Sunday, May 15, 2016

Chapter 14 (5/15/16)

           Here's a bonus to thank you all for your patience with my crazy schedule!  Don't miss Chapter 13, posted yesterday (Saturday)!

           “Not that,” Erica texted in response to my picture of a potential outfit.  I was getting ready to have dinner with Dan, and I had apparently forgotten how to dress myself.  “Too much for a second date.” 
            I was trying to decide on something else when my phone started to ring.  I reached for it, confused to see Mike’s name across the screen.  When I had signed the lease on the rental, I’d let him know I’d give him a call when I was ready to look for something to buy again.  Curiosity pushed me to answer. “Hello?”
            “Jenna, it’s Mike,” the familiar voice said.  “Look, I know you signed a lease, but one of my coworkers just got a listing that is perfect for you.  It’s near the top of--but within--your price range, and it’s going to go really fast.  It’s going on the market tomorrow, but I can take you to it tonight and you can have the first shot at it.”
            I paused and considered this.  Then, hoping Dan would understand, I told Mike to text me the address.  I hung up and texted Dan.  “Remember how I told you I was moving?  I had hoped to buy, but ended up renting?  My realtor just called me with a house that’s not even on the market yet, and I need to go see it.  Can we reschedule, please?”  Then I changed out of my ‘too much for a second date’ outfit and into jeans and a sweatshirt and hurried out of the house.
            I looked at the address that Mike had texted skeptically.  It was not the best neighborhood.  But I drove there anyway, excited to see the place. 
            Mike was already there when I got there, and I parked behind him in the driveway.  The house was small, but it had an attached single car garage, and it was clear that the outside had been well cared for.  It was hard to tell in the dark, but many of the houses on this street looked to be in better shape than those on some of the other nearby streets.
            I looked around curiously as I got out of the car.  “Don’t judge the neighborhood in the dark,” Mike called as he got out.  “This area is up and coming.”
            I rolled my eyes at the realty buzzword and crossed my arms across my chest to ward off the freezing night air.  “What’s so special about this house, then?” I asked.
            Even in the dark I could see Mike grin.  “Glad you asked,” he said.  “It’s recently remodeled.  New floors, new counters and cabinets, fresh paint, brand new appliances, and a new roof to boot.  Everything has been updated.  It’s small, but it has the biggest master closet you’ll ever see in a home in your price range.  Lots of storage space too.  The garage is a single stall, but it’s extra deep.  The basement is partially finished and wouldn’t need much work to finish up.”
            “Why is it priced so low?” I asked skeptically.
            “The neighborhood and the size, mostly,” he replied.  “It was a three bedroom, but the third bedroom was so small that the previous owners turned it into the master closet, so now it only has 2 bedrooms.  Not a good move for resale value, honestly, but perfect for you.”
            “Well, let’s go in then,” I told him.
            The house was beautiful on the inside.  As Mike said, it was clear that a lot of remodeling had been done.  There was a half bath just inside the door from the garage.  It was small, but it was clean and updated.  We walked into the kitchen, which had a pale blue, white, gray and back backsplash which coordinated nicely with the pale gray color of the walls.  White quartz countertops, black cabinets, and stainless steel appliances topped everything off.  “So far so good,” I said, looking around appreciatively.  The kitchen was small, but the space was well used and there was plenty of counter space and cabinets.  I pulled open a door off the kitchen and found a narrow, deep pantry there as well. 
            The rest of the main level was cozy. There was a small dining space off the kitchen, which just enough room for a table that seats 4, max. One wall was almost completely taken up by a sliding glass door that went out to a small patio.  I flipped the outside light on and saw that the patio had a fire pit on the right side with built in seating around it.  There was still plenty of space for a small patio furniture set on the left side.  It was lined on either side with what looked like raised flowerbeds.  The flowerbeds followed the patio around the corners on either side, leaving a 5-foot gap or so for entering the rest of the yard. 
            The dining area flowed seamlessly into the living room.  On one wall of the living room was a gas fireplace, which excited me.  It had been on my “would be nice” list, and this was the first house we’d even looked at that had one.  That concluded the tour of the main level, and Mike led me through the entry way and past the front door to the stairs.  As we followed the stairs up, Mike said, “The third bedroom was too small and didn’t have a closet so they moved part of the wall a bit, moved the door, and turned it into a spectacular closet for the master.  I think you’ll like it.” 
            I walked into the second bedroom first.  It was small and had a laughable closet.  But it was bright and cheerful and would make a very nice guestroom.  I went into the bathroom next.  It was a decent size with a standard tub and shower combination. 
            Finally, I went into the master bedroom.  It was larger than the other bedroom, but still not large by any stretch of the imagination.  It was big enough to fit my queen sized bed, nightstands, and dresser, at least.  There was no hope of ever upgrading to a king sized bed, though.  I pulled open a door and walked into the most glorious closet I had ever seen.  The long wall had floor to ceiling shelves right in the middle, and racks for hangers stretching from either side.  On the opposite side, the side with the door, built-in shelves for clothing and shoes lined the wall.  There was a window at one end with frosted, textured glass, and beneath it stood a large vanity.  Running down the middle of the room was an island filled with drawers. 
            “I could live here,” I said, looking around in wonder.  “Right here, in this closet.”
            “I thought you’d like it,” Mike replied, grinning.  “The built in drawers and shelves in here free up some space in the bedroom, because you won’t need a dresser in there.”   I nodded and looked back into the bedroom, imagining where I’d put my bed. “Do you want to see the basement?”
            We took a cursory look at the basement, but it didn’t matter.  I wanted this house.  “Well, what do you think?” Mike asked when we were back up in the kitchen.
            “I love it,” I said.  “It’s small…how many square feet?”
            “Just over 1000,” he answered.  “Not including the basement.”  I nodded.  It was small, but I didn’t need much space.  It was a huge downsize from my current 3000 square foot living situation, but this house felt so much bigger because Kevin wasn’t lurking around. 
            “It’s going to be hard to sell again, though,” I said, recalling what Mike had said about the resale value. 
            “True,” he agreed.  “You could probably rent it out for a decent price though, should you ever move and can’t or don’t want to sell it.  And give this neighborhood a few years, and it will improve significantly.”
            I considered this.  The neighborhood was not ideal.  This part looked okay, but the surrounding area was not good.  “This house is perfect for you, Jenna,” Mike said.  “You’re not going to find anything else in your price range that checks as many of the boxes as this one does.”
           He was right.  I knew he was.  I took a deep breath, then grinned.  “Let’s put in an offer.  Right now.”


  1. Eek! This is so exciting! I can totally relate to this post, as my husband and I are currently buying our first house (we close in June!) and it was a stressful nightmare getting to this point. haha

    Glad to see Jenna making strides; I hope she gets the house!

  2. Exciting. I didn't comment on the last post, but her ex, yet again, confirmed his douchebag status. I'm anxious for the second date!! mum