On this day ten years ago, I did something that ultimately changed the course of my life forever: I walked into a real estate office.
A couple of days before, I had spoken on the phone with a very nice sounding real estate agent named Chris. He was friendly and easygoing, and even used the word “cool” at one point during our phone conversation. He had a home listed for sale in a nearby town – Mount Holly – that I had found online. I did the usual modern-homebuyer thing and filled out the online form and figured the Realtor wouldn’t call. But he did.
I was on the edge of turning 23 years old and I was living at home with my parents. I had been home from college for over a year at that point and was really psyched about getting my own place. It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy living with my parents, but rather that I had an ungodly obsession with HGTV and couldn’t contain my creative tendencies to just one room anymore. It was time.
When I figured that I could buy a small home for about the same as I’d pay to rent a sizeable apartment, the decision was a no-brainer. So, my search began both online and in my car after work. I would drive around towns and neighborhoods that I liked and would write down the addresses of houses that were for sale and then I’d go home and look at them online. Yet, I never “pulled the trigger” and called on any of the houses. That is, until I saw Chris’ listing. Remember: everything happens for a reason.
So, I walked into the real estate office, having made sure to wear my glasses instead of contacts (I wanted this Chris guy to take me seriously, and what better way than to wear glasses, right?) and asked the much older gentleman in the front office for a “Chris Martin.” I was hoping beyond hope that the old guy wasn’t Chris.
Just a couple of minutes later, I was pleased to see that Chris was a young, good looking, well dressed, and friendly real estate agent. He had no identifiable marks or indicators that he was a psycho, womanizer, or otherwise unsavory character, so I figured I’d be okay. Afterall, I was riding in on the advice from my parents “not to sign anything” and my personal assumption that many real estate agents were shady and operated selfishly for the almighty dollar (this, in the future, we found to be hilarious when my dad and I both decided to become licensed real estate agents, too). By the way, most real estate agents are not, in fact, “shady” and in most cases, operate quite UN-selfishly for the better interest of their clients.
But I digress.
Chris and I sat down together and he started asking me all the pertinent questions about my desire to buy a home – and giving me the answers I was seeking. We were off to a good start. We made plans to get together in a couple of days to start viewing homes. I didn’t buy the house Chris had listed for sale and in fact, I viewed plenty of other homes with him. But, it only took 10 days for me to finally find a cute house and I put in an offer.
Little did I know that I was not just looking for my first home, but also for the house in which he and I would spend the first 10 years of our relationship together.
Yep, that’s right. Ten years ago today I met my husband. He started as my real estate agent, and is now my soulmate. We are still living in the house I bought. We’ve renovated it together, hosted many parties and made many memories in between these very close walls, welcomed two crazy dachshunds to live with us, and are now welcoming our first child. It’s a small little “love nest” (as Chris puts it) and it’s home. We love our little home, and boy is it cozy – but I can feel the time is coming to make a move again. While this may not happen for a little while longer, it’s definitely on the horizon.
And in an odd twist – that house that I originally called about, the one Chris had listed for sale in Mount Holly ten years ago? It’s for sale again now: http://cmartin.findanjhome.com/listing/mlsid/252/propertyid/6103357/
We could always move there. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?
But this blog entry isn’t about houses – rather it’s about the celebration of a simple choice, and how that choice (plus an open mind and an open heart) has made all the difference in changing the course of my life, Chris’ life, and the life of all of those people who know us.
Pretty great, right?