Our house in Naperville has been on the market for a little over two months, and now that we’re finally starting to settle into our home in California, I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about the home we left. I’d love to sell the house – two mortgage payments are never fun – but, truth be told, it’s more than that: we got almost seven good years out of that house, and I’m surprised that the right buyer hasn’t fallen in love with the house the first time they lay eyes on it. I figure I’ll share some details, and a few of you reading this might link to it, and maybe someone out there thinking about relocating to Naperville will search Google for their new home. And maybe they’ll see this, and we’ll have our match. Who knows – can’t hurt, right?
We first saw the house on a whirlwind househunt the weekend that President Bush was inaugurated. Given Naperville’s demographics, it should come as no surprise that there weren’t a lot of home buyers out that weekend! It was a cold day in January, there was a ton of snow on the ground, and it was late in the first day of looking. We walked into an empty house (much like it is now) and tried hard to ignore the ugly wallpaper in the dining room, the dark wallpaper in the study, the mismatched wallpaper in the kids bedrooms (are you sensing a theme here?) and the ugly lighting fixtures in the kitchen and dining room.
What we saw was a house with beautiful lines (Robin calls them bones – I’m going with lines). Arched doorways. An expansive view of the big backyard through the kitchen door. A study on the first floor that could be a bedroom if we needed it to be. A huge, unfinished basement. Two attics. A floor in the attic over the garage, inviting us to store lots of stuff. A great layout in the kitchen, giving us access to the cooking area while still being able to interact with guests. An open floorplan that, as our kid (we only had one at the time) learned to walk, would invite him to run laps. A neat neighborhood. The elementary school was around the corner; a fishing lake was across the street. (Granted it was iced over at the time, but we were grooving on the vision thing.)
In the six+ years since then, we’ve done a ton of work on the house. We stripped the wallpaper in every room and painted. Added a chair railing to the molding in the dining room. Painted Becca’s room, and her Grammy painted a gorgeous mural on the walls. Replaced the light fixtures. Upgraded the countertops in the kitchen. Replaced the french door from the kitchen with a slider, making it easier for the kids to come and go. I finished the basement, giving me a media room (since the Bose speakers were built in, they remain installed in the ceiling), a bar (with wine and beer fridges!), and a place for my poker table (sorry, that followed us out here). We put a closet system in the boys’ room (who were sharing a bunkbed). Replaced the aging dishwasher and refrigerator, and got rid of the heinous glass cooktop stove, replacing it with a JennAir dual fuel stove with a double oven.
We put a raised bed garden in the backyard, which gave us an incredible collection of tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and tons of herbs over the years. The backyard got a fence, giving our beloved dog room to roam and the kids a safe place to run around. We landscaped the backyard, adding dozens of perennials that stagger their colors from spring through fall. We got to know the neighbors, instituting an annual lobster dinner for 20, fireworks viewing off of our back deck, and regular swingset swapping among the kids.
And maybe most significantly, we loved how close we were to some of Naperville’s gems: Ribfest (walking distance to that most gluttonous of charitable events!), Last Fling (seeing They Might Be Giants a couple years ago was a highlight), and the Riverwalk. We spent a ton of time walking around downtown – between the library (#1 in the country!), the restaurants, Andersen’s bookshop, events like Oktoberfest, there were plenty of opportunities – which was just a mile away.
We added a bit of history to the house, hosting Barack Obama for a fundraiser during his 2004 Senate run.
In all, it was a great six+ years. We’re thrilled to be out in California, but know that we had something special in Naperville. It’s a wonderful town, and the person who buys 1416 Oswego Road is going to find themselves surrounded by great neighbors (with kids ranging from 2 to 20) and they’ll be close to the schools, the shops (there’s a Starbucks that’s even within walking distance!) and many of the events that have come to be synonymous with Naperville.
Sound like your next house? Head on over to our realtor’s site, where they have the info about our Naperville home for sale.