Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Offer

Our real adventure began after we made the call to our realtor.  We had decided to make an offer on the house, quite a bit lower than the current asking price.  We had mulled over what we could afford, discussed with our lender the maximum offer we could make and were finally ready to take the risk.  Peter, our realtor began diligently drawing up the offer papers.  I was still on sabbatical at this time, so one morning - the day the offer was going to be sent off - I recieved several frantic emails and voicemails from Peter.  I had been doing my usual leisurly morning run, coffee, read the paper - so by the time I got back to Peter, I was curious what the hoopla was all about.

Turns out the seller was getting more desperate to move the house.  He had put it on Craigs List that morning - at significantly lower than the offer we were about to make!  So, we scrambled to revise our offer and sent it off.  It was September 24, 2008.  So, what is significant about this date?  Well, if you remember what was going on in the financial world at this time, things were crashing.  The exact date of the 2008 crash has never been formally identified - but starting on September 16, banks began to fail and by October 6, 2008 the market is considered to have formally begun its steady crash.  So, here we were, putting our entire life savings on the line to sell property, buy property - in the middle of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression!  We winced, said a lot of prayers but kept our heads up in a doggedly determined way and kept walking forward into a very unknown future!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Dream

Ok.  Blog entry number one.  Why an inn?  Andy and I love to travel and love to cook.  We thrive on creating our home and garden.  Entertaining family and friends comes naturally.  And, we know we can work together, actually literally be together 24-7.  We have worked together as architects for 14 years, married for 11 of those!  We have spent the last 10 years talking about owning a bed and breakfast, seriously searching for the last 5 of those.  We looked at hundreds of properties online, in person and through realtors.  It became clear that the cost of an up and running inn was way out of our financial reach.  So, being architects and having renovated several properties, we decided to look for a regular residence that we could convert to an inn. 

We had always loved the Willamette Valley and every time we visited, we would tell ourselves "we could really live here".  It felt like home to us.  In summer 2008, I took a sabbatical from work and started searching the real estate listings.  Finally, we found a house large enough to accommodate the number of rooms needed to make a real business.  The layout of the house was perfect for public to private areas and innkeeping and back of house space, with a ton of renovations (of course).  The property had beautiful views and 10 acres of meadows and included a large barn perfect for events.  So, we decided on our almost 4 hour drive back to Bremerton, Washington to make an offer on the house.  We really could not have anticipated the crazy journey that follows...