For Sale In Monroe. View the Keller Williams listing here.
I'm working on my new book about living with my pack of dogs. "Six dogs is a way of life. Six dogs define your lifestyle." I wrote those sentences a few weeks ago. I learned more of the meaning of those words this weekend. Six dogs define your back yard too. I'd forgotten that when I fell in love with a cottage in Monroe this past week. A perfect early 1900s bungalow in move-in-condition. The cottage in my mind was close to becoming a reality.
Friday, my feet barely hit the beautiful hardwood floor in the living room when I turned to the agent, my voice just over a whisper, "I want this house, I know."
I'd seen all the photos online. The house in person took my breath away. The price, amazing at $115,000. It had to be mine.
I could walk to my antique booth at Hodge Podge Art, Antiques, and Interiors. Almost two thousand square feet of hardwood floors, nine foot ceilings, two bathrooms, one with an old tub, the other more modern with a shower, and a built in pantry in a small side room off a white kitchen. The center hall, which closed off with doors, would be the perfect place for a couch and chair, a dog den so to speak. The six-pack could sleep there, have access to the kitchen for water and food, and I could go about my business during the day. The dogs would be safe and comfy.
It didn't stop there. Storm windows outside, pocket doors inside. Lots of natural light. My heart raced as I entered each room.
Did you see the white porch swing? I saw myself on it this spring, waving to the neighbors as they passed by. A lovely space for summer reading and dreaming. A side screened porch with steps that went to the back yard would hold all my old rusty (with charm) iron garden chairs and tables. Lunch with girlfriends on the porch was put on my mental calendar.
The back yard would make a sweet cottage garden Small and easy to manage. Not like my big yard that required a hired yard man to mow it. My dogs did not even cross my mind. I pictured rose bushes and a white picket fence.
The nicest agent met me and listened kindly as I rattled off my dream...the cottage in my mind! The paint outside was rough, but brown is not my cottage color. All the colors of the rainbow swirled in my brain as I thought I could paint the outside!
The double garage might make an artist's studio.
All my large painted cupboards and cottage chests would fit. My Tommy Bahama plantation sofa ( a thrift store major find) was made for the living room.
The wide tree lined street was full of old houses. The street was one I'd driven many times looking at houses. It was one of the streets in downtown Monroe I loved best.
Creative financing, lease purchase, owner financing. I needed time to sell my house. If I could do a lease purchase, I'd move the dogs and my furniture up, then put the house up for sale in Decatur.
"Do you think the seller would work with me?"
"I'll check with the broker and let's meet back here on Monday to make an offer."
I knew the universe had found my house. I was on my cell as soon as the van door slammed shut. I called a few friends. I ran into my booth at Hodge Podge, "I think I've found my house!" A friend at another antique shop knew the house well. "We'll do things when you move."
All the pieces of the puzzle were coming together.
One large piece, the one that finishes the puzzle, was still missing.
The dogs vs. the yard.
How did I miss that in all my excitement?
It still had not crossed my mind later that night when I met the Decatur Boomer Babes ( a small group of girlfriends I'd recently met and get together with regularly. We'd named ourselves that!) and told them about the house.
I would be sad to leave them.
After dinner I drove home. As I pulled into my drive the hounds from hell heard my car, and the barking and howling inside the house, could be heard before I turned off the engine. The dogs barked and yapped as I opened the kitchen door and let them into the back yard. Six dogs ran out growling and rolling over the other. Bray barked his deep bark, the one he started sharing with the world six months ago, to announce he wanted dinner. It doesn't stop until his kibble is placed in front of him.
Loud, barking, yapping, howling dogs. Six dogs. All in a yard that is large, private, and safe. No one cares they are there. No one hears them except me. My huge yard is their haven. My yard keeps them from annoying the folks next door.
The yard in Monroe? My neighbors would hate me with the noise my pack makes. The dogs would bark everytime they saw someone next door. There was no privacy for the dogs, no place for them to run. Just a tiny yard I would make into a larger pen, that would not work for anyone. The yard in Monroe was a two-dog yard at best, no matter how many privacy fences would go up, there was no room for a six-pack.
I was blinded by love. I loved that house. I love my dogs more.
Sunday I called the agent back. "I forgot about my dogs. The yard won't work. I don't want you to waste time asking about financing. Six-dogs are a way of life for me, and six-dogs won't fit in the yard."
When you live with a pack of dogs you love, they come first.
I watched TV surrounded by my dogs in my Decatur house last night and smiled. What a silly bunch of dogs. I wouldn't trade them for anything.
The cottage in my mind? It is still there. Only this time I've expanded my dreams to include at least an acre of land!
"I loved that house!" I cried to my good friend.
"You love all the houses you see." She was laughing at me, not with me. I knew that tone.
Perhaps she is right. Each house brings something I love better. If the yard had worked for my dogs, this cottage would be mine. Each time I learn something about living with dogs and what works for us. Perhaps in the long run I'll realize I'm already home.
This house is still for sale. You can contact the broker by linking here . Isn't it perfectly wonderful?