It is so easy to look for a new home these days. Pick your favorite online site, Redfin or Zillow or a realty company, plug in your parameters, and the hours can melt away as you float from home to home. Early this year Barb and I got in that habit, comparing notes, and occasionally talking to a realtor.
We were looking for the perfect empty-nester home. A ranch home in Deerfield or Northbrook seemed like a good option, but they were as rare as a sunny day during our overcast and rainy spring. Then late in April things started to click…too many things!
We unearthed a ranch in Lincolnshire. It was a little (a lot) bigger than we really wanted with two, count-em 2, wine cellars. The location, though an improvement, wasn’t the mainline onto the tollway that I wanted. It needed some updating, especially the kitchen, and it had DRYVIT (shivers!!!) But we liked the house, we liked the agent, and we decided to put the house on our mental “Maybe” list.
What else would make the list? On a rare sun-shiny Sundays, we decided to explore an Open House in Thorngate, the large subdivision in Riverwoods. The house we saw didn’t do much for us, but as we were leaving Barb said “Let’s drive around a little, I think I remember there being a vacant lot for sale here.”
OK–that is NOT what I wanted to hear! But what harm would a drive-by do? We found the lot, the “For Sale” sign sagging on the weedy, half-acre parcel. A large pond on the south side, a nice house on the north side and another “substantial” house across the street. Maybe there was potential here. Barb scribbled down the realtors number. Things were going to get interesting.