House Hunting

Okay. So, I lied on Facebook.

We didn’t actually go house hunting in San Francisco after all. Being completely unfamiliar with the Bay Area, I had no concept of how much of it was considered “San Francisco”.

(i.e. We used to live in Flower Mound, Texas, but no one knows where that heck that is so, just said we lived in “Dallas”)

Turns out we’ll be a bit further south… as in Silicon Valley. (a.k.a. the geek heartland)

Does this make me less fabulous? Absolutely not!

Not only did we end up in one of best school districts in the country, we also found an incredible house.

Not a shack. Not a bungalow. A gorgeous, better-than-I-deserve-in-fifty-lifetimes HOUSE!!!

Of course, we will have to sell our first born in order to afford it, thereby making the great school district aspect of it kind of pointless, but oh well…

Did I tell you I’m going to have granite countertops?

I don’t mean to be Ms. Braggity McBraggy Bee. I’m just so EXCITED and rightfully so, considering where we recently lived…

Remember? Leaking roof, broken oven, minimal hot water,  no dryer, no heat

Fortunately, one of the many perks of Mike’s new job is use of an excellent relocation company. They offer services such as accompanying new employees to get their California driver’s licenses and finding their families places to live.

This is also in sharp contrast to London, where we had no clue and did all of the research and footwork (literally) on our own. Within my first twenty minutes with the estate agent, he…

A. Set off a very obnoxious security alarm at one house

B. Locked us INSIDE of it and alluded to having me shimmy out a window to open the door from the outside…

C. Spotted a traffic cop from the second story window of the next house, at which point he leapt to the first floor and took off in his car…

D. …leaving me stranded holding the house keys*.

House hunting was much less drama this time. I called ahead with our “like to haves” and “need to haves” and when we met with the agent on Monday morning, he had eight homes that presumably met ALL of our criteria, with the option of two or three more if we were up for it. LOVE. IT.

Now, that’s not to say that every single one was dream…. far from it, in fact. The very first house we saw had all of the warmth and charm of a semi-converted garage.

I would have been put off had it not been on par with most of the dwellings Mike and I looked at in London.

One house had the biggest backyard I ever expected to see in Northern California, including an extended patio and dilapidated metal swing set (lead paint included).

You could have fit two more (sizable) houses on the lawn alone. Only problem? The house hasn’t been updated since the Brady Bunch lived in it.

All nine of them. Circa first season.

The kind, but bewildered elderly owner appeared a bit run down himself. Weary, watery eyed, and shuffling around with pants completely undone and falling off, he gave me the grand tour recalling how his daughter loved, loved, LOVED ”pale baby girl pink” and just have to have an entire bedroom done in it.

It broke my heart to lie to him and say, “We’re considering it” when what I really wanted to do was buy it on the spot and flip it.

Com’on. Don’t smirk. I’ve watched enough reality TV to know everything I need to know, right? I so could have done it too.

Oh, if only we had an extra $1.3 er, $1.6 million lying around, it would have been awesome. Sigh!

The next house smelled like curry, which was only slightly less disgusting than the  filthy carpets. Another had a super secluded entrance, hot tub, and yelled “Key party, anyone?”

The rest were oh-kay, but when we walked into our house we knew it was meant to be. Avery even told me which room is for him and which is for little brother or sister. Guess which one is bigger?

(Photos to come)

I think I’m going to like living here… a LOT!

*Parking is VERY strict in London. The fines are outrageous and officers ticket you immediately. However, if you can move your vehicle before the officer can place the ticket on the windshield; it doesn’t count, hence the leaping and abandoning, but still…



Filed under Life In The States, Packing Up and Moving

14 responses to “House Hunting

  1. Congratulations on not just moving back to the States, but finding the perfect house. After learning to live in what you had in London, I’m sure it’ll feel like a palace. I remember after DH and I bought our dream house a few years ago, we once both met in the kitchen in the evening to get a snack and looked at each other and was like “Oh my God, I can’t believe we live here!!!”

  2. Kevin

    Where will you be? San Jose? Los Gatos?
    I’m sure you’ll pick up on the lingo pretty quick, but just so’s you know: San Jose is considered “south bay”. The only part of the Bay Area that is referred to as San Francisco is San Francisco. However, that all changes when you’re talking to someone from another state: then you just say you’re from San Francisco.

  3. Kevin

    Oh yeah: if you want to stand out as being Not From Around Here, refer to San Francisco as “San Fran” or “Frisco.”

  4. Megan

    I can’t wait to see pics of your new home!

  5. K

    I am so glad that you found your dream home! House hunting can be hell and the fact that your husband’s new company has such an awesome relocation service sounds great.

    Speaking of dream homes, maybe you should enter to win the HGTV Dream Home in Sonoma California and then you could have a perfect home and a perfect vacation home too.

  6. byjane

    Unless one has lived in England, one doesn’t realize how totally uncivilized they are–does one.

    I’m thrilled you’ll be in the south Bay (thank you, Kevin) as it’s only a hop, skip and jump from Elk Grove. And it’s where my kids live, so I’m there often. We can meet IRL!

  7. Congrats on the new digs. Can’t wait to see photos. The house hunting sounds daunting.

  8. Glad you found a new house. Question that I am sure was asked before: so is the blog name changing?

  9. Are you moving back to the other blog?? Should I delete the feed? I emailed a couple of times???

  10. Val

    Oh, you are precious my dear Grace. Congrats on the baby…SQUEAL…I am so excited for you all! I am also glad to hear of you being back in the states and finding a nice home. Still missing you guys,

    Val and Drew 😉

  11. Misty P

    Hi, It has been a while since I looked at your blog and I see that you are back! My DH is traveling back and forth to England every 2 weeks. After reading some of your blogs I feel like it worked out for the best. I enjoy my sunshine, warm temps, and our oversized house with all the trimmings. 🙂

    Wishing you all the best on your next adventure! Congrats on the house and the baby bump!

  12. FoN

    Congrats on the house – it sounds fabulous! I’m new to you blog and I love it.

  13. I look away for one second…Girl, you are hard to keep up with! Congrats on the move, and the new house!

  14. SF is great! The weather is really nice and the culture is amazing. Not to be bias, but it IS California, woooo!

    And go go a new baby!

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