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If you have noticed that it has been a little bit quiet from me lately... it is for an AMAZING reason. We just bought a house! We have been searching and searching for a family home for months, and I have been so set on my search criterias. I wanted a classical apartment, preferably from the 1800's with a high roof, large windows and stucco on the ceilings. My search terms actually included "stukkatur" (stucco in Norwegian) and "klassisk". We were hellbent on staying in the center of the city as well, which meant that we were battling with a million other people that wanted a central apartment.
Last weekend the craziest thing happened. My dad had sent me a message about a house that we should look at and I scoffed at him because it was priced way above our budget, and valued even higher than the asking price. I told him that there wasn't a chance in hell that we were going to get that house, so why even try? All properties have been going way over asking price and I just didn't see the point. I had also found my d.r.e.a.m apartment in the old part of town, within our budget. The roof was three meters high, the stucco was painted with gold (so gorgeous) and the windows and living room were massive. John and I have lost so many bidding battles for apartments that have been way uglier than this one so we didn't think that we had a chance.
That Sunday both the house and the classical apartment had open viewings. After some thought we decided that there was absolutely no point to go look at the house because it was way out of our price range, but hey, lets go look at the dream apartment, cause it is within our budget, even though we would only ever win it in a bidding round if something crazy happened that prevented everyone else from bidding on it. Like a freak snowstorm in May or something. Yeah right. We went and looked at the apartment, and it was even more dreamy in real life. There were suprisingly few people at the viewing, so I signed up to be a part of the bidding round. You know, just in case Oslo experienced it's first tornado or something. The next day I was sitting at the office trying to work when my dad sent me a message to keep me updated on the developments with this house that he had sent us. I called the real estate agent, and surprisingly, no one had snapped it up yet. I got curious and asked for a private viewing after work. I called John and forced him to reschedule his last photo-assignment and we headed to look at the house.
We went to see the house, and after looking at all these space efficient apartments I just got kind of blown away by all the space. I mean there was a garden. A terrace. A staircase. Three bedrooms. John was very quiet as we were guided around the house. This was everything we did not want. A house. Houses are a lot of work. This house, despite being beautifully kept needed a bit of work. A bit of modernisation and restoration. I looked out of the window to the garden. I thought about all of the times that James pulls himself up to the windows on our terrace door and asks to go out. About how our poor little boy is pretty much cooped up in our apartment until one of us gets our act together and takes him out to some little park in the city. After John got to see the garage I knew that he was really quiet because he really wanted this house. I really wanted it too. This was the perfect family home. As soon as I got into our car after the viewing I called my dad and told him that I was desperate to at least TRY to buy the house. He told me to try, but that it was most probably out of our price range. I called my mom and she told me not to get my hopes up (again), but to try. So that night we put in a bid of the maximum that we could bid. We've bid on so many places by now, so we didn't actually think much of it. The bid expired 12:00 noon the next day.
The next day was the bidding round on the classical dream apartment. My phone was surprisingly quiet. Usually bidding starts early, with fervent hopefuls putting in their starting bids the night before. I called the estate agent for the classical apartment and asked her if she had remembered to include me in the bidding round and if there were any bids. There were none yet. Weird. I told her that I had a bid on a house (that I couldn't afford) that expired at 12:00, so she could expect a bid from me after that time. By this time I was seriously confused. I mean what was going on? It was soon 12, the house people hadn't rejected my offer yet, and also why was no one bidding on my dream apartment? My heart hoped for the house, and my mind that had been so set on a classical apartment realized that this was suddenly, finally, maybe our chance! Quarter to twelve I was getting really antsy. My phone rang. It was about the house. The real estate agent said exactly what I had expected to hear. The sellers think that your offer is a bit too low. Can you go any higher? I told her that I was also involved in a bidding round for an apartment that was actually within my budget, and despite the fact that I really wanted that house, I would have to speak to my family before being able to bid any higher. So if I was going to put in a higher offer on that house, it wasn't going to happen that day. The estate agent replied "you know, they haven't said no". Hope filled my whole being and I asked her if they needed more time. She answered matter-of-factly that if they didn't answer within the 12:00 expiration then my bid wasn't valid anymore. This was in 5 minutes. We said bye and my heart sank. I prepared myself for a bidding battle on the dream apartment. 12:00 I got an sms from the real esate agent. I was a nervous wreck when I opened it.
Maybe, just maybe, I had bought a house. My first family home. You know when you scratch on those scratch lottery tickets and your card is almost fully scratched out? You know that the last few scratches are your very last shot to win millions. No matter how small of a chance you have, you still wish with all your might. I read my message. "Congratulations, you just bought a house". I screamed. They had accepted our offer. My mom said something when I told her that we had gotten the house that still makes me smile. She said: "You didn't choose that house, the house chose you". Since then I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. John and I are so excited to renovate and make our new home. We just bought a house. Insane.
PS: If you're wondering what happened to the dream apartment, we could have actually bought it. It didn't go over our budget for some mystical reason. I couldn't care less now. We're moving in a couple of months and have decided to take our time renovating. We want to make the house perfect. Pinterest is now my best friend, and I am so excited. I can't wait to share pictures!
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