We Bought a House

On Friday morning, we found out that our offer on a 3200 square foot house on an acre of land in Franklin had been accepted. We have an inspection on Sunday, and if that goes well, we could pay for it and move in as soon as this Friday.
For the last two days, we had been hunting intensely for a new home, and we saw a lot of great houses. There was one with what we called the Winchester Mystery Garage, though that’s better than it sounds — it had steps in the garage leading to a large storage space, in which we found a locked door. That house also had a tire swing and an attic with windows. We saw another house with a guest bedroom (not the master) downstairs, perfect for my in-laws. We drove down to Spring Hill, where our money would have gotten use a near new and massive 3 story luxury house overlooking an artificial pond and the neighbor’s pool.
We almost bought a house Peter nicknamed “Fallout house” because the son was playing Fallout 4 downstairs when we came to see it. It has a cute little nook with a door upstairs which Scout loved and an oversized garage. We were just about to write an offer when I read through the homeowners’ association rules and saw this development banned home businesses. Nonetheless, we were unsure our offer on the house on an acre (which also by the way, has a small koi pond and a large shed) would be accepted since we were under their asking price and it had only been on the market for less than a week. But that wasn’t the most exciting detail of our house hunting adventures.
At the end of our first day of house hunting, I received an alert from one of the real estate websites that a 4500 square foot house in Brentwood (a posh suburb north of Franklin and closer to Nashville) had just dropped in price to our range. By all indications, including the price, the house was thrashed and would need extensive work. The realtor had posted no pictures at all of the house or its interior, and it was marked that it was being sold as is. But Peter and I were curious, and booked a showing.
The house itself was not only in posh Brentwood, but in an exclusive section of Brentwood itself, near Dolly Parton’s house and on a private cul-de-sac it took some complicated maneuvering to get in to. The house did indeed look like it had been neglected, and was in sore need of a extensive clean up and some repair, including possible mold removal. We walked in and it looked like the owner was a huge football fan. Then we realized that the house didn’t belong to just a football fan — it belonged to a former Tennessee Titan.
We were amazed with our brush with celebrity and getting some insight to a football player’s life and priorities. The only scandal is that he didn’t take care of his house. But more fun than that was running around trying to figure out what all needed to be done to bring the house back up to snuff. It was priced 30 percent below its comparable neighbors, and it obviously needed a new kitchen, new flooring, landscaping, and a lot more. But if the damage wasn’t structural, plumbing, or roofing, it would be a great investment for someone willing and able to put in the time and money to fix it up.
As an aside, I was surprised that structural problems are more common in houses here than in California. I wondered how that could be, given that there are no earthquakes here to shock and shift the buildings. It turns out all the rain causes erosion that will also mess with a house. It’s nothing serious, but repairs were noted on the disclosures.
That evening, we decamped to our realtor Sue’s house and put our offer in. We’d already known what we wanted to offer on Fallout House, but had to regroup after we saw the homeowner association restrictions.
There are still prejudices against the South, which I heard from some people when I was moving. She had an even better story, telling us that it’s called a toothbrush because it was invented in Kentucky — had it been invented anywhere else, it’d be a teethbrush
Despite the fact that we wanted different houses, the football player’s house was the majority of our conversation. Peter is still fascinated with it and its potential. It would be awful to live in, and the utilities for such a large place would be high, too, but any improvements would pay for themselves multiple times over — not to mention that we’d be living in such a desirable and upscale area.
On another note, here is a picture of the pancake printer at our motel:
pancake-printer

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