Things just got crazy around here!
We weren’t really planning on buying a house. In fact, we decided the last house we bought in 2015 would be our last when we sold it. The 2015 house was perfect. It had everything we were looing for and it was in an awesome location (at the end of a dead end street, surrounded with trees, it was where the sidewalk ended, and it was the last house on the left, ha ha). But the neighbor directly beside it hated our guts for whatever bizarre reason. She never spoke to me, ever, but was extremely aggressive. Whenever I was tending to the flowerbeds in the front yard she would immediately come out of her house with one of her dogs on a leash and stand on the edge of her property (less than 10 feet from me) to stare hatefully at me, mumble curse words, and let her dog bark at me non stop. I would get up and either go in the house or in the back yard and she would go back into her house. I’d wait five minutes or so and go back to weeding the flower bed, and here she’d come again. The last summer we lived there I gave up on the flower bed. And I think Andy and I sunk into a pretty deep depression. I know I was drinking way too much, like five shots of rum every night. The neighbor verbally tried to start a fight with Andy several times (he just ignored her and walked away) and even threatened, “I’ll beat your ass,” to Andy’s daughter when she was seventeen. I think that was when we decided we had to get the fuck out of there. And right before we listed the house we were unloading groceries from our car and she decided to stand in her back yard and kept yelling, “Fucking assholes!” over and over. And things got really creepy after that. Once the for sale sign went up, our neighbors across the street spilled the tea. Apparently her sister lived with her which WE LITERALLY NEVER SAW THE THREE YEARS THAT LIVED THERE. I had Whatever Happened to Baby Jane images running through my head, which creeped me the fuck out. I guess before we lived there she’d pushed her sister’s husband, who was in a wheelchair, down the front steps of their house, which led to a hospital stay and eventually he passes away shortly after. She also punched her elderly neighbor on the other side of her house in the stomach, who was a sweet old lady.
Once the house sold we both agreed that maybe renting was better. If our neighbor ended up being an asshole, the lease was only for a year, and we could move somewhere else. Before we moved into that house in 2105 we lived in Yellow Springs, Ohio. And we loved Yellow Springs. The best description I’d come across for Yellow Springs is that it’s a island of blue in a sea of red, if you catch my drift. The town is an old hippie town that was part of the Underground Railroad. There was and still is a large civil rights presence here. Andy loved coming here as a teen and brought me here on a date when we first started seeing each other. When I moved in with him at the end of 2012 we started looking for something a little bigger since he was living in a one bedroom apartment. I suggested Yellow Springs and we managed to find something in our price range to rent. Unfortunately, both of our jobs dropped some hours and, back then, it was cheaper to buy than rent in certain areas that weren’t Yellow Springs. So we bought the house in Dayton in 2015. In 2018 we moved to an high rise in downtown Dayton but mold became a problem and in 2021 we moved back to Yellow Springs by taking the only house available for rent, a 400 sq ft tiny home. After nearly two years in the tiny home, watching houses get listed and sold at a price we could afford, knowing that our neighbors have been great, we started to look.
And we didn’t look long. We looked at one house that needed to be gutted from roof to floor, plus electrical, plumbing, and central air unit all needed to go. I got discouraged but we got a great realtor who suggested that we get pre-approved for a mortgage since the market is crazy. The house that needed a lot of work? It was pending in five days. We thought for sure the only way we’d afford a house with the inflated prices was to get a fixer-upper.
Then our house was listed. Honestly, it just hasn’t sunk in. The couple who live there now are elderly and it’s their summer home. They live in Florida and Air B&B the house when they’re gone and Air B&B their house in Florida when they’re up here. They’ve gutted and remodeled the entire house since they bought it in 2017 and even paid a landscaper to professionally do their yard, which is a double parcel. It’s given me crazy imposter syndrome or something. I literally never thought I’d own something like it. Obviously, there was a bit of a bidding was for it. We offered the maximum amount we were pre-approved for, which was more than the listing price, and we only won by the skin of our teeth. Another bidder offered the same amount and the only reason we won was because, at the suggestion of our realtor, we waved an inspection and she suggested we could get a home warranty.
So here we are. We’re on our way to being home owners. I got a text from the loan officer on Friday and she said it’s in underwriting and the appraisal is Monday, which makes me nervous but the realtor is certain we won’t have any issues with the appraisal. Still makes me nervous. Our closing is June 13th but all of the loan people and the realtor say it’ll probably close sooner since we’re ahead of schedule. The only part that sucks is that we won’t be able to start moving in until August 3rd. Why so far away? Well, the owner’s house in Florida is booked through Air B&B until then. It was part of the conditions we agreed to when we made the offer. It’s not ideal but this is literally our dream home. It checked ever box on our list of all the wants with the small exception of a dish washer. But I’m certain that’ll be something we look into in the future once we bounce back from this punch in our savings.
Moving the first week of August isn’t something we’re looking forward to. If you follow Grindhouse Press then you know that I will be opening to submission the first week of August. But I think it’ll be fine. We’re taking five days off to paint the interior (because I have a raging hatred of the yellowish/cream color and my head might explode if I have to move into another beige house) and move all of our stuff. Did I mention the house is less than a block from the house we live in now?
The only thing that’s going to get sacrificed is my own writing. Andy and I were planning on coauthoring another book. We had so much fun writing Meat Photo that we wanted to writing something comparable to a Bentley Little novel. We’ve been talking about since we finished Meat Photo and even have a rough idea. In fact, we’d agreed to start on it Memorial Day weekend. But we’ve both realized that there isn’t much we can focus on at the moment other than the house. Maybe we’ll get to it next summer.
As for my health stuff, I’ve been doing a lot better. I may have mentioned it, and I’m sorry my memory it terrible, but I went in for my year check up since the heart ablation. I haven’t had any more A-fib since the surgery. I’m still taking the blood thinner and blood pressure meds because they said it might come back, and I still have a much less life-threatening arrythmia. I went for my sacroiliac joint injection and now I can actually lift my bicycle to get it out the shed with 0% pain. And just this last Thursday I had an epidural in my neck in the hopes that it will alleviate my shoulder pain. I won’t know for sure for a couple of weeks. The downside is I may have given myself tendonitis on the top of my foot, and my knee hasn’t been doing too good on the same leg since I mess it up in November. I’m currently staying off the bike and icing everything a couple times a day. If my foot and knee are still bothering me on Monday I’m calling my family doc. She wanted to give my a steroid shot in the knee a couple of weeks ago but I turned her down and took an oral steroid instead. Needles in my knee didn’t sound like anything fun. I think I should’ve just let her give me a shot. Getting old is fun!
Hope you’re all doing well.