Never in our lives did we want to have a second house. House tending is a lot of work! And Dollissa isn’t a greedy landlady with slumlord aspirations, desiring to buy cheap and accrue wealth with shady renting tendencies. I mean, we continually joke that she is, but she really isn’t! We had stopped idly looking at real estate sites, but we found one at auctions like Carolina Auction And Reality. We were slowly and happily repairing the Headquarters. But then one of us looked forlornly out the front window, into the desolate pandemic streets, and saw a little sign in the neighbors’ yard which screamed to the world: FOR SALE.
A scheme was immediately formed. But of course we had to go through some processes first. You can also find real estate listings here.
Step 1: Talking Ourselves Out of It
Buying a house is expensive and it’s a lot of paperwork. It’s a lot of answering questions you’ve already been asked and getting two different versions of proof. It also involves some (attempts at) negotiations. It is tedious, bureaucratic, a little confusing, and occasionally surprising — but not entirely all that difficult. Not IMPOSSIBLE. The house was in better condition than HQ, so it didn’t seem so risky.
With apologies to Future Dollissa, we thought that it wasn’t so hard that we shouldn’t at least try.
Step 2: Asking Other People to Talk Us Out of It
It seemed like the most responsible thing in the world to do. We tried to talk ourselves out of it but we are just so smart and convincing! Therefore, we felt it would be wise to ask our friends and family to explain why we shouldn’t.
We have a large network of contacts from many walks of life with lots of living experiences. We explained the scenario of there being a nice house right next door, and wouldn’t it be amazing to just have two houses acting as one house? We made sure to not tell them the complete list of positives so that they would not be convinced. Other than Dollissa’s mom, but including MY parents, everyone was resoundingly in favor of this immense impulse purchase. There were maybe five cons that many people came up with. It was not enough to dissuade us.
Step 3: Make a Large Vision Board on a Wall
At this point in the timeline, the house had been on the market for a week and we had noticed that many other houses in the neighborhood had ALREADY been sold. Even one across the street! My friend Carrie was trying to buy a house at the same time, and she kept coming up empty handed because a place she liked would be listed in the morning and would be pending by that very evening!
We began to feel pressure but became stubborn about it. We wanted to raise enough money to not feel huge mortgage pressure in the future — you’re welcome, Future Dollissa. We assured each other every day that if we were meant to have this extravagant addition to our lives, then it would happen. We didn’t have to rush. I made this fancy chart on the wall of the HQ, surrounded by all of the good things it would bring to us, and out of fairness, there at the bottom, the smattering of weak negatives. We gazed upon the image every day and waited, strangely certain it would all work out.
Step 4: Viewing and Waiting
Dollissa had an official viewing of the house a few times, went to the Open House, brought parents in for extra eyes. Each time, the house made a favorable impression. Also, we can skip ahead like three months at this point — still on the market! Never an offer. Destiny was giving us all the space we needed.
Each time we viewed the house, or even gazed at it through any of our windows, because it’s only like ten feet away, we would think of it as ours already. We would mentally repair its exterior boards. We would view the back yard and imagine them as one large combined yard. We would whisper promises to it. We stared hungrily, like creeps.
Step 5: An Offer and Hiding from Dollissa’s Mother
Despite the threats and warnings about fiscal responsibility roaring in from Dollissa’s beautiful and kind mother — she is out of physical reach in NYC, so an offer was made on that house sometime in October, or maybe it was September. All of the pains listed in Step 1 occupied our minds and stressed us out. We would remind ourselves of the forty kinds of fun we planned to have by looking at the charts. We stayed strong and didn’t despair.
Just in time for the closing, Jamie moved up here from North Carolina, and we had a non-party party on Halloween. We didn’t dress up but we did eat a lot of candy. And we stared at the side of the house that we should have been allowed in already but had to wait until Monday because of some stressful bank reason. Glory was within reach!
Step 6: Moving In!
On November 2, 2020, our little expansionist empire was finalized. We began to move our belongings into that house, then back into House 1. Rooms were re-purposed, minor repairs completed, dreams attained, visions realized, a whole new furnace installed… Zesta moved into House 2, and Muriel moved into House 1. We have an obscene amount of space, and we have one or two friends being continuously wooed into moving in and joining us. Become one of us. One of Us!
Now that we have a triple lot Sneer Compound, as we now call it, we are truly living in destined splendor — and the rest of the block better watch out.