This has been an exciting week.
Last weekend I decided it was time to find the house I will be moving to when the divorce is done and when I decide to do something, I DO something. I talked with the kids about what was most important to them and heard a resounding cry: our own bedrooms! I talked through the pros and cons of this: in my price range, the choice of 4 bedroom homes to rent in Birmingham schools is limited but even if it meant less living space, they wanted to each have their own bedroom. With that in mind, I went online to look at my options. My good friend Maureen Francis has been my real estate agent forever and about a month ago she had showed me 12 houses in my price range, one of which I loved. It had 4 bedrooms, a decent kitchen (important for me!) and was in the most ideal location, about a mile from my current home. I had put a lease offer in on that one then and didn’t get it so when I renewed my search last weekend (about a month later) if found slim pickings in my price range. Only 4 houses had four bedrooms in my price range in the Birmingham schools and I was discouraged.
I emailed and called Maureen and she set up walk throughs of these homes for last Sunday, late afternoon. Her husband Dima actually showed me the homes and I was determined to find a place. We went first to the place I liked the best online and walked through it. It was terrific and beautiful and had real charm. It was in Beverly Hills which meant I would have to drive all three kids to three different schools next fall every day they were with me. A drawback but not a deal breaker. This house did indeed have 4 bedrooms but 2 were on the second floor, one on the first, and one in the basement. All were nice sizes and beautifully done so that too was a drawback but not a deal breaker. The kitchen was large and had top of the line appliances (a huge plus) but the décor was a bit too European country for me but with the size and appliances, I knew I could make this house work. On we went to two more, near town, east of Woodward and although they had four bedrooms, the kitchens were very small. One had only 2 ½ feet of counter space! For a girl who loves to cook, this was indeed a deal breaker. One more possibility to see….in Westchester village….a perfectly good house with a decent kitchen but no charm. Quirky layout too, when you walk in the front door you are in the kitchen. Not off the list though as it had the bedroom space and a finished basement. We returned to the first house and I strolled through it again and even had a friend come through it and I decided this was the one I would put the lease offer in on.
Monday morning came and I excitedly waited to hear from Maureen about the house. She called around 10 only to tell me that the owner had accepted a different lease offer just yesterday! Oh man! I was disappointed but I really wanted this decision done and so as I considered whether to put a lease offer in on the Westchester village house or return to the drawing board and look at some of the three bedroom houses available, Maureen called me back. Believe it or not, the first house I loved weeks before was available for lease again and the agent called to see if I was still interested! Fantastic news! I quickly talked through the options with Maureen and a friend and decided that I was going to take the house I had originally fallen in love with. Although in my price range, it was at the upper end so I paused first before sealing the deal. But it had so many pros: less than a block from Seaholm for Mairen, on the Derby bus route for Declan, and a few houses down from Conall’s best friend. I loved the house too so I said yes! Now that it is done and the lease signed and the checks cashed, I am thrilled!
This is the first time I have ever lived on my own. Ever. I can’t wait! I am so excited to live in my own space, inhabit it as I want, decorate it at will, have my own place with my own rules and I will be the only one I have to consult about decisions. It is freeing to think that after half a life I will finally have a chance to be me, all the time. I love the thought of having friends and family over whenever I want and encouraging my kids to do the same.
I take occupancy on April 15th but probably won’t move in until early May when the divorce details are all worked out. That can’t come soon enough. I am ready to live my life as ME with the kids and my work and my family as my guideposts and supports. Bring it on!