How to Have An Accidental Openhouse with Strangers
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Have you missed me? I sure have been missing my daily post. So much that I decided to post today to give you another Day in My Life! Along with a funny story about how I made friends with strangers and attended an accidental openhouse!
So last Friday Dan and Tucker left for a weekend of Pheasant hunting with “the guys.” So Whitney and I loaded up on Friday night to go look at a house that we spotted on Zillow. It looked pretty gorgeous and was just about everything Dan had listed on his “must have” list. It didn’t have an openhouse scheduled, so our plan was to drive by it and see how the yard looked and decide how far it was from my current home.
Off we went with Wayde safely strapped in the back seat. First of all, I must note that GPS is not always reliable when house-hunting. For the second time on a hunt, the GPS took Whit and I to a random empty place with no home. Argh!
A Little Off-Road Adventure
There was a dirt-road looking area where we ended, so being the adventurous sort, I decided to give it a try. Fortunately my little truck has 4-wheel drive (don’t be fooled by the pink fuzzy steering wheel – this beast can two-track). It didn’t take us long to realize that we were driving down a trail that led to nowhere, so we did a quick 3-point turnaround, took out a couple of trees, and headed back for the main road.
A-Hunting We Will Go!
While we were driving down the walking trail, we discovered some power lines that were cleared out and recognized them as those that run behind the house for which we were looking. This led us to believe we were close, so we went a-hunting.
Several minutes later we pulled up to a drive with the right address numbers on the box, so we tried again. This time the dirt road actually led to the house that we were after. We traveled down a long driveway, past 3 other homes, and finally ended at the house in question!
The Adventure is just beginning!
Once we pulled into the driveway, we realized that the only thing we could see included the 2 garage doors. Unfortunately a tree blocked the view of the rest of the house. We spent a couple of minutes feeling disappointed and then my quiet, sweet daughter-in-law tentatively suggested, “you’re pretty outgoing. Maybe you can just go ask them if we can look around outside.”
That made perfect sense to me. I mean – if I was selling my house and someone wanted to look, I’d certainly let them. So I marched through the yard, around the tree and up to the door where I carefully knocked.
A moment later a very kind woman appeared with her lovely dog by her side. In a panic, I realized that this could be perceived as really, really rude. I stuttered out, “Hi. I’m Veronica. I saw your listing and my husband and I are really interested in your house. Can I wander around and look at it?” Eloquent, aren’t I (insert eyeroll here)?
Not a Stranger... Just a Friend I Haven't Met Yet
Clearly, a stranger showing up on her doorstep surprised this lovely woman, but she rose to the occasion by leaning back and opening the door and swooshing her arm out in welcome, while muttering quietly, “um. sure. I guess you can come in.” Oops. I totally didn’t mean to come in… Or did I?
In response I sputtered, “um, er, oh, no. I didn’t actually mean to come in, but if you don’t mind, then sure. But my daughter and grandson are in the car if you don’t mind me bringing them in, too?”
By this time her cheerful husband arrived on scene. He quickly surmised that although we were strangers, we posed no threat, and heartily bade us enter. And so – we got a surprise spur-of-the-moment home tour.
How'd It Measure Up?
We unloaded Wayde and proceeded to have a full walk-through of the house. It was an impromptu openhouse. This log cabin home was gorgeous, and just as we suspected, it would fulfill Dan’s every dream with just a few minor changes. It would also fulfill Tucker’s every dream because it boasted a very lovely in-ground pool.
We noted that it was open-concept with a lovely kitchen, a dining room big enough for our entire family to gather with spouses and grandkids, a screened in room that faced the pool for bug-free pool supervision, a generously sized living room with a loft that overlooked that space. The loft also contained 3 bedrooms, a sitting room, an a bathroom. The master en suite was on the main floor, just where I like it, and not far from the laundry/half bath.
In addition to all of that wonderfulness, the property also boasted a giant heated outbuilding with plenty of space for a man-cave and the boat.
As we made our way through the home, a very sweet Golden Retriever wandered through with us. As I scratched him behind the ears for the third or fourth time, I asked him, “If we buy your house, do you come with it?” Imagine my surprise when the woman of the house said, “well, you can probably have him. He isn’t ours and the owner can’t find a rental that will allow him, so he might just come with the house.”
What!? All that house, and a sweet family-friendly dog, too!? Surely this is THE house for us!
The End of Our Impromptu Openhouse
Just kiddin’. Truth is, even though the folks were friendly and welcoming to these strangers and ready to sell to us, by the time we get our home ready for listing, this beauty will likely be long gone. Maybe we’ll be able to take another look when it has a real openhouse, but til then we must just dream.
This makes me sad. And ready for a realtor. Yesterday. But it also means a lot of work needs to be done on our home to have it fully ready to list. And that’s the part that makes my stomach churn… the gutting, cleaning, minor repair work and headaches that come with listing and selling a house. And then keeping the house ready for our own openhouses and strangers trekking through our space.
Fortunately, I know God knows the secret desires of my heart and He will see to it that the right house is ready for us when we’re ready for it. What a mighty God we serve.
In the meantime, if you are thinking of listing your house for sale and it fits the above requirements, then don’t be surprised when I show up on your doorstep on a random Friday evening demanding a tour and my own private openhouse.