We live in a fog bank.
How many people can say that they wore sweaters and beanies on July 5th?
Well, we've actually had a lovely June. We've had sun almost every day and a high of 70 at least one of those. But every morning there is fog. This will continue until late August, when we'll get a full 4 weeks of regular sun, mid 60's- mid 70's (maybe a day or two above 80), and then it is fall.
I love our little flat, I love our neighborhood in all of its suburban in a city qualities, but I sorely miss sun and heat (not southern heat or tropical heat, just normal California heat. Even if we lived in a different neighborhood, I'm not sure we would get what I want.
Growing up (just 40 minutes North of San Francisco in a little town called Petaluma), in the summer time there might be morning fog, but then it got hot. There was running in the sprinklers, going to the community pool, popsicles in the front yard. There were summer nights that allowed you to keep wearing shorts well into the evening.
I desperately miss the heat.
A friend of ours was playing around with buying a cheap property in the Russian River. An hour and 1/2 North and on a river, there are huge redwood trees, hiking trails, and swimming beaches. There are a ton of wineries and starting to be some groovy food options too.
We go up there pretty regularly, but on a lot of the public beaches, the crowd can get kinda rough. The area, despite a lot of its great qualities, doesn't have a real economy, so some of the people coming to the river to enjoy it, just have different values than we do. And it becomes apparent when they empty their first case of budweiser, start cussing at the kids, and laugh when their kid throws a rock at ours.
Long story short, we got excited about the potential to buy a place up there too, particularly after finding out that there are a couple neighborhoods with HOA's that grant access to private beaches!
Why not throw our money into renting a beach house a couple times a summer? We don't want to plan it months in advance, the mortgage for two months is equal to the rental for one week, and with kids, it takes a long time for them to get used to a vacation house. T likes his own bed (so does his mama), so we want a place he can go for a long long time and get used to it.
Now, we have no real money by San Francisco standards. But, in the grand scheme of things, houses up there are still pretty cheap.
So, we have an offer in on a fixer upper (in the most extreme sense) with a few partners. It is on a private community beach with a little clubhouse and snackbar - think dirty dancing, minus the dirty part (though I would have LOVED a little place like this when I was 13). It is a safe little community where bands of 13 year old girls wander the streets chatting - you can tell they all go up every summer, they chase 13 year old boys on the private beach, and sip cokes at the "bar" in the club house. Little kids, 10 years old, walk to the river with floaties, and everyone is clearly in vacation land.
Our offer was accepted, but after MASSIVE numbers coming back from a pest report (like 2/3 of purchase price, massive) and contractors, we have to renegotiate the terms of the deal.
Mama's gonna have a fantastic time pulling this house together and my pinterest boards are already brimming with ideas :)
I can't wait to close, get my grubby little hands on this disaster, and send the boys to the beach so I can start ripping up that NASTY purple, green, and brown carpet.
They say you should buy a house with good bones. This one has bones that are being eating inside out, but has amazing redwood and notty pine paneling (hidden under false wood paneling from the 70's), beautiful redwood floors (hidden under hideous dirty carpet), and amazing decks (that are about to fall off the hillside onto the neighbor's house).
But we want it anyway.
This is what I've been doing while I've been away from my blog, meeting contractors, learning about septic tanks (ours is a cesspool, by the way), propane gas, and navigating country life.