I fell in love with the yellow house the first time I saw it online. I’d been scrolling through house listings and dreaming of moving out of the house I’d come to hate living in. The brick box where we’d lived for the past seven years was a house of tragedy for our family. Horrible things had befallen us there, and the weight of those memories sat heavily upon our family, but the financial reality of years with a chronically ill child meant that moving seemed unlikely. So I looked at house listings online and dreamed of the day when we wouldn’t have to live there any longer.
I stumbled upon the yellow house, whether by accident or providence, I don’t know. Its cheerful facade and historic architecture charmed me long before I saw the interior. I teared up as I slowly flipped through the online pictures – here was home. I knew it instinctively. This was my home and it was months before we would be ready to buy it.
I sent the listing to a realtor friend of mine and begged her to tell me that I was crazy to fall in love with a hundred year old house in a tiny town I’d never even known existed. She didn’t call me crazy, instead she said, “I think we should go see it.” So we did. It ticked all of our “impossible to fulfill” needs: five or more bedrooms, huge yard (half an acre,) handicapped accessible downstairs including a bedroom and bathroom for Ella, charm, and walls. I was done with dreadful open concept houses with their lack of alone time and noises that carry all the way through them.
We first saw it in person way back in June, and again I knew with a certainty that it was home. “Maybe it will still be on the market in a few months,” I said without much hope. The housing market is crazy here, with houses often selling in a few hours, for it to linger unsold for months seemed unlikely. I wasn’t surprised a few weeks later when the online listing changed to “Sale Pending.”
“I really thought it was the one,” I told my realtor friend. She shrugged and began sending me other possibilities, advising me to keep an open mind. We worked on securing financing, and she worked on finding us a home that would fit our timeline.
As time ticked by, we settled on a house a few miles from where we were living – smaller and more modern that we wanted, but accessible and with a huge yard. We made an offer and things were looking good. We started to pack and plan. I was arranging furniture in my head, and preparing to move. We gave notice to our land lady for the end of August, and thought everything was done. When our deal fell through in mid July, we began to panic. We suddenly had nowhere to go and were running out of time.
Suddenly THE house was back on the market. It had fallen out of contract and was once again available. That’s when I began praying in earnest, and things began moving at breakneck speed.
First I told the whole sordid tale to a dear friend. It turns out that her sister in law works in the mortgage business. She put her people to work, and figured out what to do with us in less than a day. “You just need to find a house,” she told us. That was the easy part, and by the end of the day we were under contract. By the end of the week, our mortgage paperwork was done and we were staring at the email informing us that we were “Clear to Close.” Five days later, we sat at the title company signing the paperwork which made the sweet yellow house on a quiet street in a tiny town ours.
The next day we began moving in, and the whole neighborhood turned out to help. Teenage boys pulled things off of our U Haul truck and the ladies from around the corner dropped off a cooler of drinks while we unloaded in 103° heat. Neighbors from up and down the block stopped by to introduce themselves and welcome us home.
Nine days later and before the boxes are all unpacked, it really is home, just as I knew it would be six months earlier when I first sighed over the front porch with the welcoming front door. Only now it’s our front door, and the family that lives here is ours.
Return to The Catholic Conspiracy