Wednesday, June 1, 2011

New homeowners!!!

Welcome to my blog! My name is Leslie and I just bought a house!!! Ok, well we are in the process but that is what this blog is all about. I'm going to back up to the beginning so we can catch up to where we are now. To give you a bit of background, I am an actress currently living in New York City. I live in Harlem (or the area known as Hamilton Heights) in Manhattan. I've have been in New York since 1999 and have lived all around the city. I am originally from Livingston, NJ which is about a half hour away.

My boyfriend's name is Vadim and he is a musical director/composer here. He lives about 5 blocks from me and has been in New York about the same length of time. He is originally from Cleveland, Ohio in the area known as Mayfield Heights. We met around 10 years ago working together on a project at NYU. I don't remember meeting him the first time but he remembers meeting me. Of course! Anyway, we have crossed paths many times since the theater business is a small community and finally 2 1/2 years ago started dating. We have been together ever since. 

So in love! 

Everyone always asks "Are you guys engaged? You look engaged in this picture!" No, we are not engaged....yet. It's coming. As a matter of fact Vadim sized my finger the other day. So I'm a six. Pretty exciting. I wanted to show a picture of the kind of rings I love but I figured that was tacky. Whatever I get is going to be amazing because it's from him. 

As far as the traditional order of things, we are kind of doing this backwards. Usually people get engaged, married and then buy a house right? I kind of like that we are doing it this way. It seems like we are getting the hard part out of the way. Getting engaged and married seems easy. We can do it in our backyard if we wanted to! Trust me, I've thought about it. Anyway, I'm going on and on...let's continue.

A few weeks ago, 2 1/2 weeks to be exact, I come home and Vadim says "I want to go look at houses". Now, I was leaving that Monday (it is Wed) to go work up at Barrington Stage in Massachusetts where I am currently rehearsing GUYS AND DOLLS. Of course he picks the week before I leave to go look at homes. So, I call Vanessa Pollock, our amazing realtor.

It's too bad she's not gorgeous...:)

I met Vanessa while on tour with URINETOWN THE MUSICAL. Charlie Pollock, her husband, was in the show and she had just had her their first baby.We were traveling with an infant! It was awesome. She was always so sweet and kind. Since then Vanessa has become a super star realtor in the Essex County area and Charlie and her have been so blessed to have three gorgeous kids. Yup, she actually looks just like that photo after three kids. Her youngest Stella is so freakin cute I may have to steal her. I'm obsessed. Anyway, I called her and we set up an appointment for Saturday. Now, Vadim and I had been perusing the internet looking at all the houses in Maplewood/South Orange and since I grew up fifteen minutes away I knew the area very well. We had a good idea of what we were looking for. Vanessa told us to send her the listings we liked and she would send us the listings she had. When you are on a site like Trulia you have a wide array of homes from $89,000 all the way to $5,000,000. Yeah, it's crazy. So of COURSE I haddddd to look at some incredible homes that were way out of our range. It's like on SAY YES TO THE DRESS when the biggest mistake is to try on a dress like this:


When you can really only afford this

Simple and reasonably priced

I'm obsessed with the show SAY YES TO THE DRESS. One of my favorite shows on TV. LOVE! They have some of the most insane crazy brides to stories that make you cry. Below is one of the more tacky customers. Hilarious. Who the hell wears a SEE THROUGH DRESS to their wedding? 

"Hey look! Your son is marrying a whore!"

Can you tell I'm slightly ADD?  A week or so prior to this we had taken a drive out to the area to see what it was like. We loved Maplewood and South Orange but I was always more partial to Maplewood. We had all the listings we loved and drove by them all. This is the one we REALLY liked:

Gorgeous House!

We drove by it and even though it was kind of on a busy street it look amazing. After driving around and seeing more houses, we wanted to check out one that inside looked amazing online. It was this house:


REALLLY love it. 

Cut to our appointment with Vanessa a week later. We took the train to Maplewood where Vanessa picked us up. I hadn't seen her in years and she looked beautiful. We all got in her car and went house hunting. It was very exciting and right away she told us the ground rules. Everything from confidentially to asking any question we want no matter how stupid we thought it was. She was amazing. I felt so comfortable with her. She brought us to a few homes that we liked and the first was our FAVORITE! PARKER!! When we visited the home the family was there getting ready for a birthday party so it was kind of awkward at first. You never really want to see a home with the people living in it. They seemed very nice and eager for us to see it so that made us feel better. As we walked through, I wasn't struck immediately with a "AHA" moment. It wasn't that. It was huge inside, and had a gorgeous lawn but there was something missing. I could post pics but honestly you get the idea. Great house and certainly worth the price but not what I expected. 

After that Vanessa took us to a variety of homes to look at. Each one needed more work than the first so in comparison Parker was the house to beat. None of them beated it. Vadim wanted Parker and even though I liked it, I wasn't in love. As we neared the end of our day, Vanessa said she had one more to show us. It was the house I drove by the week before and didn't love. I said ok and as we drove up something was different. We parked the car and walked up the steps and something told me that this might be it. As soon as Vanessa opened the front door, we were home. 

I fell in love at first sight

As we walked through it got better and better. It was in perfect shape and had everything we wanted. Charm, warmth, space, and most importantly it felt like love in the house. I can't describe it. We looked at each other and said immediately "This is it". I couldnt' believe it. We went out to the yard and it was gorgeous. Flowers, a garden, and a patio with gorgeous grass and a hammock hanging on the tree. It was heaven. The same house I drove by and judged so harshly was the same house I wanted to buy. How did this happen? We didn't plan on finding a house TODAY???? WHAT? 

To Be Continued.....

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