Under Contract
Giving Thanks for the Whole "Not Going To Be Homeless" Thing

Flipping Coins. And Nuts.

So. We hand over the keys to the new owners in 30 days 27 days. They are newlyweds and apparently we've "made their dreams come true." They are also going to "paint over everything, including the leaves I painted with my OWN HANDS in my son's nursery, letsnotthinktoohardaboutthatokaythanksbye."

I've been saying "30 days" since Saturday, and yet it turns out that time is not a static concept but rather keeps on slipping (slipping!) into the future. Like dust in the wind, like sands through the hourglass, time marches on. I know! I am shocked, and frankly, I blame popular culture for not reinforcing this idea in a way I could easily understand.

As it stands now, we are going to be homeless in 27 days, because we are so. flipping. nuts.

When we first started this whole moving nonsense, we drove through a charming little suburban neighborhood with our realtor and I pointed at a charming little brick house and said I wanted a house just like that. And our realtor said awesome, because there are no less than 40 bazillion houses just like that around here. And I said awesome, and Jason said awesome and it was like, totally going to be awesome.

REAL ESTATE RULE NUMBER ONE: You should probably go inside the house you are thinking of buying.

After touring about 39 bazillion of these charming little brick houses, it finally occurred to me that I actually don't like them much after all. They are very small and kind of musty. And have very inconvenient toilets, and after living with one toilet, and one that's on a different floor than my bedroom, I am pretty much insistent that our next house have a toilet on every level. In fact, if I have to pee, I'd like to walk no more than 10 feet before hitting the nearest toilet.

I think I might be more of a...townhouse person? Or maybe a mansion person? I do like mansions. 

Then Jason test-drove his commute from the charming little suburban neighborhood and came home with an eyelid twitch and an overwhelming sense of homicidal rage.

REAL ESTATE RULE NUMBER TWO: Choosing a neighborhood you sort-of drove through once -- you know, we were on our way to IKEA? and we stopped at that bakery where I got that scone? that was a fucking delicious scone -- is probably not very smart.

And of course, there's the issue of the C-H-I-L-D and the S-C-H-O-O-L-S and those shifty-looking, no-good-punk T-E-E-N-A-G-E-R-S hanging around the playground, just waiting to sell my precious son drugs and get him hooked on meth and completely ruin his chances of getting into a good preschool. 

Thankfully, our realtors (we have two, actually, who work as a team so there's pretty much ALWAYS someone available to listen to my latest crazy wishlist of home features) ("Toilets no more than 10 feet away at all times! And I also want a little monkey in a hat who dances for nickels!") have been super great about hauling us all over creation to look at houses, pretty much non-stop the past couple days.

Which is why I have to wrap this entry up now, without any kind of conclusion or point, because we have to go look at some more houses that we will probably hate.

REAL ESTATE RULE NUMBER THREE: Just flip a damn coin already. If your kid gets hooked on drugs it will most certainly be your fault, but Jesus Christ, it won't have anything to do with the neighborhood, but rather because you made him spend the majority of his formative years at an extended-stay hotel while you complained about countertops and phantom cat odors, because you are so. flipping. nuts.


Photo repeated for emphasis.



Again, good luck! I really do hope you find something you love. Although, I guess any house is better than no house at all, but, yeah. I don't know. Good luck!


Uhhh yeah, good luck with all of that. I know you're find the right place (in 27 days or less), so just have fun with the hunt until then.


I'm sensing that you're slightly stressed about this?!?! I'm sure it'll work out - in 27 days time you'll be moving into your dream home! Positive Mental Attitude is the key. But you can always keep dressing Ceiba up to de-stress.


I live in the perfect location, big town houses,walking distance to school so great they almost make you weep with joy, bakery on corner by my own home.....you could live here too but I'm in England, might be a bit far to commute maybe?


You're hilarious.

Seriously, good luck with this, I cannot imagine the stress!!


Word to toilets every 10 feet. My current house is the first place I've ever lived with more than one bathroom, and I am not sure how I ever lived with only one toilet. The downstairs bath is currently dismantled while the floor is tiled, and I find myself standing in the doorway of the bathroom, staring at the hole where the toilet should be, and sighing irritatedly that I have to WALK UP A FLIGHT OF STAIRS to pee. GOD!

Lisa V

You aren't even considering how this will effect Ceiba. Is there carpet worthy of peeing on? But no, it's baby this, baby that, but no mention of the comforts and dignities of the most important family member. Look for a yard with a fence she can dig under, because that is how she can get away and remember her wild, pack animal instincts, while you run behind her swearing "Come back you little bitch!" And it's not even swearing, because she is like you know, a bitch.

Good luck.


ok so word to the wise, if you look at townhomes, check water pressure on the third level. i had to fly to VA and pick out my house in one day!! talk about stress. Townhomes are like apts, no privacy.... next door neighbors can be weird... drive around the area after school lets out and see what is around. knock on your neighbor's door and introduce yourself. i was very very lucky, when I bought the townhome and I had great neighbors on both sides of me and when we signed the papers it was the day before the huge snowstorm you guys got 3 yrs agoa nd our neighbor's called to let us know our roof didn't cave in.

Good luck and think happy thoughts!!! Also think how many hours til happy hour HAHAH!!!


i will never ever get tired of that picture of ceiba.

then again, i dress my cat up. he has long johns and sweaters.

so maybe i am just a weirdo.


While you're flipping nuts with stress and poopy diapers and touring homes with toilets twelve feet away instead of ten, we're all sitting here, happily, thinking how romantically exciting this new chapter of your life is!

So: while I sit on my ass and look at your pretty pictures, you can be out doing all the work.

Don't you think I'd do well in a career in management?


Get an organ grinder to go with that monkey and you're set.


I wish you all the luck in your search. This is a tough area for real estate, that's for sure.


Okay, so I tried email, but I'll try here too: my cute, renovated (not musty or old-lady-smelling) cape cod is for sale. We have three baths, ONE ON EACH LEVEL, and you can walk to both Starbucks and a bakery from here. Plus, there are loads of SAHMs and WAHMs in the neighborhood - including me, because we are only moving three blocks away. My kids go to the public school, which we like very much. And it's a quick hop onto the Beltway for commuting. Check it: http://homes.longandfoster.com/Real-Estate/PropertyDetails.aspx?MlsCompanyID=2&MlsNumber=MC6241327.


The joys of moving! You're killing me. We are going to need to move in the next year so that KayTar is in a better school district for her therapy...and I am SO not looking forward to it. SO. NOT. And you just aren't selling the joys of moving over here. *lol*


I dressed my cat up in my babies onsies. He liked it. I swear.
Oh, and if you find a house with a small monkey who will tip his hat for coins? Let me know.
That is my dream house!


When we were looking for our last house, we actually WERE homeless (thanks, Katrina). Our poor real estate agent was a saint - because she was facing a situation that no house she ever showed us was going to be as good as the house we lost (that, incidentally we had built and moved into one month after our wedding, and brought our son home to when he was born - see what I mean?). Nevertheless, she found us a house that I really do love within THREE days. See? A saint I tell you. She EARNED that commission.


We live in a "charming, older brick." Um, yeah buy a newer house or a house that has been renovated. We have the "cat odor" and creaky EVERYTHING, and worst of all 1 bathroom.


it's one of the most stressful things to do, choosing a new place to live. just remember, if you look at each other and feel a boiling frustration and white-hot irritation with each other in the next week or so...it will pass when the papers are signed.


best of luck finding your dream home.


I wonder if Max is jealous that the drool machine gets more website exposure than he does. And I bet ya Max is jealous of the dog, too. {RIMSHOT!}

hehe, j/k, love Noah, the cutest little drool-y snot-factory on teh interweb.


We lived here: http://www.virginiansuites.com/index.php for a month years ago while my parents looked for a new place, moving from DC to VA, and none of us have used meth. Yet.


Painting over her nursery (which I also painted by hand) was the hardest thing about our recent move. Sometimes I still tear up thinking about how cute it was and how many memories that room held. Afterall, it was the place we brought her home to, the room with her first poop splattered on the wall (yes! fun times!), where she slept her first night all the way through, where she learned to crawl and then eventually walk, and smile, and talk, and... damn, there I go again - sappy pregnant lady tears. It's hard but your new house will be so many new and exciting memoties as well.

Heather B. (the one who lets Ceiba cuddle)

Uhhh on that note, have a good t-day and try not to implode and/or explode (wheee both!) from the stress.

Have fun and try to stay away from Rockville. K?


My parents live in western Loudoun County (out in the boonies past Leesburg), and I graduated from Loudoun Valley, so believe me, I feel your pain. We're visiting for Thanksgiving, and the traffic alone has gotten so much worse in the past few years. My dad left his job in the city and took a huge paycut to avoid the crazy commute.


Just living vicarously through you. I want to move, and we can't afford it.


I was going to say something witty and encouraging but I got to the picture of the dog and lost it all.


It'll be okay. But it never ceases to surprise me how soon people are tossed out on there butts when a house is sold. It used to be you had like 3 months or something -- at least time to find a new home. Maybe you should stay at a hotel in Aruba for a while.

Just think of it as a big shopping trip, focus on the good stuff and remember -- you can always change the bad stuff. Sort of. Hopefully.


I thought your MIL painted those leaves? HEE HEE Turst me I can't do paint by number. Good luck finding the toliet laden, drugfree house of your dreams!


Takoma Park. Sears Bungalow. Just sayin…


Also, the nursery? You painted that by had? I am speechles. And also saddened. At least don't tell the owners what you are doing. Monochromatic freaks! (Also, to the buyers, if you are reading this -- just a joke, I'm sure you are lovely, if not a tad thoughtless (see, joke again!), people. Enjoy your new condo!!)


Well, this does it. I'm never moving. I don't think I would handle it as well as you are, inasmuch as you can still string together coherent thoughts.

Going from a rental to owning was no biggie since we didn't also have to SELL something and figure out all that timing at the same time. Ack. We may adopt 78 children, but we're never, ever moving out of our 2-BR, 1 1/8 bath apartment.

That picture of Ceiba should be in every post from now on.


Thanks for repeating the photo!

I can sympathize on the hunt. It is SO not easy in this part of the world (which I gather is you part of the world, as well!). I guess the key is how you feel about your realtor and whether she's listening. GOOD LUCK!


Yet another reason why we'll keep renting. We found great neighbors, great school, decent commute - only the current owners aren't interested in selling. So we'll keep renting (our rent is half of what a mortgage would be if we decided to buy something soon).


I miss the tire.


Are you dressing up the dog in onesies to try to fool the "pet odor" people into thinking your animals are "actually" human babies? Or were you just trying to lure the newlyweds into the sale by showing them the evolution from cat to purse-dog to actual pooping human infant? Good luck on your house search. you can always live in a van down by the river.


"hauling us all over creation"

I love that expression. :)


You don't know me but I worked with the most wonderful real estate agent when I was living in No. Virginia and I can't emphasize how really great she is to work with. She sold my houses the very 1st weekend it was on the market and helped me find another house that same week. If you have any problems you should contact her:
Cindy F. Donovan -- http://cindydonovan.lnfre.com/falcon/webui/lnfwelcomepage.aspx -- I lived in Annandale, VA and she really knew every neighborhood in both No. Virginia and Maryland.


This might sound terrible ("You're terrible, Muriel.") but I kinda look forward to living vicariously through your home-hunting stress. And during the holidays! The opportunity for plot-thickening will be endless. This is going to be better than Lost!


You'll find something - but obviously, this is going to be really stressful.

I suggest wine. Lots of it.


yes but dearest, you are going to be homeless in LESS THAN 30 DAYS. stop talking to us, you silly thing and find a home. my gawd, i am in a panic and it's not even me.

Mrs. Q.

Even if I was just a newlywed, I don't think I could bring myself to actully paint over that wonderful tree. We painstakingly painted a funky retro pattern on our bedroom walls, but know that if we ever sell, that will be the first room repainted off-white. Sigh. Just don't look back.


Townhouses (on the corner) or SemiDetached are not always bad. Depends where they connect to the other house. Sometimes it's just the garage, or just the basement, and then, who cares? They can be cheaper, but very big and good inside... Just a thought...

And really, finding a good house is stressful, and a long process. Just to reiterate - it took us a whole year! (and we changed the city we were going to be in too... ended up on the totally different end of our metro area. But distance to work = same, so it's all that matters..)


Good luck! If you want to come to Frederick County, MD, let me know! I will show you my neighborhood! Bathrooms on EVERY floor!


Also, my favorite thing about your website is when people helpfully add comments like "have you thought about buying a two-story HOUSE? 'Cause I have one and I like it, you should look into those," and "It took me thirty months to find a new house, good luck!"
I hope you are out signing a contract on your dream home right now so that when you read these comments you can chuckle good-naturedly.

Amy H.

you'll find a great place with no problem. just keep plugging away. Green countertops are a dealbreaker, though. don't settle! :-)


Just thought I'd chime in with a reference for my real estate broker, because she was great for us when we bought our house 4 years ago. Her name's Nancy Schwiesow, and she specializes in Silver Spring.

Incidentally, I just saw a listing for a house in Forest Glen Park, which is a neighborhood that my hubby and I *really* wanted to live in because it was ecclectic, woodsy, charming, and close to Rock Creek park. It also seemed very family-friendly. But it was out of our price range at the time. I've no idea what your price point is, but this listing's at MC6199887 (just reduced, too) if you want to check it out. We live across Georgia Ave from this neighborhood, and the commute's very doable to downtown DC, where my husband works, and even to Southeast DC, where I worked for 3 years.

Good luck!


I soooooo feel for you! Let us know how the hunting goes today! Hugs!


There is no such thing as too many Ceiba or Noah pictures.

Just looking at your dog makes me laugh.


You should totally move to this listing: FX6043591 and be my neighbor. You would have four toilets from which to choose.

PS - We lived in your neighborhood before moving here 10 years ago when our preshus baby was Noah's age. We miss Cactus Cantina, but otherwise like it just fine in Va.

Good luck!

Amy M

Good luck with your house hunting. We bought our house in a week - we stumbled upon an open house while on the way to another listing & loved it!

Love Ceiba in the onesie! My dog would eat my hand if I tried that!


Glad you could repurpose Noah's clothes. I never thought of doing that to Sybil the Cat.

Congratulations, also, on selling the house. I've been living under a rock and had no idea. Wheee!


No way you want a little monkey in a hat who dances for nickles! Me too! Can you totally let me know when you find him (or her?) My cats would go crazy!

Good luck with the house hunting! It'll totally happen the day before you have to move out. It always does. At least all the house-owning people I know. Because I'm poor. And I rent. Boo.


I forgot to add that my monkey only dances for foldin' money.


Ahhh...fun! Should I point out it's really almost down to 26 days? I know your agents will work hard to find you a place with your requirements! The bathroom on every floor should be do-able. I am an agent in CA and I know it can be sooo super stressful to find a place, and to think about someone coming in and changing what you have lovingly done, so just try to take pictures so you remember it as it was, and try to forget what the newlyweds may do! Good Luck!


We sold our (3 bathroom) house over a year ago and have been living in a ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT WHILE OUR NEW HOUSE IS BEING BUILT. BY MY HUSBAND. IN HIS SPARE TIME. I am hoping and praying to the dear Lord that you won't be living in an extended stay hotel for long.

(and I can't offer you to live at our place because we're pretty much filled to the brim with the one bedroom at all. Dude, it sucks.)

(Hooray for selling your place. I hope you made a killing!)


IMO the hardest part to leave will be babys room, cus hot damn thats awesome! wow.

come do that at my house... well maybe not you, but your mohter in law. and the dog, I want to dress up the dog, so bring her too please

have you Packed at all?


I just realized something...


Doggie cleavage. Maybe you could pimp Ceiba out for cash to pay for your extended motel stay. Hmmm. Just a thought.


Bannockburn. I'm just sayin'.


We sold our first house to a lawyer in his 20's, and you can damn well bet he painted over MY handpainted tree in my baby boy's nursery. It still hurts.


We went through a year long nightmare with our house on the market, a pregnancy, a new kitty from hell and a realtor with huge issues. At long last we found a buyer, I had all but purchased curtains and paint for the new house when our perfectly healthy buyer died. Come on. I had to take a moment of new-agey acceptance and understand that I wasn't meant move. Sounds like you are meant to move. Good luck!

the bee

Bethesda , Bethesda, Bethesda . There are so many restaurants to go to and gymboree !!


I haven't read all the comments, so somebody might have put a positive spin on this already.

The great thing about this is that your condo sold first. It would have been terrible to have to juggle two mortgages.

Fingers crossed that you find your house soon.


I have a house for you! Three potties! Big yard AND a creek! Immediate occupancy! (Because we moved 5 months ago!)

But it's in suburban Chicagoland, so that may not work for you.

Contact me for further details.

(*Sob.sob* won't someone PLEASE buy my other house? Pretty please? We could really use the money.)


your ad sidebar is cracking me up with its references to "frequent urination" and "dealing with cat odor."

Wacky Mommy

Hang in, girl. You'll know it's the right place the second you walk in.


Good job selling the house so fast! It was horribly painful for me to see the changes made by the buyers of our old house. My advice: never never never drive by just to see how the house is doing. Seeing the 60-year-old rose bush gone just about killed me. And don't get me started on the painted brick. You'll find another house in no time. Good luck!

Lisa Ann

I hear you on the bathroom thing - I live by myself in a 1-bedroom apt. and 1 bathroom isn't enough for me.

Good luck on the house hunting and happy thanksgiving.


I'm terrified to jinx things by writing a big! whole! dramatic! entry! about this...so I'm updating here. Our agent just delivered our offer on what we really hope will be our new home.



Good luck on the offer. I'll have my fingers crossed for you too. That's so exciting!


Fantastic! Good luck. Can't wait to hear what happens. Happy Thanksgiving!


good luck!


Good luck!!

And why would someone even think of painting over the leaves? I would love to have that whole scene painted in my kids' rooms.


Oh, Amy!! I so hope you and Jason will be homeowners for Thanksgiving. Talk about something to be thankful for! Keep us posted and have an excellent day tomorrow.


You know, the new buyers might not paint over your nursery. We bought our house BECAUSE the kitchen was already painted, and the upstairs and the basement... and we've taken 2 years to paint the plain rooms. I'm sure my kid will be old enough to beg for a new room color by the time I get around to redoing the falling- down wallpapered part of the kitchen. *shrug* whole house is falling down. wallpaper is nothing.

Good luck with the new one! And moving in before Christmas! At least you won't have to move furnature around to fit the tree in somewhere. I suggest you move that first. :-)


Did you get that monkey? And toilets?


Are you sure you want to move out of the city--school is a long way off for Noah. There are a bunch of places on the market in my 'hood--Friendship/Chevy Chase, including one on my street, a fixer upper but on a great block (mostly young families--two of us with boys close to Noah's age/walk to metro, so no homicidal rage (except when Red line delayed). Of course, I have no idea what range you are looking at, but I think these run the gamut. Email me if you want more specifics (ie. streets, etc.)


Really really hope you get it!

Can't wait to hear all about it. Yay!


LMAO you crack me up! I hope you guys find something...like YESTERDAY! You can always do some revamping..it's not fun, but it's nice to be in a new place atleast!


You'll find the right house eventually. Don't settle! You can't possibly be hiking FIFTEEN feet to the bathroom rather than the measly little jaunt of TEN feet. It just wouldn't be right.

Mrs. Flinger

You are bringing back horrid memories of house hunting. So vivid! My brain! My brain!



I hope your offer gets accepted. I can't wait to hear the whole story!

Happy Thanksgiving!


Holding breath with crossed fingers... Update anytime please :)

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