Well, one of the listings caught my eye as sounding particularly attractive. On Friday, I went to look at it, and was surprised to find that I liked it even more in person. So we went back again tonight with msmemory so she could take a look, and we continue to be quite attracted to it. A smidgeon expensive, but it has everything we wanted and a couple that hadn't occurred to us to look for. (Like an acre of land, most of it forested wetland, so it isn't adding to the price but provides lots of privacy.) The house just feels really nice. Walking into it is like shrugging on a well-tailored overcoat: from the kitchen to the family room to the basement, it fits us well.
It does, of course, have one snag: it's out in Framingham. We'd talked about location before, and established that anything out to about Framingham or Chelmsford was okay if the house was perfect. Well, okay -- now we've found a near-perfect house, so we need to decide if we're serious about that.
It's an odd psychological barrier, crossing 128. Framingham really isn't all that far -- maybe 15 minutes further out from the city -- but we've heard so many people talk about how far they think of it being that it gives us pause. One of the objectives for this house is to have a good place to start entertaining again (it's delightfully well-laid-out for parties), and there's an odd little fear that no one will make the trek out there.
Of course, it isn't very rational. Everywhere is far from somewhere -- this location is considerably closer to Waltham than, say, Dorchester is, and people go there all the time. Some of it is probably just habit: I've lived in Waltham for over half my life, and msmemory nearly as long, so the idea of moving a significant distance away and having to learn the ins and outs of a new area is curiously daunting. Up until now, the house-buying process has been very intellectual, but now that push is coming to shove, we're learning a bit about ourselves.
We'll see. First we need to decide if we want it. Even if we do, a host of things could go wrong. But one way or another, this project has now taken on a dimension of reality that it didn't have before...