Kirk and I looked for a house for a REALLY long time before we finally found our home in Tremont. The year was 2009, and Obama was giving people money to buy a house (an $8,000 tax credit). Kirk and I had been living together for a few months, but his lease was up and we really wanted a place of our own. We looked for a long time – lots of places were within our price range but needed some rehabbing (NOT our strong suit), or were ready to go but too expensive. Also, I had a bad habit of walking into a house, ignoring all the flaws and yelling “WE’LL TAKE IT!!” which is NOT helpful in the negotiation process.
Our lovely, patient realtor found this sweet little house on W. 5th Street in Tremont – walkable to all the bars and restaurants, but tons of street parking plus a yard and garage. Every room was a different, vibrant color. The house was built in 2002, which meant there was still several years of tax abatement left. It had a deck (which we ended up rebuilding), a finished basement, and plenty of space for us. We moved into the house in December 2009. I remember the day we moved – we got Chinese food, sat amongst the boxes and did not discuss how overwhelming owning a house was going to be. Fun fact: when you christen a ship, you break a bottle of champagne on the bow (which is the front, for all you non-boaters). Being a sailor, Kirk wanted to “christen” the house in a similar fashion and he did so, on our front steps. Unfortunately, because this was our own property now, we had to clean up all the spilled champagne and broken glass.
That house was so fantastic. We had so many memories there. Most are happy and joyful, some are sad and heartbreaking. This is the place where Kirk asked me to marry him. This is the place where we learned that Kirk’s dad passed away. This is the place where we brought our first baby home. This is the place where I experienced depression so crippling that I didn’t think I’d ever be normal again. Overall, this was our home where we began to figure out who we were as a couple, as a family, and as ourselves.
Some of the highlights (some good, some not) include:
- Kirk asking me to marry him, while I was wearing sweatpants and watching tv in our basement, and I thought he was 100% joking. He was not.
- The first of many “Friday before the 4th of July” parties
- Becoming good friends with our neighbors, and realizing that I can visit their house and the baby monitor could reach that far
- Learning that Kirk’s dad had died suddenly, and that our lives would never ever be the same.
- Me telling Kirk that I’m pregnant, while he was watching College Gameday, and his response was “Oh, ok.” and went back to watching TV.
- Bringing home our baby for the first time, wondering what the hell do we do now?
- Planning my sister’s surprise 30th birthday party, where we told her it was a housewarming party for us (we had just moved) so she helped clean my house and make flower arrangements. She’s still mad at me.
- Building a snowman with my son and nephew for the first time
- Having many impromptu parties, one of which was on NYE 2011, where we went to the bar after midnight and Kirk declared himself the “King of New Year’s” and took off his shirt at the bar
- Walking up to the Flying Monkey so many times with Kirk before we had kids, just to grab a beer and hang out
- Walking up to the Flying Monkey with Reid, when he could ride a tricycle and I was a cool mom, not a regular mom
And so many more, countless, loving memories. I will always love that house. I loved the neighborhood and everything it offered us. We decided in 2015 that we eventually wanted to expand our family (Sydney was born a year later) so we needed something bigger and in a better school system. We put the house on Air BnB and it did incredibly well. But, it was a lot of work. Eventually the cons outweighed the pros, and we decided to sell it.
I don’t know the backstory of who is buying our house. I think it’s a first time homebuyer, like we were. To you – I hope you love our house like we did. I hope you have parties, and fun, and make memories. I hope you experience heartbreak like we did because that’s part of life too. You have a great house, with great neighbors. You are buying more than a house. You are inheriting a home.