Where the Magic Happens

And then it happened.

We ACTUALLY ENTERED ESCROW ON THE DREAM HOUSE. The short sale (oh, the irony of that term) has come through.

Now, as any good superstitious nutjob will tell you (and I am one), it’s still not TECHNICALLY over. But since we already know this house ain’t no cherry (although it may fool in pictures), we’re ready to share some photos with you. The likelihood of us learning anything worse in the inspections than we already learned from the seller’s disclosures is — KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK ON WOOD — probably not likely. So here goes…

We’ve been house hunting for about nine months now, and we’ve seen a lot of houses… Several AFTER the seller approved our offer on this one, actually. Several that we offered on, even after we knew this short sale was in the works. But none of them came through, and we were always relieved. We didn’t actually try that hard, because we knew this house would be ours eventually. We wanted it to be, with its bad foundation, outdated sewer lateral, aging roof, and depressing pest report. We asked for ridiculous concessions to help pay to fix all that. We had to wait through approval from the seller’s TWO mortgage holders, making the process doubly ridiculous. But we knew they were going to give it to us.

This was not like the eleventy jillion other East Bay houses we saw. Almost a hundred years old, perched there on a cracked foundation on the sunniest hillside in Oakland, on 6,000 square feet of terraced yard for Sammypants, with a converted open floorplan on the main floor and a view overlooking the entire Bay Area — this was a house for the Temples. The daughter of an engineer/granddaughter of a residential contractor + the son of a real estate agent/stepson of a commercial contractor. Two artists, two do-ers, two project people, one dog who needs a doggy door.

Welcome to Casa Temple — the two-story edition.

The front of our house.

Hello! Come on in. Like our awesome glassed-in porch? Great for sippin' iced tea on a hot Easy Bay day.

From the front, you can only see one story, of course. That’s because the house is on a hillside. There’s a rad porch with swing-out glass windows that covers about half the front width of the house — we’re looking forward to lazing on it. Sammy, too.

Of course, all the foundation under what you can see in this photo pretty much needs to be replaced. Ahh. So no lazing for a while yet.

Now you’re in our open living/dining room. And thankfully, you can now see that once INSIDE the house, things are in pretty good shape. So while we’re up on stilts making sure the house doesn’t slide down the hill, we’ll have only minor things to do right off the bat to make it livable. Nice floors, eh?

The living room of our house.

That's better -- nice and clean and cozy.

The dining room of our house.

The front door there is accessed through the enclosed porch.

That’s something that Trent learned about me during our house hunt. I hate hate hate hate HATE carpet. All kinds, in any quantity. Yes, I know, you can rip it out — but I can’t even stand the sight of it. The second we would walk into a house with wall-to-wall carpet, I was ready to walk out.

So needless to say, this house got bonus points for the excellently maintained floors. A+.

There’s an awesome office space on the main floor, that leads out onto the deck (those are stairs in this photo leading down to the lower level, where the bedrooms are). And I like what the owners have done with their desk. Clever. I may do something similar.

Trent is looking forward to moving his instruments between the computer and the sunshine with ease…

The office in our house.

Very excited to open those doors.

Now, this is what I’m REALLY in love with…

The kitchen in our house.

Kitchen! Sunlight! Amazing views!

While the appliances could use some updating, I can hardly complain about a 180-degree view of the entire Bay Area (that’s a little bay window, to the left).

Those glass doors from the office lead out to a deck, where we’ll eat all the meals we cook in this kitchen because we’ll no longer live in crappy foggy weather…

The deck on our house.

SUN! May we please keep your patio furniture?

Downstairs, there are two bedrooms. This is the master. It has French doors leading out into the yard, and a walk-in closet so big the current owners are using it for a nursery. Heh.

The master bedroom in our house.

Where the magic happens!

There are also two bathrooms in the house — one up, one down. This is the jack-and-jill bathroom downstairs…

One of the bathrooms in our house.

Shower will require extensive squeegeeing.

Also downstairs is a laundry/storage room and access to the basement. And the door out to the unbelievably fabulous yard, which is what really won us over on this house. We plan to farm about half of it… Why not? It has three terraces, with a built-in firepit already in place in the middle terrace for partying…

Our back yard.

Where the raves will be held.

Now, that was fun! And temporarily quelled my heart attack over the foundation, roof, and sewer lateral. Hope you all enjoyed the show! Bring your hard hats because come May 4th, we’ll be shoring this baby up and getting her ready for the next century.

The new chapter has officially begun.

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15 thoughts on “Where the Magic Happens

  1. It’s SO beautiful and I’m thrilled for all three of you!!

  2. Suzy says:

    So beautiful!!!

  3. suki says:

    SO SO SO gorgeous! Totally worth the wait. 🙂

  4. Marlene says:

    Love everything about it but especially the fact that it’s only about a 10 min drive up Hwy 13 to my place.

  5. Jessica Koche says:

    Wow! Beautiful!

  6. Beth Surowiec says:

    I am so happy for you guys! All the work will be worth it and make you love it even more! Congrats and good luck with everything!!! It is already beautiful but it will be more so with yours and Trents talents!!!

    Beth

  7. Katherine Hales says:

    What a great house! Love the views. Let me know if you need referrals for contractors, roofers etc. We’ve done a lot of work on our place and I have some favorites. Good luck! Kwhales11@gmail.com

  8. Last night the grandparents and I sat and read your post on your new house, and we all imagined the excitement you must be feeling, because we have once been there. After getting married and having children (or a Sammy), it is probably one of the most exciting and important things you will ever experience in your life! Enjoy the moment, enjoy the present, and enjoy the future. You are going to make great memories there as a family. I can see a garden in the backyard where you and Trent will allow your creative genius to blossom in the form of a myriad of colorful foods and flowers! And I can envision Sammy running in the backyard. And I can imagine you sitting on that porch on a hot afternoon and enjoying the cool breeze from the bay. Of course, I have a spot reserved for myself in my minds eye too! I would love to come and visit and dog sit and help you clean or unpack or move, or just come to spend time with you too. This is your future. This is your comfort. This is your special place in the world now, and nothing will ever be the same. Love, Mom

  9. Cathy Cardinal says:

    Beautiful and perfect! Congratulations! Lookin’ forward to seeing your settling in. Lots of work. You won’t have time to fart-around on facebook anyway.

  10. Special K says:

    I want to live there…..

  11. lisatemp says:

    Thanks for the lovely sentiments, everyone! Hoping to get the major work done and be ready for a big proper housewarming before summer is over; all are welcome!

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