Saturday, November 26, 2011

House Hunting

Alternatively titled: What Were We Thinking?

Alternatively titled: We Are Out of Our Ever Living Minds.

It is now the end of November (in case you were unaware,) and we do not get to move until after June 14th, 2012. But for some reason, we thought it would be a grand idea to use this Saturday to go scope out our future city.

Ian's boss invited us out and planned the day around a lunchtime meeting and then going to view several different areas of town, to see what we would be most interested in later on. His wife is 9 months pregnant and they are going to be in the States come moving day so I suppose it is a good idea to lay the ground work for this move now.

We arrived in the city with only two minor glitches.

Glitch #1- Our in town border post (the police station) was closed today because the country finally decided to celebrate their National Day. Their National Day WAS on the 18th, but the people don't celebrate/have off from work until a different time (usually after the 18th.) Every year it is different, but usually the king will announce when the celebration days are in the newspaper a couple of days before hand and then every one will just have off.

So yeah, we had to add an hour to our drive time and go to the far away border post.

Glitch #2- We got lost. And I say we loosely, because only one of us was driving. hmph.

I may have told my husband that we're buying him a GPS.

Maybe that wasn't the most festive thing to say.

But we arrived and had our meeting and piled back into the car and headed for lunch at Ikea. Because that's what we like to do.

And also, it is cheap.

While we were there, Ian's boss told him a friend had called him the day before. A friend he hadn't heard from in a year. The friend told him that his brother had a brand new villa (fancy word for condo or house) that he wanted to rent out, and would he happen to know anyone who was in the market?

Why yes, I suppose he DOES know someone in the market!


We're in the market for a house, in case you are lost in my storytelling skills.

So he drives over to Ikea, picks us up and takes us to the brand new (read: construction schmutz everywhere) house. My mouth is just hanging as we get out. It's gorgeous. It's right by the ocean. Did I mention it was gorgeous.

"We're never going to afford this," I whisper as we step inside.

"And it's definitely too big!"

Too big, you ask. Yes, too big. You see, much like the army used to have, Ian's company has square footage maximum's in order to have equal housing for all of its employees all over the world. So, even though your dollar can get you more here than in say, London, you aren't allowed to have a giant mansion because that's not fair.

So, we step in through the door into a massive walled in patio. The house is in a giant U shape around the patio with a wall closing in the top of the U. We walk to a sliding glass door in the middle of the U and enter the house. The two local men who are showing us the house keep switching between Arabic and English and I tune them out. I look at what could possibly be my future home.

Windows everywhere, light streaming in.

Mental note: Thankful that power bill is included in rent. The AC it would take to cool this place!!!

Before me, a large family room, with sliding wooden doors to close off the room.

To the right, a bedroom, living room, bathroom, and front door. We're told that this area would be partitioned off and used by the owner of the house. My first glimmer of hope, the square footage might be within the limits!

On the left side of the U, a gorgeous kitchen with (fake) wood cabinets and tons of drawers. A dishwasher space is built in. Miracle of all miracles! Off of the kitchen is a small room with a washing machine hook up and a sink, and off of that room is what should be the maid's quarters but would be a laundry room/pantry for us.

Continuing down the hallway, a large room opens up with windows lining one side of the wall. It would be our dining room on one side and perhaps some of our books and a cozy chair on the other.

Further down, a bedroom and a bathroom. This would be Ian's study. Lovely.

Upstairs, two smaller bedroom lie in the middle of the U along with a balcony. Both bedrooms have a bathroom en-suite and the wardrobes are already built in.

On the right of the U is the master bedroom and bath, with a nice walk in shower. Not a ton of natural light in this room though.

On the left side of the U is another larger bedroom and bath, with a wall of windows. I think this would be our master and we could "close off," the other one to be under the square footage allowance. This room also has a patio but I forgot to go out there.

The downstairs patio, in the middle of the U is HUGE. You could have a large swimming pool and deck down there, but we would probably have them put pavers down so we could have a grill and patio set, along with play area for Grace.

Ian's boss talks with his friend, explains that we don't need to move in until June/July. He also asks for the price.

His friend says that it would be okay to hold it until June/July, but that he would need the year's rent in January to hold it (it's customary here to pay for a year's rent at the start of the year.) Ian's boss isn't sure that the company will front all of that money so early. They talk price and I stand in the patio willing myself not to picture us living there.

Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it.

They get the price down to within our budget.

We get in the car, make promises to call them, and head out.

My head spins. I want this house! It's so beautiful, with windows, and space to breathe!

But no, now we wait. The company has to be informed and they have to tell us what their policy is, whether they would pay for the year 6 months early. My gut is "No," but my heart keeps saying "It was such a God thing- this friend calling for the first time in a year the day before we were coming house hunting!"

Now we wait.

We did look at some other areas. One was an absolute winner- a 3 bedroom plus a study town home with outdoor space and lots of light. Within our budget and in a great neighborhood with a gym, playground, pool, etc. Definitely a fall back..

The other neighborhood. Well, let's just say I told Ian's boss it looked like a war zone.

And I wasn't kidding.

We left soon afterward, ha!

And now, we wait. We have tons of time so we are in no rush. But what was I thinking?! I'm such a dreamer and planner- my heart already wants to decorate and furnish this house into a home!

7 months, 7 months, 7 months.

I must keep myself grounded here for 7 more months.

Oh boy.


Alison said...

Excited to see where ya'll end up!!! :)

katie said...

This is so exciting girl! Will be praying for you over the whole situation!

Tami said...

I think Ikea is a perfectly acceptable lunch spot. :) I love going there but it's quite a hike for us so I don't make it over there too often. I can't imagine how hard it must be house hunting here. We were assigned our house so we didn't have to do any looking or negotiating. The villa you found sounds amazing! I hope you get an answer soon. What area is it in? I hope these 7 months pass by quickly!

Callie said...

Oh, it sounds lovely! I guess it didn't end up being too big? I hope you can get it!

Courtney said...

Wow, Britt, that house sounds amazing! When do you hear back from the company? At least you have a good back up house.

Lauren said...

that house sounds fabulous! can't wait to hear what you find out from Ian's company!

Jessica said...

Wow, that place sounds amazing!! Praying that everything works out perfectly for you, and the wait isn't too brutal!

Lindsay said...

That house sounds A-mazing!!! Oh my gosh that would be so hard on me too. I can't wait to see when you find out something.