Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why We Bought This House

I would like to tell you that we bought this house because it was the best deal for the money in the school district we wanted to be in.  (Those things are all true.  From our porch, we can see the local elementary school, which is a Blue Ribbon School of Excellence or something.)

I would also like to tell you that we bought this house because the location is perfect: tree lined streets, two blocks to restaurants, parks, schools, another five blocks to Uptown and the farmer's market, three blocks to the trolley.  (Those things are also all true.  Last night we walked to the Italian place for dinner and then to the park.  Last week, Jeff and I took the trolley downtown to go to the Steelers preseason game so we could both drink and get home.  Glorious.)

I think I might be lying, though, if I told you those things.  I think the real reason I bought this house is the windows.

Beautiful castle window.
Ignore the fake plastic brick.  It's on The List.
The houses in our neighborhood were all built in the early to mid 1920s.  We're in a suburb, one of the first streetcar suburbs, as I understand it.  It's fairly urban, though, which is why we can walk to so many things.  Urban-type living comes with houses that are fairly close together.  Now, I'm from Mount Washington, where the houses are under 2' apart, so it doesn't bother me in the slightest.  There's like a double driveway width between the houses here!  You'd fit an entire freakin' house there on the Mount.

All of the windows on the first floor (and one on the 2nd floor in the stairwell) that face the houses to either side of ours are stained glass, original to the home as far as I can tell.   When the sun shines through them, they are pretty much fantastic.  Even when the sun doesn't shine through them, you're not staring at your neighbor's porch.

View from our dining room
This did not go unnoticed by me when we were looking for places.  Another house for sale on this same street, in this same near-perfect for us location had replaced the pretty stained glass with plain windows.  Not interested.  (Also, the garage on that one was kinda falling down.  It had a bigger, new kitchen even, but no dice.)

In fact, when we built the kitchen, I designed it to have something like clerestory windows so we'd get the light in, but not stare at the guy next door's dog all the time.
Kitchen Windows
We briefly lost this house to a higher offer, so we kept looking.  We found another place we were preparing an offer on, a bit too far away, a great deal bigger, and it had all of it's original windows.  Not stained glass.  That house went contingent while we were getting our offer together, and then the original buyers on our place couldn't get a mortgage, so we were back in line with our secure mortgage, our plans to add on, and our love of pretty windows.


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