The Gray Townhome

Stephen and I go to our favorite spot for lunch – Tower 7, right off the beach – to talk things over before we decide if we want to put in a bid on the gray townhome. I don’t want us to make a rash decision. We just came down here for the day to look at places, we don’t need to commit to anything yet. But as we talk about the pros and cons, we very clearly start to imagine our life together there, and it kind of seems like the perfect place for us. Now we’re eager to get the check and get out of here.

Back at Happy’s real estate office, Stephen and I go through the process of making a bid on the townhome.

This is so stressful. I have no idea how this all works. There’s a list price for the home, but when we look at other units in the complex, we see that they’ve all sold for less than the listing price. Should we go under to account for this? But the one we want is so much better than these other ones! Not to mention, it’s a 3-bedroom. A lot of these other units are only 2-bedrooms. We want a good deal, but we also don’t want to lose it.

After much discussion – mostly between Stephen and Happy with me watching them, clasping my sweaty hands on my lap and feeling helpless – we decide on a number. It feels like we’re gambling. I don’t like it.

Happy makes the call. She can’t tell on the phone where the seller stands. All we can do now is wait.

Stephen and I jump into the car and head over to a mortgage lender recommended by Happy. His name is Brad and he’s handsome and friendly and engaging and I immediately feel comfortable around him. I’m positive that he’s gay, like no chance that he’s not gay – and then he starts talking about his wife and kids.

I also thought Colton was gay and was SO MAD when he was named The Bachelor – because he’s gay and all these women are fighting for his love on the show. Turns out, he’s definitely not gay. He’s super duper in love with Cassie. So I should probably stop.

We go through this whole thing with Brad of getting a mortgage for this home, but we don’t even have it yet. It seems like bad luck.

Over the course of our 3.5 hour drive back to Charlotte, we go from really, really, really liking the townhome, to really, really, really not being able to live without this townhome. It’s PERFECT. It’s literally exactly what we want and need. It has everything and more. We start planning everything: what we’re going to put in each room, how we’re going to decorate, which walls we’re going to paint. I can see it all. I can see our future in this place.

We get home, exhausted but giddy at the prospect of buying our first home. We can’t help but feel like it’s ours. We make a plan that when the seller comes back to us to counter, we will go all the way up to the listing price. That’s how bad we want it. It’s totally worth it.

The next morning, we get a call from Happy. The seller has decided to go with the other buyer. Doesn’t even ask us to counter. Doesn’t give us the opportunity to do anything. Doesn’t tell us why.

To say that the wind has been taken out of our sails would be a gross understatement.

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