House Search


While filing some papers away today I came across the sales particulars from the purchase of our house, and I recalled our experience buying it nearly ten years ago.


Having decided to move to the NYC area from Cambridge, MA, we started our search in late September. As we had a cat and a dog that were used to going outside, we ruled out Manhattan. Instead we started looking in the New Jersey town we had visited earlier that month where some friends lived.

We contacted our friends’ realtor and arranged to come down for the weekend. We viewed about 6 homes on the first day; the last one we viewed we ended up buying.

I first saw our house listed online. The realtor hadn’t planned to show it to us (he didn’t think it was suitable) but was happy to add it to our viewing list at my request.

Dan and I both liked the house immediately. It was in a nice neighborhood with lots of mature trees. It felt woody and secluded, yet it was just 2 miles from Manhattan. Also, for me, it had something of an English cottage feel that felt familiar and comfortable.


Dan particularly liked that the house was on a hill and that the back garden had three distinct levels — a hill, a yard, and a lower walkway. We both saw potential in the house and garden, and we recognized that the wide lot with a detached garage would allow for an addition.


That same day, after deliberation, we decided to make an offer. We deliberated because we thought we should maybe look at more places. We wondered if it was wise to buy one of the first places we’d seen. However, I had a sense that we could find ourselves six months down the road saying “Remember that place we saw the first day? We should have bought that place.” Dan agreed so we made an offer the next day. Sometimes you have to trust your gut instinct.

We moved in just two and a half months later and have never regretted our purchase decision. We love living here and are excited that we are now getting to realize the potential we saw in 2002.


live. enjoy. repeat.

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