Our new backyard (Listing Photo)
We are under contract! We looked at a house on Halloween, made an offer the next day, and last night signed the Purchase and Sale agreement with the sellers. It has a beautiful backyard! It is in Portland, just a 13 minute walk to the Evergreen Cemetery Trail, a 17 minute walk to a bus line, and a 51 minute walk to the house of one of our friends! (I love the “walk and bus” feature of Google Maps) And did I mention it has a great backyard? It is .43 acres, and resonates so deeply with our desire to be in the city, but also connected to nature. I am already imagining what a great permaculture design we will create for this land.
As we have looked at houses during the last three months, we’ve come to better realize what was most important to us in our search for greener housing, and what we could let go. We realized that location and connection to nature were vital. This place feels just wonderful in that regard.
The house itself is a very simple and well maintained ranch style. It is on the small end of the range we’ve considered–just 1025 square feet of one level living. We hesitated a bit on that–could we really downsize enough to live in half the square feet of our current house? But isn’t that just what we are trying to do in this journey? Reverse course from the bigger-is-better mentality? (And luckily, it also has a partly finished basement that will offer extra space as we make this transition, and offer room for guests and projects, and probably lots of boxes.)
As I look back at our list of hoped-for features, there is no laundry on the first floor (that is in the basement) and no mud-room. We also need to convert the garage door from a one-car to a two-car–the garage is wide enough, but has been used as one bay and storage. We hope to add a couple more windows toward the back yard to let in more light and create a better interior connection to the beautiful back yard. But everything else lines up. It has a fairly south facing roof for solar, seems like an easy layout to add air-source heat pumps, and has a wood stove insert in a fireplace. It has wood or tile floors throughout, and a feeling of peace and beauty. You sense that it has been crafted with care.
I am feeling a deep sense of joy this morning. I want to say one more thing about this part of the journey, though, something that I learned yesterday, when I was caught in the exhausting anxiety of the offer/counter-offer real estate process. I often feel guilty about feeling anxiety–like I should be more peaceful and trusting if I am flowing in the River of Life. But lately I have been reading about how being present to the moment is being present to all that emerges.
So I took some quiet time to be open to the anxiety as well, to pay attention to it. When I did that, there was a deep intuitive feeling that told me–act now! Margy and I talked, and we told our realtor we wanted to accept their counter-offer, even though we still agreed it was a bit over-priced. My intuition seemed to be saying, there will be other parties interested in this house, and you must act now for it to come to you. So I trusted my anxiety this time, and here we are–ready to continue on the next chapter of our search for greener housing!