Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Horizons

There have been some big changes here at the homestead, the most notable being our new home. When we moved to Houston in the summer of 2012, we were daunted by the task of buying a house in the city's crazy real estate market, a task made even more difficult by the fact that we were still living in Austin at the time. We were outbid on several offers, and lacked the resources or time to look in our most desired neighborhoods. Brian and I have always claimed that we could live in two places and two places only: the heart of the city or the middle of nowhere. Anything in between just wasn't for us. So we surprised ourselves when we bought a house in the West Houston suburbs where I grew up. It's a great little neighborhood and our house was a great little house, but despite its proximity to both our jobs, we weren't terribly happy there.

The Rise School of Houston
About six months later, we received Quinn's diagnosis and learned about The Rise School of Houston, a developmental preschool for children with Down syndrome. We took a tour when Quinn was very young and immediately put his name on the wait list; we had fallen in love with the school after our visit. With their integrated music, speech, and physical therapy, as well as a 3:1 student to teacher ratio and a gorgeous facility, we knew immediately that this was the best thing for Quinn's formative early years. The only problem (other than the insanely high tuition rate; that's a discussion for another post) is that it was on the opposite end of town from us, but ironically close to where we wanted to live when we first moved to Houston. Nevertheless, we went back and forth on ways to make it work from our home in the 'burbs without ever coming up with a solution. And after some reflection on where we were at the time, Brian and I made the decision to move to central Houston. We craved museums, coffee shops, and the charm of bungalow-lined streets. We missed seeing bicycles and independently-owned businesses. We missed the pulse and general weirdness that comes with an inner-city neighborhood and all its different perspectives. And, of course, it was the best decision for Quinn because it meant he could attend The Rise School.

We made an offer on the second house we saw, a darling 1928 Victorian bungalow on a corner lot in the an historic section of the Houston Heights, complete with a garage apartment (for extra income; our summer tenant moves in today) and a wrought-iron fence. We weren't exactly ready to move; we had just started looking to get an idea of the market, but just like when we toured the Rise School, we immediately fell in love with this house. When our offer was accepted, we rushed to get our other house listed. We were really lucky that the Houston real estate market was even hotter than when we bought the house less than two years prior, and we had two offers over asking price within three hours! Our agent said she had never seen anything like it.


We officially moved in to our new home last weekend and are finally starting to feel settled. We absolutely adore living in the heart of the city and being so close to all the things we love. And we love the charm and quirkiness of an historic home. Our upstairs AC is on the fritz, our behemoth dog broke the flimsy single-paned glass in our dining room window, and the water pressure makes Atticus's squirt gun look like a fire hose. But, hey, we have a clawfoot tub, an old front porch, and four capable hands that aren't afraid to get a little dirty.