This Must Be The Place

Oh the endless rooms. The yards. The kitchens. All blurring now.

There was the Min Pin. The black grass-eating pig.

And then, Gerry S.

This week, the months’ long odyssey of relocating from St. Louis to Kansas City, of seeing 60+ properties, reaches a milestone — we move into our new home.

It wasn’t easy. The number of houses for sale nationally is at a near 20-year low, reports the National Association of Realtors. Regularly, markets can expect to have a six-month supply of homes for sale; right now, we’re looking at three and a half months on average in the US.

It’s worse right here in KC.

The latest numbers out of the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors reports there’s a 2.1 months’ supply of houses on the market. Inventory is down 24.3 percent compared with the same reporting period last year.

Thankfully, we had the corporate housing, to help with the transition, well into spring. Our belongings were housed in storage. We were living out of our suitcases.

Accounting for personal tastes, desires and motives – how far is this from the office on Ward (Dyan’s new office)? – we’ve said “No!” to a lot of properties. Houses, however, have said no to us – a couple of our bids fell short, okay, well short of the winner’s bid. One house in Waldo, a area we found desirous, we bid on a modest home with some reservations; it had 13 bids the day it went on the market and eventually sold about $20k over the asking price. Many more properties we would have loved to bid for, but we couldn’t even contemplate a successful offer because of the comparative size of our pocketbook and the house asking price.

Still we searched. And searched. And searched. Poor Sara, our capable and affable agent, and Aubree, her assistant. Both so hopeful. Both so helpful. We fear their faces much ache producing mind-numbing migraines when they see us and persistently smile, once again saying, “This one’s perfect…”

We ran the neighborhoods around here. Off to Olathe. Off even further to Shawnee (I can see Lawrence from here). Into Perfect Village we went, pining, coveting. Old Overland Park. New Overland Park. Nope, nope, nope. We found ourselves – agents included – encased in a seemingly impenetrable bubble, a historical bulwark in American real estate across the nation and right here in Royal City on both sides of Stateline.

Plus, as most know – the hard thing about house-hunting is finding a place called home. We went into homes and were greeted with bad flips; terrible carpets; well-loved and worn homes, sadly needing updates; homes with blenders built into counters; homes where we were greeted by dogs — an ebullient and lovely Miniature Pinscher, I would have dropped into my pocket and kept if I could; at one house, a pot-bellied pig roamed the front yard eating the grass. Not pocketable.

Then, Gerry. We ended up buying Gerry’s house. He’s moving after 12 years to live with his son up in Michigan. Gerry was there every time we visited the place with his smile and his instructions, his advice… He left his mezuzahs for us. The master gardener left us his bounty. It’s probably the most unique home we’ve ever owned, and like every home you end up purchasing, its got its needs requiring our initiative and resources. But of all the homes, it felt the most like home.

So, in we go. Eventually, we’ll come to say, this must be the place.