Monday, February 18, 2008

Home anniversary?

Well, today is President's Day. On this holiday, 7 years ago, we found our home!! Well, to be more accurate, MIKE found our home! Remember our realtor back then... "Robyn Strobeck, your friendly realtor with a friendly smile" or something like that. Hey, she did her job well enough that I still remember her name.

Anyway... we had looked at a myriad of homes all over the place... Kent and Auburn mostly. We didn't want to leave the Auburn ward we were in. Federal Way was OUT. I was convinced that Federal Way was a ghetto and there was no way I was living there! Period. (In all fairness, I had judged the entire city on just a few places I'd seen. Bad me.) So when Mike told me he'd found a house online, I was a little more than skeptical. (Our realtor had been continually showing us terrible homes. They were either ugly or in bad neighborhoods or had bad pet odors.) We made an appointment to have Robyn show us the house. That happened to be on President's Day, 2001.

As we began driving out towards the house, through the Twin Lakes area, past the lush, green golf courses, around the windy road amidst the tall and beautiful tress, I could feel myself opening up about the idea. Perhaps Twin Lakes wasn't so bad after all. Maybe I could like this place.

When we pulled up to the house, I took one look at it and thought, "Okay, it's nice. I'll at least get out and have a look." So we walked up the walkway and Robyn opened the door for us. We walked in and the first thing I noticed was how bright it was. The floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room let in a massive amount of light. I think Mike was sold at that very moment. He sort of had that Brigham Young moment... "This is the place"...

We looked around. I was surprised at how large the bedrooms were. I was surprised that there were FOUR bedrooms. We had only been looking at 3-bedroom homes. We didn't think a 4- bedroom home was in our price range. So far, so good. Then we knocked on the walls. I know that sounds silly, but we had been living in a condo with VERY thin and poorly constructed walls. I expected to hear the all-familiar hollow echo come back to me when I knocked. Imagine my pleasant surprise when I got a hard thud! Ahhh... solid walls!

The backyard and back deck were dreamy. I can still remember the daffodils had just bloomed and they were everywhere. There was a beautifully manicured space back there, complete with koi pond. I have to admit, it worked its magic on me. There are condos behind the house. I was worried about that. But those fears were put to rest when I realized that they were mostly condos and not apartments. And then we talkd to Teresa, who was living next door at the time. She assured us that in her 20+ years of living there, she'd never had a problem. (And for the record, in our 7 years here, we haven't either!)

But then there is the matter of the kitchen. Admittedly, I hated it. There is no way to sugar coat that one. I even said so. Anyone "in the know" will tell you that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. This house had two bathrooms and a kitchen that were NOTHING to write home about. The kitchen screamed "I love the '70s!" Chocolate brown cabinets with yellow swirly formica countertops. Ooo la la! Mike assured me that we could change it in the future. The whole house was 1970's actually. Chocolate brown doors... chocolate brown, thin-strip moulding, the original water heater and the original furnace... all original appliances actually... single-pane, aluminum windows, etc. The home was built in 1979. The spirit must've put blinders on my eyes because somehow, I agreed to put an offer down on the home.

Fast forward... we did buy the house for the unbelievable price of $179,000!! (It was an average home price 7 years ago, but you couldn't buy anything for that money today!)

Our lives and our home have changed a lot since 2001. We've changed pretty much everything in the house. All new appliances, new floors (at least three times over now!), new doors and moulding, a whole new kitchen, all new bathrooms, and many other things. The house we live in today is hardly reminiscent of the home we lived in 7 years ago.

And let's not forget the two beautiful boys who've come to share this home with us. The memories we've created have made me fall in love with my home all over again. I look forward to many, many more fun and exciting adventures in this house. And for the record... I love Federal Way!

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