Well, I’ve been working with a lot of first time buyers lately. It all has me remembering when I was a first timer myself.
This was my first house. Before we found it, my wife and I drove all over every neighborhood we thought we could afford. This was back when rates had dropped ALLLLLL the way down to just over 7%, so you didn’t get as much house for your money back then.
This place was for sale by owner. There was just a sign in the yard. We called and were able to go right inside since they were home. We fell in love with it immediately. I was on an old house kick back then, so the mirrored double mantled fireplace with green subway tile did me in. Looking back, it was really a dump. I should have figured it out when all my friends tried to conceal their reaction when they came to see it…..but I was in love.
The house didn’t have central air, and only had a giant floor furnace to heat the whole house. The room with the furnace would get like 110 degrees in the winter, then the room beside it would be 80, the next room 60, and by the time you got to the end of the house you didn’t even think there was any heat at all. But we took care of that by using the Buck stove insert the house had. Every morning before I left for work, I would stack about 8-10 pieces of wood by the back door for my wife to burn. It would take about 2 hours for her to even get a good fire going. In the evenings, it was so funny because we would have to time how long we would be gone. A trip to Wal-Mart meant we threw on one log while we were gone to keep the fire going. Dinner and a movie was a two log deal.
I have some crazy memories of this place. The local driver’s education class at the high school would use my street as the training route. On the weekends, before the big test, I’d look out my window to see every 16 year old using MY car to parallel park. I never understood why there was something so sacred about parallel parking in front of my house when the only thing you need was at least one other car? The fire department would use the alley behind my house to do their annual driving tests too. They had to back up the alley, which mean you’d hear a diesel engine running and the “BEEP-BEEP-BEEP” of an ambulance backing up. Then there was the train. We knew there was a track very close, but we didn’t know there was a spot just up the track where they would connect the train cars together. Don’t know if you’ve ever heard that, but it sounds like two 18 wheelers crashing into each other………every 15 minutes…….all day and night.
I’ve got a lot of good memories too. We brought both of our boys home from the hospital to this house. My parents had central heat put in so our first born wouldn’t feel like he was born during Little House on the Prairie times. We painted the nursery and got new carpet. Then the next little boy showed up to the party. We had great birthday parties for them with great friends in the backyard. I did a lot of landscaping, and thanks to the neighbors busted sewer line, the Sweet Bay Magnolia tree on the right grew really fast!
I’m having a good time with all my first time buyers. It is cool to know that I had a little part of the memories they are about to create.