Before our trip to Pensacola last week Austin said one thing, "Buy us a nice house not a junky one that you have to fix up." And I tried to do just that. I really did. But, fixer upper houses are just in my blood.
We spent four days looking at house after house, from the grand traditional home on the golf course with great space but a pool that was just a bit too small to the foreclosure that we expected to love but didn't. We saw a pre-approved short sale, a colonial with an in-law apartment, and there was that one that smelled so much like dog that we couldn't wait to finish the tour. By the end of day three (of our four day trip), we were no closer to making a decision than we were when we arrived. We knew one thing-the best house for us is one that we can customize-and afford to customize.
We ended up in Gulf Breeze in a neighborhood protected on one side by the Naval Live Oaks National Seashore and Pensacola Bay on the other. According to the listing agent "it is located in the most idealistic setting. Just add a pool and you will truly have found your paradise." The location is perfect. The house, well, not so perfect, yet...
We spent the last day of our house hunting trip meeting with a contractor for a new addition, a pool company for a bid on the pool that we hope to design, the vinyl company for new vinyl and windows and the flooring company-I can not even move in until the ugly purple carpet from 1984 is gone. We took pictures of the big yard, the driveway that is big enough for all of our cars and a basketball court for Cal. I picked oranges from the trees that line the left side of the property, as a peace offering to Austin and the other kids. Anything to soften the blow that we have yet again, bought a fixer upper. All I can do is assure them that when the work is done it will be perfect!