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I don’t know if head-hunting could hold too much more of a mixture of fear and adrenaline than house-hunting does. I guess it depends on where one grew up, the rainforest or the complexities of civilization. Looking for a house is new ground for me. It fills me with an excitement and thrill as well as with twinges of fear and un-surety. As you can probably guess, I’ve never been directly involved in purchasing a home before and the last time my parents went through the home-buying process, I was only seven. I’ve lived in rented homes or college dormitories since I was twelve years old—over half my life. Renting seems safe. After all, if things go wrong, it’s not up to you to foot the bill. Things could go drastically wrong with house-buying. But it’s what we humans do. Yes, it’s done differently in different cultures, but pretty much every one looks for a “bit of earth” to be their own, to call home. It brings a bit of security in an insecure world. John Ruskin wrote, “I am at work in my own little garden among the hills, conscious of little more than the dust of the earth… I like the place I have got.” Each time I read these words, a longing flutters inside of me, reminding me of desires that at times lay dormant.
John and I have been talking about buying, not because we’re simply sure that we’ll be in Scotland for many years to come, but because it really is the seemingly most financially sound decision to make. The market here is doing well, to say the least. Properties are automatically appreciating as time marches on. However, we didn’t know if this would be a possibility for us considering the amount in the bank account. But recently we found out that it is definitely a possibility and we went to look at our first flat yesterday.
We heard about this property on Love Street from a friend. It’s one of four flats in a two story building (three story by American standards) that is oldish above a couple of small businesses. I walked by it several times on the way to and from town, perusing it as much as one can do from the street level. I revelled in its large windows and proximity to all the things I walk to: the clinic, the park, the toddler and nursing groups, the town centre. But what was it like?
John came home from work yesterday asking me if I’d like to go look at it. “Of course” responded I and just before dinner we set out with Aria, leaving Kiera with her aunt and uncle. The five minute walk took a little longer as the late spring sky decided to pour forth all her woes in a torrential downpour complimented by a little thunder and lightning to boot. Aria was beside herself by the time we got there and the umbrella hadn’t prevented the cuffs of John’s pants and my skirt bottom to be thoroughly soaked. A man called Bryan, impeccably dressed in a dark suit, was waiting in the doorway of the building and we hurried in out of the streaming rain. We climbed two flights of an old stone stairway that curved its way up to the top floor. I studied the stairs beneath my feet: smooth stone, uneven around the edges and deeply worn in the middle by the shoes of many feet over a great number of years; a little scary, yes, but the character of them charmed me completely. The flat itself was old as well. This had some good and bad points. Bad points: dark carpets of a variety of colours horrendously stained, a tiny bathroom with a leaky tub, a small kitchen that needs a face-lift, and who knows what else. Good points: high ceilings with original mouldings in the master bedroom and living room, large living room with good windows and a lovely view, two large bedrooms. So that’s that. If we do end up buying it, we’ll put a lot of work into it to increase the value as well as make it appealing for us to live in.
And John just called me this morning to tell me that he put in an offer on the place. I’m having to trust him, and ultimately to trust God despite the attacks of worry that will come from time to time.

4 Responses to “House-hunting.”

  1. Jayne
    June 5th, 2007 08:29

    Just took some time to read up on the Clancy’s for the last month and a half. I will be praying for your decisions and God’s guidance. If that doesn’t work out we have a big farm house in Ogema we aren’t using. Email me and I will catch you up on the latest Gilge news. Give those girls a hug and and kiss. We miss you. Jayne

  2. Rachel
    June 7th, 2007 13:38

    We found out this week that it isn’t going to work out to buy at present, so I guess we’ll rent for six more months. I do know that the right timing and the right house with meet and when they do “that’ll be us” as the Scottish say.

    Alex, thanks for the offer though we don’t need cupboards at present:-) Hope you guys are good.

    Jayne, an Ogema farmhouse does sound nice. Perhaps we could transport it?;-) Hope to see you soon.

  3. G&G
    June 7th, 2007 20:13

    Hi Rachel and John, just read you latest musings.When you buy, do you buy a flat or the whole house? When the time’s right, I’m sure the right one will come along. John Jr. gave us a couple of darling pictures of my babies.O how I miss you all. We’re both doing OK and really enjoying the summer. No I guess it’s still spring but soooo nice. Love,Gram and great gram.

  4. Jessica
    June 13th, 2007 10:57

    don’t i know all that about house hunting… don’t worry, your turn will come! by the way, love the new pics – so fun!

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