Our House Buying Story Part: II

Our House Buying Story Part- 1 (3)

I had some requests from my loyal followers (shout out Therese) to post part two of our house buying story. You can read Part: I here. Where did we leave off?  We decided to move south! When I say south, I mean South West Oak Cliff. I still wanted to stay in Oak Cliff, but I was prepared to explore some lesser known areas.

Once we decided we really need to refocus our home search  I spent a few mornings driving around Kiestwood park and it’s surrounding neighborhoods. That is the best way to decide if you like a neighborhood. Drive around different times of day, and get out and walk around. I like to pretend I already live there and i’m out for my evening or morning stroll. I wave at the neighbors and pretend they are my neighbors. I do stop just short of walking up to my favorite house and pretending it’s my house because I don’t want to go to jail ya’ll.

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                                                                   The Entryway

I very quickly fell in love with Kiestwood and its shaded streets filled with mid century homes. I fell in love hard. I have a distinct memory of driving around the neighborhood and crying because it felt so cozy and I just had to live there. I have a huge soft spot for mid century homes and Kiestwood was house after house of beautifully preserved mid century.

On one such driving morning I passed a house with a for sale sign up. I immediately pulled over and looked up the house. Nothing. I couldn’t find a single mention of this house on the MLS. It was 7am so I waited an hour or so until normal people wake up to call the listing agent. He had just put the sign up and it was going live that afternoon. Me and Corey went to go look at the house and it was so great. It wasn’t perfect, it needed some work, but it needed the kind of work that was fun. Refresh some bathrooms, redo countertops, etc. It was priced wayyyy under our budget and the backyard was perfect for us so we decided to go big on our offer. We offered 5k over what they were asking and opted for a very short option period. We both felt good. I really didn’t think there was any way we wouldn’t get the house. For you real estate newbies out there, going 5k over ask is a big statement. 5k ain’t nothing to us. We wanted this house an extra 5k worth.

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                                                                    Dining Room

About two days later we found out we didn’t get it. There was one other offer that was very similar to ours, and they went with that offer. I was very shocked and Corey swore off buying a house. He said he didn’t want to go see anymore houses and get emotionally attached and he really thought we would never get one at this point. I too was having doubts. Even though I’m an agent and tell my clients that it may take awhile but everyone finds a house. I was doubting my own words.

It is kinda crazy how attached you can get to a house you have only been inside once, but that feeling is real. It stayed with me a long time on that house, and sometimes I drive by and it still makes me a little sad.

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                                                                         Kitchen

There was another house on the market a few blocks south  of the dream crusher house, so we went to take a look. The second I walked in I hated it. Straight up hate. I hated the floors, the tile, the awkward backyard, and the carpet in the bedrooms. I walked in and couldn’t find anything I liked. I’m usually someone who can see the potential in any house. I can walk in and take walls down in my mind and imagine what a brand new coat of paint can accomplish. Obviously looking back, we were both still very upset and were still picturing the house in Kiestwood. We walked out promptly and put that terrible ugly house out of our minds.

A week later, the house was still on the market and I casually suggested we go take a look again. The previous house reject was starting to sting a little bit less now. We walked in and I thought we might be in a different house. Our hearts were a little more open and we both saw the potential this time. I saw that if I painted the walls white it would open up the living room. I could paint  cabinets and add concrete counter tops in the kitchen. Instead of seeing the awkward backyard, we saw the potential for a huge relaxing backyard oasis. It was a flip house, but that didn’t mean I could changed things to fit my style. We drove around the neighborhood (Brettonwoods) and ogled at the heavily treed yards and unique houses.

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                                                                     Guest Bath

Even though we were seeing the potential, we needed a third opinion. My parents came and looked with us again, and they said we were crazy and this house was beautiful. That gave us the push we needed to make an offer.

We made a pretty reasonable offer and it was very quickly accepted! I know I had doubts as we were going through the closing process, and i’m sure Corey did too. I was terrified of actually buying a house and all the work that went with it. I was afraid to leave our cozy corner near Bishop Arts and our tree house apartment. I came so close to saying we should back out so many times, but I always stopped just short of saying it aloud. I kept my doubts away and enjoyed the last month in our apartment as best I could.

Now that I have been in our new house for almost a month I’m so glad we made this decision, and i’m so glad we ended up with this house. The day we closed and we put the first roll of paint on the wall I felt at peace. We might be incredibly broke and have a mountain of to do items, but I feel so at home here. Before we moved, I kept saying we could live in this house a few years and then move back to North Oak Cliff. Corey now says he doesn’t want to ever leave this house. “Bridal Wreath 4EVER” is Corey’s new favorite quote. While i’m not committing to anything 4EVER, I can see us living here for many, many years.

PS: Our cats LOVE the new house and they can’t believe we ever made them live in that tiny shoe box apartment (their words not mine)

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Lake Cliff Park

This time of year is so beautiful in Dallas. The flowers are blooming, the sun is not trying to melt your face off yet, and everyone is outside enjoying life.

Unfortunately for me, Corey suffers from allergies as many people do. So if I want to go outside and enjoy the weather with him, I have to suffer through sneezing and snotty noses. Corey decided to suck it up enough for a few minutes to take me to Lake Cliff Park.

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History lesson time. Lake Cliff park was founded in 1906 unofficially, officially 1914. When it first opened it had an amusement park, water slide, skating rink, three theaters, a casino, and Dallas’s first municipal swimming pool. Back then it was probably THE place to be.

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Now it’s a beautiful outdoor space to spend the day. It’s a HUGE park. If it wasn’t for Corey’s allergies and my disdain for sitting on grass, we would be having romantic picnics here every day. There are tables, grills, and lots of large trees to accommodate your picnic needs. There is a lot to discover around this park, so let’s get going!

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First we came across a pull up bar! Now I am physically incapable of doing a pull up. My feeble arms can barely hold me up, nevermind actually pull up my whole body. But if you are in such shape, come enjoy a park workout!

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Next we find the rose gardens! The rose garden was designed in 1934 and has a really pretty variety of rose bushes. I almost went a little crazy and started pulling all the roses off but then I remembered that is not proper park etiquette.  I recommend coming here for a tasteful engagement or prom photo shoot.

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Doesn’t that look like something you would find in Paris?!? Just imagine all the Spanish signs are actually in french!

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There is actually a ton of flowers all around the park. I recommend going soon before the spiteful Texas sun burns them all to a crisp and leaves everything brown and in danger of bursting into flame at any moment!

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There are some random statues/art, so go around and learn something new!

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You can live in this building!!!! I’m really dying to go in and take a look around, but I think it’s mostly condo’s these days.

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The first thing you see of the park from the road will probably be the giant fountain. I’m guessing you could once swim in it, but I would not recommend that now. Unless dirty trash water is your thing, then go for it. Joking aside, it’s a really impressive pond. Sit like Corey, and enjoy the beautiful water view!

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What park would be complete without a playground?! This one comes in the theme of “Go America!”

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And finally, we have the natural/wildflower area. Or more commonly known as, wild snake pit. I hate hate hate snakes, so I remained a safe distance away.

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Lake Cliff Park is a bright spot on the Dallas landscape. In a city so lacking in green space, its refreshing to have this spot just a few minutes from my house.