If you told me a year ago that we would be living in our very own home, I would have laughed at you. The idea of breaking free of the chains of apartment living and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars that we didn’t have was an impossibility—a full-on pipe dream.
That said, about a month ago, Allison and I signed the final ream of paperwork and took possession of the keys to 138 Williamson Ave—the house of our dreams. The place is located amidst a row of hundred-year-old-houses in the historic section of Bloomfield, NJ. Both of us spent the better part of our lives living a stones throw away in West Orange and Roseland (and for the past seven years in neighboring Montclair). We love Montclair and adore Essex County, but never fathomed buying a home in the area.
It was no easy journey. We spent the past year searching through hundreds of listings and visiting dozens of houses. Allison would wake up every morning and peruse the bevy of house-for-sale postings shuttled over to us by our amazing real estate agent Merle Martin. She’d cull those down to the most promising leads and we would head out on Sunday afternoons to visit them.
Here’s a word of advice. This might be a great time to buy a home, but there is a ton of terrible houses on the market. It also doesn’t help that we are very picky. We weren’t looking for a starter home and we are obsessed with mid-century modern design. So needless to say the options were a bit limiting.
Then lady luck hit us. We had just visited a Franklin Lloyd Wright-inspired home that was sadly sub-divided and renovated in the worse possible way. Feeling kind of down, Allison suggested we visit one last home in Bloomfield that was kind of on the way home. It had just been listed and had zero photos on the Web, but she didn’t want to give up so early in the day.
We pulled up beside our future home and I was immediately taken aback by the size of the yard and the lovely front porch. We walked in to find that this 1927 colonial had been completely restored and finished with an adorable ’50s style kitchen. A multitude of windows in every room allowed a vast amount of light to permeate every section of the home, and the stage designer had done the place up in mid-century furniture that made us both swoon.
We ran down to the basement for a quick pow-wow. Could we afford it? (It was about $40,000 more than we could spend) And was it worth it? We both agreed it was and slowly made our way upstairs. We looked at all the other prospective buyers at the open house, sizing each of them up to determine whether they would be competition and whether we could beat them at a bid. We went through the house two more times to make sure it was perfect (I was sold after seeing the stain-glass pirate ship window on the staircase landing), and then ran off to find out how one actually goes about buying a home.
Two months later—a ton of money shuffling and stress—and it’s ours. We still have two-dozen boxes to unpack, but we couldn’t be happier. It’s so awesome to have a place to call our own, and we can’t wait to share it with all our friends, families and clients.
We’d like to thank and recommend all the awesome people that made our house buying experience painless. Thanks guys. You rock.
Dickson & Dickson—Our amazing attorney Craig Dickson
Merle Martin—Real Estate Agent extraordinaire
Blochinger Home Inspection—Best Inspector Ever
Frank V. Gatto—Home Capital Network