First, I suppose it's obligatory to wish you Happy Star Wars Day -- May the Fourth Be With You.
After I'd decided to wait on any house selling/buying decisions until after the new book comes out, I got a letter from someone who wants to buy my house. I've been hearing from Realtors who want to sell it, but this was a cash offer from someone who wants this house. Of course, there's that tricky issue that I'd need to find a place to buy, and I'd really rather avoid moving to an apartment and then moving again. But there were a couple of open houses very close by, on streets I'd identified as places I liked, so that's what I did on Sunday afternoon.
And that was when I learned that online real estate listings LIE. Or at least use photography tricks.
One house had what looked like a large front living room and a great room in the back, with an open kitchen, breakfast nook and den. I was figuring that the front room would be good for meetings for a group I'm in because it would fit a lot of folding chairs. Maybe one day I could get a piano, and it would fit in there, and I could put my current sofa there and get a cozy sectional for the den.
I walked into the house and immediately had a bout of claustrophobia. That large front room probably wouldn't have held my sofa and had any room to walk around it. An upright piano would have been a squeeze. Forget about even a teeny baby grand. My sofa also wouldn't have fit in the den. I'm going to have to measure my furniture and bring a tape measure when I do look at houses. That house had some weird features, like the table for the breakfast nook was built in, and it had a built-in aquarium on the wall between the den and master bedroom, with a huge cabinet in the master bedroom that I guess held all the machinery for the aquarium. But that meant there was little wall space for actual furniture in the bedroom. I cleared out of that house right away. This house was next door to the one I was eyeing a few weeks ago, and it's about 400 square feet bigger than that one, so I know that one must have been microscopic inside, considering that it looked small even in the photos.
The other house I looked at might have worked. It wasn't my ideal, but I think it would have been okay, and I was in love with the back yard. However, it went on the market Friday and there were already about five offers on it. The Realtor said it would probably be sold by the end of the day. The rooms, though, were still tiny. I'm not entirely sure my sofa would have fit in the den. The front "living" room would possibly have worked as a library to hold some bookcases and my chaise. I'm not sure either of the potential guest rooms would have held a double bed.
Since one of the reasons I want a new house is to have room to entertain, I may need to really up my budget to get something bigger. Really, if I could get my current house with a bigger kitchen and an extra bedroom, it would be lovely. Aside from the kitchen, I have nice, big, open rooms. Oh, and an attached garage and walk-in closets. So, yeah, I need a new house. But I want it to be the right house.
But then I really started thinking, and any delay isn't just for monetary reasons. The next few months will be critical for my career. I need to finish the book I'm working on. I need to get a proposal written for the next steampunk book. I need to do all the pre-launch PR. They've already told me they're booking a blog tour, so I'll have a lot of writing to do there to come up with content. I'll probably need to redesign my web site. There's no way I could do what I need to do for work and fit in buying a house and moving. The letter mentioned that they were flexible with timing, so I may e-mail them and say not now, but later in the year, in case they're still interested, and that I'll have my agent get in touch with them then (since there's no way I'd try to handle that kind of sale on my own).