Oops I Did it Again

Oh, Mary. When will you learn. To slow down, to pace yourself, to take a chill pill, to take one step at a time. Chalk this one up to the next round of lessons in that big fat book, I just lost myself $500 big ones. See, it all started out with this cute little house nestled away in a sweet little neighborhood in Durham.

Durham Real Estate

See, isn’t it cute! 🙂 (A little yellow – but you can fix that!) Now, when the hubster and I were down for our first round of interviews, I got it in my head that it might be fun to swing by some of the homes for sale in the area and just check out the neighborhoods and see which areas in the town we liked. Given the fact that we’d never been to Durham before in our lives, I’m super glad we did this. It gave us an opportunity to see the different areas for the first time – and to visualize ourselves in a home there. Alas, my visualizing skills are sometimes a bit too keen, since we decided to put in an offer on a house all lickety split.

We were totally excited about the house. 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, room for an office, walking distance for me to work, a quick bike ride for Jay to work, steps away from the farmers market, the downtown shops and all the amazing things that any urban center can offer you. We’d signed the paperwork and we’re just headed to the land of the pines for an inspection before we totally committed to this home to being ours.


Jay and I got to the house a few minutes before the realtor got there, just to give us a second to view the property one more time. We popped into the backyard to talk through some of the plans we had for it and our stomachs kind of did one of those pit dropping heart lurching things when you just realize that this little space is just not right for you. See one thing we failed to notice in our quick run through the first time (when we fell in love with the property) was that one row of houses past our backyard was a pretty darn busy street, with tons of road noise. A biker’s convention just happened to be shooting through that afternoon, so we had the pleasure of hearing rev after rev of the engines coming through.

After the initial panic hit, we tried to think of things we could do to “solve” our problem, or at least work with it. Here’s the backyard.

Getting Rid of Road Noise

First thing we thought about was adding a solid row of evergreens to help with the noise and the visual. Although the noise was obnoxious, the worst part about it was how you could see it. Instead of just being a white noise in the background, your mind was able to connect car to the whir around you. It just wasn’t the peaceful backyard experience we had hyped up in our heads when we thought about warm summer evenings with a margarita in hand.

Here’s a kinda sorta (ok, not realllyy) simulation of what things would look like if we planted a bazillion little evergreen shrubs. It helps with the visual, but doesn’t really kick out that noise factor.

Blocking Road Noise with Shrubs

The biggest stumbling block for us, and the one we just couldn’t get around in our minds, was how high the house was from the road down below it. Great for water drainage – not so hot when you’re trying to block the view of the busy road 200 feet back. Each level we went up things just got worse. Although you could definitely hear the road noise down in the backyard, every time we went up a level, we could see it too. This is a view from the deck, which is the first story.

Road Noise Behind House

After lots of teeth gnashing and stressed out sighs, Jay and I ultimately decided that it was better to wait for the next house to come along and chalk this experience up as a very painful lesson. The biggest pain in the tuckus about passing this house up though, is that over 3-weeks later – nothing has come on the market that we’d want to actually jump on. It’s awful, guys! For a girl who’s ready to tear down the next wall in her life, this waiting period is just all kinds of painful.

Let’s all (tearfully) wave goodbye to the house that almost was …

Watts Hillendale Real Estate

And believe you me, we’ve definitely been looking (pretty hard core!) for the past 2 months now. Oye.

There have been a decent amount of contenders, like this one.

Real Estate in Watts Hillendale

Cute as a button, right? The basement had a few trouble spots – as in – maaajjoooorrr issues with our good southern friend, the termite. Us northern folk have been in for a barrel of monkeys on that front.

And this one … so cute! But already done, and the layout was funky, too.

Old West Durham Homes

So in closing – could someone please list their house in Downtown Durham so we can buy it?! Please and thank you 😀

6 thoughts on “Oops I Did it Again

  1. What a bummer. We had so many “almost ours” houses while looking for our second home. Of course, everything happens for a reason and we ended up right where we were supposed to be. Your perfect house will show itself (hopefully sooner rather than later!)

    PS we’re in south eastern NC by Topsail Island 🙂

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