Bizarre home story

As many of you know, Brianna's been househunting. She had a relatively small amount of money awarded to her (finally) after having been rear-ended by a landscaping truck several years ago and needed to invest it wisely so she'd have funds available in the event she needed another back surgery any time in the future.

The depressed housing market and the $8,000 tax credit incentive were working in her favor. But, like I said, her budget was pretty small, so very few homes were available in her price range, in a decent part of town and in fairly good shape.

After several months of researching homes online, Brianna narrowed it down to a few to look at. Together, with her realtor, she and I headed out one day last week to visit the top four choices on her list.

Three were absolutely horrid. Of those three, two were unbelievably structurally unsound -- one had a crack so large in the bedroom wall that you could see into the bathroom and the other provided a crazy funhouse effect, thanks to the sloping floors. The third horrid home was so filthy it made us want to gag but the unusable floor plan was the main reason for deletion from her list to consider further.

The fourth home we saw that day was the one. It was in a great location near her church, not far from work, in the same neighborhood as a friend. It was a HUD home and needed some work, but she and her realtor put in a bid. And she found out in less than 24 hours that her bid was accepted! She was getting a home for $30,000 less than its appraised value (an August 2009 appraisal). The inspection proved there were no major problems. Brianna will be a homeowner ... after all the HUD hoops are jumped through, of course. But being a cash deal with a completed inspection and appraisal, it's basically a done deal.

So why the "Bizarre" in the title of this post? Well, it will be a wonderful home for Brianna and Hunter, and I know that for a fact because ... and here's the "bizarre" part ... IT'S THE TOWNHOME JIM AND I BOUGHT FOR OUR LITTLE FAMILY IN 1984! Not just a townhome in the same neighborhood or the same complex where we bought our first home, but the exact same home with the exact same address!

This wouldn't be incredibly surprising if we lived in a small town where homes are recycled with families all the time, but the population of our city is creeping up on the half-million mark. So for Brianna to have this exact home basically fall in her lap, with nothing else even remotely close to being what she wants, in her budget range and the location she wants to live, is bizarre. To say the least. I think you'll agree.

It's the house where our two little girls ...

... became three.

Where stockings were hung ...

... and pumpkins were carved.

Where happy, vibrant Granny came to visit.

And Grandma, too. (When her grandchildren numbered five; it's now closer to 25!)

It was the first stop for Grandma and Grandpa Jerry just after their wedding ceremony.

And a great place for hanging out at the pool.

The fireplace was a prime spot for posing ...

... and roasting marshmallows, too.

It's where our little family was made complete. It was our home, in every sense of the word, for three happy -- yet humble -- years.

Now it's Brianna's. And there's something weirdly satisfying in that.

Brianna will make it uniquely her own, the memories of three goofy little girls getting their bearings there will fade. It's where she will get her bearings as an adult ... on her own ... with an empty canvas awaiting all her HGTV-gleaned ideas ... and no mortgage -- hallelujah!!

So she's got her car ... she's got her home.

Brianna's ready to roll!