We bought our house in April of 2012.
I almost didn’t even want to look at it. It was overwhelmingly large looking from the photos, soaring 3 stories into the air. The hefty oak double doors didn’t seem friendly to me, but foreboding. But we were desperate, and this was (almost) in our price range and more than that? Available. Houses were getting snatched up before we could even schedule a time to go see them, so I figured beggars couldn’t be choosers and we scheduled a time to go see it with our agent.
As soon as I saw the location, I started to change my mind about hating it. It’s a quiet offshoot of a tree-lined street, and the main road leading to it was full of cyclists as we drove by. The house itself is built straight into the hillside, and backs up to open space. From the street it looks HUGE and overwhelming, just like I thought in the photos we had seen online. But as soon as you open the door, you realize it’s all a facade.
The bottom floor holds the garage and the front door, which is greeted by a set of stairs and a huge vertical space. There’s nothing else, and the house pulls you in and up. The staircase winds up the center of the house, with rooms shooting off of it at two levels. Like the trunk of a massive tree, it is really the heart of the home, and everything revolves around it.
The rest of the house is really what it sounds like – a comfortable grown up treehouse. The huge weightiness of the house that you see from outside disappears, and you realize it’s maybe not as big as it looks. The hillside behind grows right along with the house, so every level is, in an odd way, still ground level.
There’s a kitchen and a living room, 3 bedrooms and a den. There’s a little nook to do laundry, and balconies seemingly everywhere. It’s an ode to the space that is around it, with massive two story windows and breezes that float down the hallway.
So, with new hope, we bought it. And for the first 8 months or so, I decided that my initial reaction had been right – I hated it. It was falling apart, it was broken in intrinsic, expensive ways. Every time you turned around something else was bleeding, growing things, or hiding the less cute of critters. We found that the people who sold it to us lied about almost everything that they said they had fixed. And then it all had to be fixed again. I even slipped on the massive staircase, and the house broke my toe.
But something has happened in the last chunk of months. Like some wild horse that had to be tamed, the house has become something of comfort and luxury. It feels like being on vacation in the woods, and I can’t help but look out our windows and be in total awe that we get to live here. It’s become our own escapist treehouse, a grown up version of the little kids we both used to be, climbing trees and getting dirty.
Most of all? It’s become the place we want to come back to at the end of the day. The place we have and hold our hopes and dreams and loves. It’s become our home.