the Puget Sound), the bedrooms in the back, and a basement that's mostly for storing things and doing projects. There was a huge workroom down there, a snaky hallway to another bedroom and a big project room. All basement dark but for a walkout rec. room.
The house, however, reeked of animals. There were at least two cats we saw, a crated dog, three rats, a brightly colored frog, four birds, and the place really smelled of them all. My eyes were watering and my nose threatening to close up even with the quick walk around. The master bathroom was a good, old-fashioned full bath. None of this hifalutin five-piece stuff, and only one sink. We seriously thought about knocking out one of the bedrooms to make for a real master suite with walk-in closet or something.
But the price was too high for that. Whether it was the extensive property it was on, the view, or simply the size of the house, they'd priced it way too high for us to buy it AND fix it up. So we decided to just think about it.
Colleen had a lot of fun with Jet. Especially at the older house, when there was a wind-chime hanging just barely within Jet's reach on the porch. He'd run at it, waving his hand above his head and hope to hit the striker. Colleen would cheer when he did it, and he loved that.
There was also a nice play-set right by the house with a climbing area, a swinging tire, and a whirling thing on a post. Pretty cool. The house was also within walking distance of a pool and a park, which were both pluses, and would insure kid-contact for Jet, one way or another.
The third house was having an open house at 1, but Colleen had an appointment at 1 in Boulder, so she left us to have some lunch at the Vietnamese place before we hit the open house ourselves. The house is in a neighborhood right near work, actually close to work than the ranch! Plus, when we drove there we found that this house was also within two blocks of the pool and the park. Wow. It was across from a pretty busy street, but was set back from the busy street by five other houses and a little drive-out area.
It turned out, also, to have been one of the model homes from when they first built the development. So it had a lot of really nice details and turned out to be on one of the largest lots in the development. Wow.
And when we went in...
It was totally appropriate that today is Valentine's Day. John and I fell in love with it the moment we walked in. It was beautifully kept, and all the extras from being a model house were all extremely evident. It had a Thermadore stove top!!! It had lovely tile counters. The kitchen was HUGE with a built-in desk, and gorgeous oak cabinets. The whole layout was exactly what we'd been hoping for from so many houses, with a great room, a wonderful master suite on the same level as other bedrooms, with a wonderful, open loft area that could be Jet's play area next to a room that could easily be used as an office, right next to a bedroom with a big walk-in closet that could easily work for Jet's room.
There was a small, formal livingroom that they'd converted to a study, and which we could easily see as being a library. The backyard was HUGE, with a hot tub with not only a privacy screen, but a thick row of evergreens as well. It was gorgeous, partially shaded by a nice overhead shade, and actually had an outdoor FAN to keep the air circulating and, the realtor said, kept off mosquitoes.
It's a really, really cool house. As we walked out, we were already saying we should buy it. What blew my mind was that this house was nearly $100k LESS than the other houses we'd looked at. We stopped the car a block away, and John called Colleen's phone numbers with my cellphone, and told her that we wanted to buy it. Pronto. We then did two errands, and headed home, where John got her cellphone number and called that. When she called back, she told us that she had a dinner party tonight, that she was throwing it, otherwise she would have blown it off for us. It's nice to know she had that level of dedication... but we then talked through her comps, and she told us that we should email her our decision on what we wanted to offer and lots of details she needed to make an offer official.
The funny thing is that after all the houses John and I have looked at, we wanted to just offer their asking price for the house. She talked us out of it, and with her comps we had reason to go with a lower price. She already earned her commission if we actually get it at our asking price, and then some. Wow. They're moving out of state, so they may have some time boundaries on how soon they want to get out of the house. That's a good thing for us.
While we were doing all this, I made cupcakes for Jet's birthday party at the church, tomorrow. I found out that probably the main reason the cake mix didn't have 'cupcake' instructions on it was that no mom trying to whip up a batch of cupcakes in minutes would have wanted to spoon 24 cupcakes, then mix the marbling mix in, try to divide up the marbeling mixture exactly into 24 cups, and then marble all those little cakes. Whee. I did it anyway, and got some nice cupcakes to boot. Chocolate marbled with chocolate is great stuff.
Dinner's just fish sticks and fries, which Jet joined us to eat.
He got a cupcake with frosting, afterwards, as I was frosting them for tomorrow, too. Mint chocolate chip frosting out of a can: quick, easy, and tasty. Jet is often dubious of 'muffins', but he really got into it and plowed through it happily.
So I have some hope that, this time, during his party he'll actually eat his treat.