la-maison

6 months ago by

Last week, we moved into our house.

Our very own home, with a big kitchen, plenty of space, a little garden, an atelier for me, a studio for Chris. A bathroom all to myself. Putting down roots.

Here I am, sitting on boxes full of my previous lives, and there’s only one thing I want: to take my time. Savor this big moment, listen to the birds singing, the schoolchildren playing in the distance, Lulu turning over in a ray of sun.

There’s also a guy screaming into his phone outside. Just a second, I’m going to go beat him up. Be right back.

We landed in Los Angeles on January 1st. I had been keeping an eye on houses for sale in Venice for a long time. To be honest, I didn’t really believe it was ever going to happen. It was like it was out of my reach somehow. You know that feeling?

I don’t know how to explain it, but having my own house has been one of my dreams all my life.

I could tell you the story like a fairy tale.

I actually started writing this post like a fairy tale.

But I almost fell asleep as I was writing, that’s how boring fairy tales are.

Because even though it’s a fairy tale to me, the real story is that life always delivers a little dose of yin with the yang.

And honestly, that part is a lot funnier.

So I’m going to tell you about buying our house by sharing the strongest moments.

It’s also a good time to share what I’ve learned about the ups and downs of buying a house. If you dream of one day owning a home, consider this to be a public service post!

January 4

Chris and I are fresh from New York with alabaster skin and stars in our eyes. We’re riding in Jessica’s (our real estate agent) BMW convertible and we happen upon a house whose photos I hadn’t liked, but which actually looks pretty promising in person.

We step into the house and immediately, I love it.

I mean, I love it like… When you love something at Valentino. Love it like I’m going to touch the fabric for two seconds then put it down as delicately as possible because otherwise I’ll start dreaming about it and…

I ask the price again, and of course it’s over our budget, but not way over.

Just, over.

So we decide to go for a drink in Chris’ brand new Honda (“OK, it’s not as exciting as a BMW, but Honda’s last forever”)(and I totally agree)(we’ll have to talk about cars really soon because I’m about to get my driver’s license since I am getting my LIFE IN ORDER) and I tell him, in my very emotional 2016-2017 way (very weepy, the trend of the moment) “Babe, if we buy this house, or a house like this, it will be a very important life moment for me. And when it happens, I’d really like us to celebrate it seriously.”

You have to understand that for me, having a house is a dream I’ve had since I was a little girl and I’ve waited patiently, totally idealizing the concept, of course, for years and years and years. Probably too much, but that’s just the way it is. To me, it symbolizes accomplishment, security, happiness.

And plus, I love, I mean LOVE decorating, and I’ve been biding my time renting apartments “waiting” for years.

I don’t know what I said to set him off, but we launched into a whisper fight (we were at a restaurant, you know those ridiculous fights where you’re trying to speak quietly the whole time and you end up throwing down your money and getting out of there, then once you get to the parking lot, you have to wait to get into the car, then drive in silence – you know exactly what I’m talking about.)

Find a house, and have a fight.

January 5

It was probably raining because Los Angeles decided to greet us with the rainiest January since 1823 (I’m making that up, but I’m sure it’s something like that) and as if that weren’t enough misery, I’m starting to have what any future owner of something must feel at some point: DOUBT.

Maybe the house is too expensive.
Maybe the house is too modern.
Maybe the house is too good for me.
Maybe the house was a big mistake.
Maybe it is way, way too early to make a decision like that.
Maybe the house doesn’t get enough light???
What if tomorrow, let’s say if we bought it, a better house goes on the market????

And that’s when I totally lost my cool. I’m usually pretty relaxed about things in life (not naturally, but I’ve learned). But this time I went into completely-hysterical-show-me-the-house-200-times-every-moment-of-the-day-google-everything-googlable-and-can-I-just-see-it-one-more-time-Jessica-sorry-thank-you-sorry.

I couldn’t sleep at night.

January 11

We finally made an offer, figuring if the house was meant to be ours, the offer would be accepted and everything would work out smoothly. Jessica said to me, with her big smile: “Don’t worry, it’s a long process buying a house, and the offer is just the beginning. You can retract your offer up to the very last day.”

The offer was turned down.
Which annoyed me cause I’m a proud Corsican. So I made another offer. Just like that, from New York where I was traveling at the time, over the phone, in “pffff it will never work but might as well try” mode.

The offer was accepted.
Ugh, really?
I started regretting it before I’d even bought it.

After the offer is accepted, in the US, that’s when you go into escrow, which means you begin all the formal procedures that go along with buying a house.
At the end of that period, they give you the keys. In LA, it takes about one month.

EXCEPT FOR ME, as you’re about to find out.

My problem? I’m French, ladies and gentlemen!

January 18

I am sitting across from my loan broker.

I arrived in her office, feeling easy breezy in my ballerina flats (?), ready to choose my bank and my loan like you pick an ice cream at Salt + Straw, ready to embark on my great mortgage adventure, adulting big time, basically, when suddenly, I realize the constipated expression on my loan officer’s face wasn’t from her lunch (??) but because there were no banks willing to give me a loan.

No. Banks. Willing. To. Give. Me. A. Loan.

Hmm, that’s a nice confirmation.

I wasn’t ready to be a homeowner, that must be it. It wasn’t possible. I had dreamed too big, it wasn’t something that was within reach for me. I was having horrible imposter syndrome.

But after I let my emotions go for two seconds, I decided to fight back. No banks want to give me a loan? We’ll see about that!!!

Oh, by the way, why wouldn’t a bank want me?

It’s very simple, and any French person living in the US has run into this kind of problem, because we don’t have the same culture. You see, in France, we are taught to have the least amount of debt possible. The day you go to the bank to ask for a loan, the bank congratulates you for never having needed a loan before, it’s a sign of being very responsible, how many millions do you need, ma’am, please sign here, have a great year.

In the US, to get a loan, you need to have already had one. Or like, at least three. Having money isn’t as important. I’m not kidding. The culture here is about living on credit, and you aren’t judged on your finances as much as on your ability to pay off your loans (for school, cars, healthcare, that Valentino dress, it can be anything.)

So if you’ve never had any small loans, you can’t get a big loan.

So not only did I feel like a total imbecile with my “healthy bank account” but on top of it all, my constipated loan officer had me waste a lot of precious time in escrow, and then I had to extend the escrow, which cost even more money.

Chris and I felt defeated, and we tried to figure out how we could pull the money together as quickly as possible, but it seemed too extreme. So we went back to our little Airbnb, telling ourselves that’s all we deserved since we didn’t have enough credit to have credit. It was raining, of course, and even Lulu was looking at us with teary doe eyes “no yard for me, then?”

(We’re a pretty dramatic family)

But deep down, I knew it didn’t make sense. I was sure there must be a solution. Banks dream of lending money to a young (ok-ish) couple, right?

And just like every time I feel lost about money (which is always), I called Walter Schupfer, my agent who understands everything, EVERYTHING about finance.
And he told me, G, call this number.

January 20

Brad answers my phone call. Smooth voice, impeccable sense of humor, absolute confidence in himself that you could feel on the other side of the line. Feeling that with him, anything is possible. In three minutes, after sending two documents, he said, of course I can do this.

We’re going to find you a great loan, and we’re going to do it fast.

It was like Starsky from Starsky & Hutch had come to my rescue.

The only thing missing was the 70s music in the background.

I couldn’t believe my ears.

Baaam! Another mission accomplished by Walter Schupfer.

Lesson No. 1: Never give up
Lesson No. 2: Sometimes, you come across mediocre people (my constipated agent) and when that happens, don’t lose courage. Just call someone else, preferably Starsky from Starsky & Hutch.
Lesson No. 3: Always ask someone who knows.

In three phone calls, our problem was solved.

I had a great rate, a great loan, and I was going to have a great house.

BUT…

January 23

I still had my doubts.

At one point, I even called Brad (I tend to turn everyone who enters my life into my therapist, yes, but I’m aware of it)(I’m getting better)(by seeing a therapist) and I unloaded my millions of concerns on him. I’ll spare you most of them today because I don’t want you to think I’m insane I respect your reading time.

Okay, okay, if you insist. I’ll give you one example: does the house get enough light? Is the neighborhood a good neighborhood? Is it really a good time to buy with Trump and the world falling apart? Is this other house better? Etc., etc., etc.

I was making Chris dizzy with all the questions. He loved the house.

I think it was just the shock of accomplishing a dream.

And that’s why it’s important to not always talk about things as if they were a fairy tale.

Every story, every project, every dream we accomplish is filled with its own obstacles, whether they’re emotional, physical, financial…and those obstacles make us appreciate the accomplishment even more, and teach us who we are.

“PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS”

Is what Brad said to me. Stop analyzing. Your house is great, the neighborhood is great, you’re afraid because this is all new for you, that’s all. Brad, can you become my life coach?

February and March were a blur of endless waiting.

The house passed all the inspections, and believe me, I put it through every inspection possible and imaginable, but each one took a crazy amount of time.

First of all, because of my loan issues, I had to ask for an escrow extension which pushed back the closing date (the keys, come on, the keeeeyyys!) to mid-February.

Then the owner ended up pushing the date back because the city was supposed to come set up the water. Then they pushed it back again because the city needed to install the electricity. Each time, we had to extend our rental (thanks to Sharon, the best Airbnb owner to ever set foot on this earth.)

I started to get superstitious about it. Why didn’t the house want to give itself to me, maybe it’s not the right house…

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS

Maybe it’s better if I keep looking at other houses. Hey, what about that Spanish-style house, for example (it’s a very pretty style that’s popular in California). It needs a lot of work, but it could be so beautiful if…

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS

And what happens if we don’t end up liking LA, maybe we should just rent for a year and take our time, yeah, but in a year all the houses will be more expensive and we won’t be able to rent anymore and…

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS

Well, why don’t we go back to look at the house. The backyard is kind of small, no? And aren’t those neighbors a little sketchy? And this…

PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS.

But Jessica didn’t even flinch, not for a second.

She always had an ultra bright smile, always ready to show me the house again for the hundredth time, and even the day when I called her and said “I give up, no, we can’t do this. It’s not the exact perfect ideal dream house.”

She said, okay, no problem. Let’s keep looking.

Two hours later, I changed my mind again. I got lucky finding Jessica because she had the patience of an angel. When she said to me one day: “I have clients who buy houses after seeing them only one time!!!” I admit I didn’t believe it could be possible.

It’s hard choosing a house. A house is like a person. It’s never perfect. There are always one or two things that are off, that you need to fix, or that could be better. No matter what your budget, it’s always like that because you want the thing you’ve invested in or saved for over the years to be out of this world.

And just like a love story with a person, you just have to go on feeling, and not think too much. Improve what you can, and learn to love the rest. I spent weeks talking to homeowner friends about it, and they all said the same thing.

One of them adores her apartment but it’s noisy and a little bit out of the way.
The other adores her house but it doesn’t have a yard and there’s never any parking.
One adores her house but it’s tiny and she has to come up with ingenious ideas to make it functional, but she wouldn’t leave it for anything in the world.
The list could go on for hours.

Personally, I’d like to add a window in the kitchen, and break down a wall to make the living room bigger. My house is brand new, which means it’s spacious and very functional, and the kitchen is to die for, but I’m going to have to find ways to give it the charm that an older house has naturally.

The house is a soft gray color, when I was dreaming of it being all white.
I could repaint it, but that might not work with the style. I’m thinking about it.

The yard isn’t huge, I don’t have a pool, and no, Mom, I don’t have a view of the ocean. Haha, the questions moms ask, sometimes.

———

After looooong, very long months of waiting and putting our relationship to the test (but we made it out intact, woohooo!!! Challenge of living in close quarters: successful!!!) in a charming but tiny Airbnb, the day finally came. The close of escrow.

We sat down with a notary, and we signed pages and pages of papers. And just like that, at a café table in Venice, we owned a tiny piece of California. I was very quiet, I didn’t know what to say. Chris said “I’m going surfing” and I started to cry (I told you, I’m in a weepy period) and we got in a fight, like with every big moment in our lives.

On April 18, Jessica was waiting for us in our house, with a bottle of champagne and her big smile. I was so moved I was speechless. Such a big life moment.

We took a photo in front of the house, Chris, Lulu and I, with the “SOLD” sign in our hands. It was cute, in the photo, we look like a couple from another time, with our huge smiles, a couple ready to begin a life full of promise.

I feel like I’ve accomplished something big and wonderful, and most of all, something deep and reassuring. We’ve been living in our house for a week and I feel like the walls are protecting us, surrounding us, and taking us in their arms.

We’re going to take our time investing in it, decorating it, bringing it to life. Filling our kitchen with delicious smells, filling our bedroom with love, our yard with noisy dinners, our studios with creativity. We’ll live out our dreams there, our daily lives, our fights, our explosive laughters, and everything else life has in store for us. Okay, I’m going to go cry a little (I warned you) and unpack another box.

And I hope all of your dreams come true.

Translated by Andrea Perdue

109 comments

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  • Please show us some photos (when you have unpacked, obviously)

  • Alexandra April, 25 2017, 9:41 / Reply

    Très belle conclusion et récit épique. Il manque juste les photos :-)
    beaucoup de bonheur à venir dans cette belle maison à vous 3 !

  • Lovely Garance, sometimes I really think that you think too much! :-) Buying a house is Le Big Deal, though, no question and I’ve had my white nights over same. It will be fabulous and … what will be will be.

    And we look forward to hearing your thoughts on style as you look out your new front window. Hugs.

  • So sweet! Wish you the best Garance, you deserve it!

    p.s. I expect a teary and emotional process when I buy my own house too. :)

  • It’s like a relationship. You’re going to live with the house the way you’re going to live with Chris, but you don’t get to date the house first (unless you could have rented it before buying it).
    Anyway, no place and nobody (including you and me…eh, oui) is perfect.
    Separately, do you really call Chris “babe”? You must not! He has a French fiancée and deserves to be called some charming French pet name. Even p’tit choux. If you guys were in France and he took to calling you “cherie,” wouldn’t you be like, “uh, can you get a little more creative and do it in English?”
    I agree with the calls for photos.

  • Hi Garance, that sounds lovely! We also moved into our dream house last year, after a couple previous homes, and I can totally appreciate how wonderful it feels to make it your own! We totally need to renovate but that’s part of the fun now. Enjoy!!! Maybe you can come visit us when you are in San Francisco next time! :)

  • You gave me shivers !

  • Very beautiful story! I am also dreaming since a long time about buying a house (somewhere in South Europe…)
    And yes please some photos!

  • Ce poste est juste magnifique, merci encore Garance. Moi quand j’ai emménagé en juillet dernier dans un appartement pour la première avec mon amoureux (premier vrai amoureux, premier vrai appart à deux) j’ai cru que j’allais mourir puis un jour c’est chez nous (moi ça mis 7 mois à venir ce un jour) mais maintenant cava. Bravo. Merci de montrer la réalité des choses.

  • Caroline April, 25 2017, 10:44 / Reply

    Oh la la, l’achat de l’appartement, même avec un profil très acceptable (en France!), ce fut un enfer. Que de montagnes russes, de bonnes et mauvaises surprises. Mais, au final, on y est bien, chez soi.
    Félicitations! Et que nos rêves se réalisent!

  • Congratulations, Garance!!

    P.S. Are you trying to hint at a pregnancy with all your mentions of being weepy?:)

  • Welcome Home you two; you did it…….enjoy

  • This was such a beautiful, poignant post! Brought me to tears, and I’m NOT in a weepy period. Best wishes to you and Chris and Lulu- congrats on achieving a #lifegoal! We can’t wait to see photos!

  • Nathalie April, 25 2017, 10:51 / Reply

    Merci Garance de partager ces moments de stress intense et ces moments de bonheur. L’achat d’une maison est une etape de la vie adulte. Depuis que nous avons une maison je sens que j’ai pose mon ancre ( je ne suis pas originaire d’ici) mais qui prend mari prend pays, apparamment!!! J’ai le sentiment que nous avons notre forteresse, notre coin de paradis le soir au retour du travail et le matin au lever du soleil. Merci encore d’etre si authentique, si vraie. Bonne route dans ce nouveau chez toi!

  • Superbe article ! J’en suis au même point en France, et me retrouve dans chacun des mots écrits, c’est exactement ça… le doute perpétuel, et en même temps la sensation qu’on fait quelque chose de grand, d’énorme, et les gens autour qui disent “Boh c’est normal”, comme s’ils avaient oubliés ce que ça fait de se jeter dans une si grande aventure. J’espère avoir autant de sérénité et d’humour quand nous aurons passés ses obstacles qui n’en finissent plus. Bon aménagement !

  • I’m so excited for you! Congratulations on finding the house and making it through the obstacles that kept popping up. Great idea to keep looking for someone who can help you (like with the loan). I have rented forever and live in a small town where I don’t really want to own property. Am going to start looking though for a small house that is cozy and comfortable, and thanks to your post, I won’t be nervous as I start to look.

  • Whaou… Juste waouh ! Et félicitations aussi ! ! ! ! ! ! :)

  • Magnifique… Longue vie à vous trois dans La Maison !
    De mon expérience, il n’y a qu’une manière d’acheter une maison, c’est d’en tomber amoureux. Si on commence à trop réfléchir, à voir les pour et les contre, passer à autre chose. Nous avons acheté la nôtre il y a un peu p lus de 20 ans et je me souviens très bien être arrivée au portail, un peu fâchée parce que je m’étais perdue, début avril, il neigeotait, j’avais froid, les pieds mouillés, mon mari n’était pas là, bref humeur maussade. Et soudain j’ai levé la tête et je L’ai vue et j’ai dit tout haut dans la rue Oh la la la, elle est pour nous. Et ça a marché
    Belle journée

  • Congratulations! Buying a house is a huge huge deal. A huge huge huge deal! I cannot imagine buying a house after seeing it once. I would have to spend days (a different hour each day) checking it out. In any event, as one of your faithful followers since the early days (2006 when the posts were in French), I want to say that I am seriously happy for you. Your life is really blossoming before our eyes and it is beautiful.

    Cannot wait to see photos!

  • Your happiness made me happy! Congrats! I remember that feeling during and after buying my first house. And I call it paralysis of analysis!?

  • Je suis contente pour toi Garance!moi aussi tout comme toi c’est mon rêve d’avoir une jolie maison :-).je vous dis bravo et vous souhaite beaucoup de bonheur!

  • So happy for you Garance. I am the same as you though – a house is something i dream about more than kids and it feels almost as if that time will never come. First – London is rediculously expensive city, second – even if i had the money I am not sure if i’d buy considering the pollution, the fact that we have no family around etc . Then there’s sunshine bit which i (we) crave allllll the time. And no – I am not english or british, nore is my husband. in fact he is not even from the same country I am from. So sometimes we think maybe we should move to live in his home country and sometimes ( when we argue mostly) he says maybe we should move to my home country ( which he knows I dont want to for a ton of reasons). Anyways so while we are not exactly searching for the house – theneed for it is growing in me. I guess I’d like to know where I belong. And decorate. FGS – when u rent a place in Uk or Ireland you have to give it back spotless and most of the times you cant hand pictures on the walls. Oh, and I won’t even start about the pets…
    Did I say I need a house? ?? Thank you once again for the lovely post.

  • Congratulations Garance & Chris, it is a big accomplishment. Enjoy!

  • this is such a warm and lovely story~ so much like you, but even warmer today

    I wish you three all the Happiness you can have in your new home!

  • I’m so happy you have found a wonderful home! My favorite part is before the boxes are unpacked and the house has a beautiful, zen-like quality. You are going to create an amazing space, congratulations!!

  • Dear Garance, when i finished reading your story i had to cry a little too! as I’m writing this I’m sitting in my beautiful bedroom in my little apartment that has no window in the bathroom and no balkony but I love it anyway because it is cozy and bright and it protected me during a difficult period of my life. I’m also dreaming about owning a house one day and filling it with people, love and life. Thanks for always being so honest. I wish you a wonderful time settling in.
    Love from Germany.
    Carina

  • Ah, congratulations!!!!!! I cried reading it too <3

  • Ah! I guess if we knew the emotional roller coaster that these things create we wouldn’t embark into them :D
    We’re leaving Paris to build a modern house in Provence and it’s a looong road, filled with excitement but also fear and disappointment.
    You’ve managed to do it in less than 6 months, it’s already a big achievement, enjoy !

    Best,

    Pauline

    http://thevoyageur.net

  • Congratulations! Nous on est tombes amoureux de notre maison a la premiere visite et on a decide d’acheter a la deuxieme. Elle n’est pas parfaite mais on y est chez nous.
    Et merci pour ca: “et on s’est engueulés, comme à chaque grand moment de notre vie.” Ca me rassure, on fait ca aussi ;)

  • Oh la belle histoire :-)
    J’en retiens une chose : “PARALYSIS BY ANALYSIS” je vais me le faire tatouer sur le bras et sur le front pour être sûre !
    Félicitations pour l’acquisition de ta première maison (pourquoi je dis première ?) !

  • Chere Garance, comme a chaque fois, c’est un grand plaisir de lire vos posts, des recits droles, emouvants, charmants.
    C’est tellement sympa d’avoir un “chez soi” et de pouvoir l’ammenager comme on veut : abattre un mur, creer des fenetres, peindre les murs de toutes les couleurs, etc….
    Bonne chance dans la nouvelle maison. Nous attendons des photos !

  • Tellement inspirant… Merci Garance… Pour tout! #coeuraveclesdoigts

  • Dear Garance,
    Congratulations! Huge life-changer! May be, you are able to share few photos of the house and the garden?!
    Congratulations again!
    Kate

  • B r a v o !
    Wish U a super life in your home.
    Hugs

  • awesome! buying a house is a lot of work. but it’s not forever (doesn’t have to be)!

    -Kirsten // http://www.porkandcookies.com

  • The best part of the story was Chris’s Honda. Thumbs up & congrats on financially sound decisions :D

  • Geraldine April, 25 2017, 1:46 / Reply

    Pictures please ?

  • I’m tearing up! Congratulations! xo

  • you so remind me of myself! your thought process is exactly the craziness i go through… i often think to myself… geez, it’s tough being me!
    but that fact that you “think too much” as a previous commenter stated, means that you are most likely a perfectionist who is careful, empathetic, thoughtful, analytical… blah blah blah… and you probably wouldn’t have those attributes if you were more blasé. power to the over-thinkers!!!

  • Oh la la j’ai les larmes aux yeux. Car une maison, ça symbolise la sécurité, ça t’enracine, ça apaise. Et c’est tout ce que je cherche, mais le moment n’y est pas encore pour moi. Je me reconnais tellement dans tes réflexions et je me dis si toi tu y arrives, qui sait un jour moi aussi ! Merci <3

  • Congrats on the house, G!! That’s a big accomplishment! And I love that you truly live in the moment and take your time with it all. I will do the exact same thing when the “buying my first house”-time comes. I love celabrating big and small things in life. It’s so important! It’s often what sets them apart from all the noise in the everyday life..
    – Hugs M

  • Garance, votre récit est très émouvant. Je pleure devant mon ordi comme une bécasse..!
    Depuis de nombreuses années je vous lis et comme vous devez souvent l’entendre, j’ai l’impression (pas du tout étrange en plus) de vous connaître. Et donc de voir une bonne amie devenir heureuse pour de bon, c’est merveilleux pour vous.
    Je vous souhaite des tonnes de joies dans cette nouvelle maison si rassurante. Et merci!

  • La dernière fois que je pleurais pour un rien, c’était pendant les JO de Pékin, et c’est comme ça que j’ai compris que j’étais enceinte… je dis ça, je dis rien…
    Félicitations pour la maison!
    Quand même, pas de prêt donc pas de prêt, c’est effectivement loin de notre mode de pensée!

  • Such a lovely story. Thanks for sharing.

  • LittleMissySharp April, 25 2017, 4:57 / Reply

    Amazing story, thanks for sharing it with us and good luck for the decoration!
    PS/ Feeling weepy weepy like hormonal emotions G? ;)

  • Felicitatons! Moi j’ai eu de la chance parce que c’est mon mari (copain a l’epoque) qui achetait donc j’ai juste fait mes valises! Mais par contre pour obtenir des credit cards, c’est le meme combat, inexistante dans leur systeme de score ! J’en ai parle sur mon blog d’ailleurs.

  • Hi Garance – Congratulations and YES, savor it! :) xox

  • Congrats to home ownership! I’ve recently bought my house too and I was that client who made up her mind after just one visit :D It was like love though, because I went with my gut feeling. Thank you for this story – so honest and funny!

  • Buying a house is certainly life altering . It is also confronting on some level , this is more permanent and stable and responsible and adult than I’m sure I want to be. Be mindful live in the moment and enjoy the experience!
    Jandrew
    Dress The Part
    http://jandrewspeaks.com

  • What a beautiful story. Congratulations on your new home. Wishing you a wonderful start in your house. All the best, Brit.

  • ”C’est le temps que j’ai perdu pour ma rose, qui fait ma rose si importante”. Saint-Exupery
    Merci Garance pour votre poésie du cœur, un baume sur le mien; meilleurs vœux de bonheur dans votre maison.?

  • I miss bloggers writing wonderfully long, engaging, entertaining and personal posts like these. Thank you for taking the time to share with us! Congrats on your new home – hope it’s filled with light, love and laughter. xo

  • I have my own theory about overthinking.

    I think that overthinking comes from the same place in us that creativity comes from.

    Creative people have a lot of imagination and you cannot just turn it on and off all the time.
    Yes, it’s so annoying to overthink in such real life situations, but that’s natural for creative people.

    Anyway, I am an experienced overthinker myself. :) Never let it bother you too much! And buying a house IS a huge deal!

    Congratulations! Enjoy it! Can’t wait to see the photos! :)

    https://sofaundermapletree.wordpress.com

  • I just bought a condo and went through the exact same mental process around all the what ifs (including should have a bought an older place with character, limited light)…Focusing on all the negatives. Truth be told I’m still going through those questions in my mind even five months later.

  • I am sOOO proud of you!! All the best of luck to you and the new house :)

  • Congratulations! And welcome to LA, specifically the westside. To initiate your kitchen you must indulge in Harry’s Berries’ strawberries that are sold at the Venice and Santa Monica Farmers’ Markets. You won’t belief how expensive they are but they are beyond belief and coming into season now. they are revered in these parts.

  • So happy for you Garance, congratulations on the House and enjoy every second of fullfilling your dream.
    Hugs ??

  • Yeah ! Bravo Garance ! C’est drôle hein les trajectoires que les vies prennent ? Moi je viens à peine de quitter Paris pour Marseille et on a vite décidé d’acheter aussi. Pareil, c’était un rêve inaccessible qui prenait réalité. On a signé hier chez le notaire et je n’arrive pas à y croire. C’est dingue non de posséder des murs qui vont accueillir nos vies ? Je suis fan. Bravo pour ce grand moment de vie et cet engagement.

  • Oh my dearest G.! You made me cry once again…with happy tears of course! Wish you all the best…can’t wait to see pictures of your wonderful home..
    Kisses!
    y

  • ” “I have clients who buy houses after seeing them only one time!!!””
    That’s what we did ! And in a sketchy Parisian suburb ! And 6 years after we don’t regret our buying our loft.

    Well now I really want a balcony, but finding another loft to redo, with a balcony, lots of light and very close to a subway station and close to Paris by bicycle, close to an pleasant running itinerary… and nearly affordable, maybe I am asking too much !
    But on the other hand, a lounge chair on a balcony and a barbecue…

  • I really like to see it Before & After, anxiously !! Sharing your new home is like house warming for us !!

  • Je te souhaite beaucoup de bonheur dans ta nouvelle maison Garance.
    Ps: ton article a presque failli me faire pleurer lol.

  • Congratulations!! My father always laughs about the doubt that comes with “buyer’s remorse”, however, the house he and my mother chose for our family was a guardian space. Also, ugh, American emphasis on debt and hypothetical money, we’re such a mess, I’m sorry. Thank you for pointing out that it depends on who you ask when you need help and/or guidance. I have taken a job in the South Pacific, and my employer placed me in the least welcoming room. When I told my boss I was going to move, my second day with no guarantees where, he said, but how can you be sure you will move today, and I responded, “because I decided I will.” And I did, with the help of my wonderful staff! We must take charge, no matter how much we and the world question that. Many blessings to you and your family in your new home.

  • Il y a 30 ans j’ai acheté une maison dans Paris et je me suis décidée après l’avoir vue une fois, je crois! Au moment de signer le chèque chez le notaire (pas encore de virement à l’époque), je me suis demandé si j’avais bien l’argent…
    Fin 2016, j’ai changé de quartier et de lieu de vie pour un appartement dans le centre de Paris. J’avais cherché pendant 2 ans. Le jour où je suis tombée sur ce (très bel) appartement, puis le jour où mon offre a été acceptée, j’ai eu du mal à croire à ma chance jusqu’au jour de la signature de la vente.
    Acheter son “chez-soi” est une grande émotion!
    Bravo pour être arrivée(és) à ce rêve.

  • Ha Garance,
    After reading your blog for allmost 11 years now, it’s still so good to read how your life is going. I wish you, Chris and Lulu much happiness and joy in your new home.
    Can’t wait to see the pictures!

  • Congratulations! Can’t wait to see some great post about decorating!

  • Si si, Garance on peut acheter une maison en l’ayant vue qu’une seule fois :)
    Moi je suis pas “maison”, j’ai toujours voulu vivre dans un appartement, lui ne faisait que raler des voisin, il est sensible au bruit, moi j’aime ça !
    Mais notre appart était devenu trop petit car je travaille à la maison maintenant et la table de la salle à manger était vraiment devenue trop petite ;)
    On lorgnais sur une ville en banlieue accessible en tout , prix et Paris pas trop loin sinon j’étouffe ! , j’ai regardé les annonces pendant un an mais rien … un jour j’ai dit allez hop on va au moins visiter la ville pour voir si je le sens où pas …
    On rentre dans un agence comme ça pour voir, le mec nous dit oh je viens d’en rentrer un elle vous plaira peut être elle est atypique ….
    Dès qu’il a ouvert la porte j’ai dit “Putain de merde c’est mort, je eux vivre ici!” Oui rien qu’un voyant les carreaux de ciment de l’entrée, c’est une jolie maison meulière si trop grande ni trop petit et en bord de Seine , mais au bord genre on a eu peur lors des inondations de l’année dernière …. Elle était parfaite pour nous et même les défauts n’en était plus, le coup de foudre ultime !
    Et là trois mois sans dormir, les gens qui font pas leur job, les banquiers qui traînent etc etc le stress ultime ! J’ai été mais super chiante mais fière parce que j’y vis maintenant et que j’y suis heureuse et comme je me l’imaginais :)
    Bon plus de sous pour la deco encore mais ça viendra, la je prend mon temps pour l’investir comme toi :)
    Moi aussi mon rêve c’était d’avoir mon chez moi et d’en faire une source d’inspiration alors bravo Garance !!!! Ça va le faire et puis finalement ce n’est aussi qu’une maison haha

  • Natalie Hale April, 26 2017, 8:44 / Reply

    Congratulations!! This is a dream come true and I’m so happy fpr you. Hope that one day I’ll have a moment like of my own.

  • Garance, this post has me crying happy, sentimental tears for you and Chris and Lulu.

    The image of the three of you standing in front of your new home with a sold sign like a couple from another era, is one that fifty or so years from now, another ‘beginning’ family just like yours will reflect on, and as such, gain inspiration from.

    Congratulations on your slice of LA, and on your sweet, new beginning.
    xxCrystal

  • Mariateresa April, 26 2017, 10:25 / Reply

    Complimenti Garance!!!!

  • Oh ça ne pouvait tomber plus juste….et je me sens bcp moins seule dans ma quête ultime d’un chez moi comme un rêve ultime. qui me semblait une évidence mais je vois qu’en fait non, pour d’autres c’est sans importance. Et là dans les papiers, la banque, les délais, les retards, le stress…au secours!!!!!
    Toutes mes félicitations en tout cas! On sent une telle joie!

  • Congratulations, Garance and Chris! What an exciting new step in your lives!!
    And the ups and downs wonderfully and hilariously captured in this article! I’m very happy for you that you found your place, in more than one way :)

  • Garance, you are taught well in France and were probably right in thinking you had a healthy bank account. You should be proud of having the least amount of debt or none at all. Way to go!!! :) In the end cash speaks, not debt/credit. The culture here in the US is in for a rude awakening (again!), if not the culture than at least case by case. *end rant*

    Anyway, congratulations on your new house, what a dream come true!!! Please think about maybe taking pics to show us a before and after as you start decorating, yeah? I think that would be helpful for those of us who have no idea how to decorate yet. ;) Thank you for sharing your experience!!

  • Jane with the noisy terrier April, 26 2017, 2:35 / Reply

    Garance, I inherited my current house (and have been going through the process of “making it mine” rather than a shrine to my parents, the original owners) but bought two apartments in the past so I know a bit how you feel. Dreams versus reality. Vision versus budget. My boyfriend is still in Los Angeles and is an extremely talented, patient and kind custom woodworker who can literally build anything — from a dining room table and chairs to a complete library. He has exquisite taste as well. Let me know if you’d like to get in touch with him. He’s kind of a magician!

  • Mercedes April, 26 2017, 3:16 / Reply

    You made me laugh and shed a tear. Congratulations on your big moment! The house sounds amazing. From now on is all enjoyment!!!
    Mercedes

  • Félicitations! Belle aventure!

  • I am one of those who bought my house after seeing it only once! We all have our own journeys to finding our home. Congratulations on this big life marker!

  • I wish you happiness, joy and laugh in your home. You seem to be such a delicate and sensitive person Garance, take good care of you. Cheers from The Netherlands

  • Omg, I am definitely tearing up right now. I so loved reading about your house-hunting adventure. Thank you for sharing all your highs and lows – I adore the way you write!
    Can’t wait to see the home and how you “bring it to life.” I am sure it will be perfect – perfectly Garance :)

  • claudiag April, 27 2017, 8:49 / Reply

    What a beautiful story, full of laughs and tears ! You’ll have fantastic adventures in it. Congratulations (and show some pictures, please)! claudiag

  • MrsMuir April, 27 2017, 6:37 / Reply

    La meilleure manière de s’approprier son chez soi ? C’est… d’attendre. Attendre de voir comment la lumière tourne. Quelle pièce est sombre l’hiver, comment le soleil se reflète aux murs. Des fois une vitre au loin ou un pan de mur blanc suffit à rabattre un flot de lumière dans une pièce sombre et ça, il faut y vivre pour le savoir :)
    Et puis aussi comment vit-on ? Si le bazar s’accumule à certains endroits c’est que les rangements y sont mal adaptés. Si le ménage est facile, c’et bon. Si on range facilement, c’est bon. Si on soupire d’aise en rentrant, c’est bon. Si on doit zigzaguer pour aller d’un point à l’autre ? C’est..pas bon.
    La couleur des murs ? Des gris colorés très pâle seront toujours préférables chez soi au blanc, à moins d’avoir un sol chaud et sombre et de la couleur à revendre…
    Beau parcours en tout cas et bravo !

  • Mathilde April, 28 2017, 3:09 / Reply

    Je suis super touchée par cet article.
    Je ne sais pas si ça se fait de féliciter pour l’achat d’une maison haha, mais je vous envoie clairement tous mes vœux de bonheur !!!!

  • Chère Garance,

    C’est peut-être bête mais je suis toute émue à la lecture de ce post.
    En tant que lectrice de ce blog depuis 10 ans (j’avais alors 15 ans…^^) j’ai souvent été inspirée par votre parcours. Et cette maison est juste encore une source d’inspiration et de confiance en l’avenir et en la vie.
    Souvent, quand j’ai un doute je repense à votre livre, à votre parcours e je me dit que si Garance l’a fait, je pourrai le faire. Et je suis persuadée de ne pas être la seule jeune femme dans cette situation.

    Merci de partager autant avec vos lecteurs/lectrices et de nous inspirer autant au quotidien. Et FÉLICITATIONS pour ce rêve réalisé. C’est beau!!

    Encore merci et bravo. Nous patienterons pour quelques photos évidemment, tout vient à point à qui sait attendre.

    Fanny

  • Michelle April, 28 2017, 6:37 / Reply

    Glad your being honest about your fights and fears with your partner as that is the reality when approaching big life events! I can’t read or look at these general blogs without a smile on my face knowing that they have been heavily edited and photo shopped to produce an IMAGE of a perfect life that DOESN’T exist.Good for you and others that you continue to be honest.

  • Ludivine April, 28 2017, 8:11 / Reply

    Félicitation !
    Il ne manque plus que les photos de cette maison :))
    Ps : Garance tu n’as pas ton permis ? Mais comment as-tu fait pour (sur)-vivre en Corse sans permis ????!!!

  • Congrats ! Je viens moi aussi d’acheter une maison avec mon homme et comme très souvent dans tes écrits, je me retrouve ! Merci de partager tout ça avec nous ?
    Amitiés
    LN

  • Davis Bliss April, 29 2017, 7:10 / Reply

    Photos please, when you feel ready to share. Meanwhile, take the time you need to settle in, In your own little bubble…and congratulations.

  • J’adore tellement lire tes histoires Garance, merci pour ces tranches de vie ! On vie la chose à 2000% avec toi ! Félicitations pour la parfaite (ish) maison ! =)

    Maya Joys
    http://mayajoys.com/

  • Ornella Nsoky April, 30 2017, 10:45 / Reply

    Beaucoup de bonheur Garance, tu le mérites! Gros bisous de Bruxelles :-*

  • Simona May, 1 2017, 9:32 / Reply

    First of all: congratulations! This sounded all so familiar, especially the doubt and men are handy in these circumstances, they don’t have it. Doubts means you should go for it, if it was really a bad idea you would know. And there’s nothing. Wetter than having your own place, have fun with it, you will see, best decision ever.
    Simona
    http://www.lakenmoon.com

  • Garance,
    Je t’écris le 1er mai, donc Joyeux Anniversaire!!! Moi aussi, j’avais acheté ma première maison à peu près à la même age. Je n’ai pas eu de doutes à son sujet parce que cela faisait déjà quelque années que j’y habitais.
    Mon plan c’était d’arriver à l’age de la retraite avec un toit qui ne me couterait rien mensuellement!
    Bon, je n’y suis pas encore mais c’est très rassurant de me dire que le jour où j’aurais moins de revenu, j’aurais quand même un toit au dessus de tête.
    Amuse toi bien et profite bien de tous les plaisirs à venir, bises.

  • Natasha May, 1 2017, 12:53 / Reply

    Garance, congratulations!! This is a great and beautiful moment in your lives! I wish you a lifetime of happiness in your new home <3. I've been reading your blog for many years and your honesty, warmth and inspiration is so real and touching. Thank you so much!! You have been such an inspiration and consolation in many of my moments. No words can thank you enough! This is the first time I'm writing to tell you just how much you mean to your readers all over the world! All the way to Serbia!! Also, I wish your new business venture with Atelier all the beeest! Please, never stop writing. You really mean a world to so many of us <3

  • martinebo May, 2 2017, 9:01 / Reply

    ben… et la photo??????? ?

  • Christel Montury May, 2 2017, 4:23 / Reply

    Chère Garance, félicitations pour cet achat! Moi j’ai fait une offre pour ma maison 15 minutes après l’avoir vue. Mon mari n’était même pas là! Heureusement il l’a aimée aussi fort que moi. Depuis que nous vivons dedans c’est un pur bonheur.
    Chris

  • Oh Garance, je suis tellement heureuse pour toi.

  • Arlett May, 4 2017, 12:02 / Reply

    Chère Garance, je suis sur le point de pleurer avec toi. C’est un grand moment, félicitations !
    J’ai le même rêve et j’espère pouvoir l’accomplir. Bonne chance ma belle ?

  • Cornelia Pichler May, 5 2017, 11:29 / Reply

    That is wonderful. I am so happy that you found this house in Venice – it would be my big dream to have one like that. I am also Austrian – like your agent ;-) – and working on moving to LA. I know exactly what you are talking about because my husband (interior architect) and I (writer and blogger) are always looking for a place to live when we visit LA (at least 2-3 times a year). Thanks for sharing your ideas, thoughts and experiences with your fan community (including me of course) – I love your style of writing and thinking. It is a pleasure to watch you move through space and time and maybe one day we’ll meet in person, sharing some coffee on Abbot Kinney ;-).

  • Leanna May, 7 2017, 9:10 / Reply

    ‘We’ll live out our dreams there, our daily lives, our fights, our explosive laughters, and everything else life has in store for us. ‘

    YES. This made me cry. You write so beautifully! Thank you.

  • Garance, that was such a beautiful post! And I’m so happy foe you and Cheia and Lulu! As a European I also completely agree with all rhe rhings regarding credit? because I never had any debt and I never wanted one, and they rhink you never had any debt because your credit score wasn’t perfect!? Ha ha! In the end it had me tearing up as well. I have always been called dramatic and I love the burst of feelings I get :) I can also relate to all the whisper fighting, but I eaise my voice once we’re in the car or ar least out of the restaurant ;)
    Thank you and I hope all your dreams fulfill too!

  • Très émouvant… Je vous souhaite beaucoup de succès également. <3

  • I also made an offer on my apartment the first I saw it.
    I had been visiting places for three months. When I saw it, I just knew.
    I still love it very much, although I have moved in with my boyfriend.
    I would love to buy a house with him one day. That’s romantic!

  • Garance je sais pas mais souvent on est synchrones :) On a emménagé il y a trois semaines dans notre maison, toujours en travaux à l’heure où je te parle d’ailleurs. Je pourrais aussi en écrire un roman et je comprends exactement ce que tu veux dire à propos de ce genre de rêve, ceux auxquels on a presque peur de croire! Ceux pour lesquels, le moment de réalisation venu, on peine à réaliser qu’ils sont en train de se réaliser! Mon rêve était une maison à la campagne et un cheval dans le pré en face de cette maison : check et check à 30 ans, pour deux rêves qui sont là depuis mon enfance! Je tremblais ce weekend la première fois que j’ai mis le pied dans l’étrier pour monter sur ma jument, ça me paraissait tellement surréaliste!!! (bon c’est aussi une petite pur sang anglaise que je dois prendre en douceur si je veux pas me retrouver les fesses par terre :)) Mais c’était juste dingue. Tout ne s’est pas passé comme dans les rêves, il y a eu des galères, mais l’aventure est tout simplement fabuleuse. Comme toi, quand je me suis posée sur les cartons, je me suis dite enfin à la maison, je peux prendre tout le temps du monde pour déballer tout ça et je vais me faire un malin plaisir de le faire tiens! (au final j’ai quand même activé les choses parce-que c’est quand même chiant à la longue tous ces cartons qui trainent).. Bref, toutes mes félicitation et profitez bien de votre nouveau chez-vous :)

  • Kai To May, 12 2017, 6:15 / Reply

    I should be alarmed at the number of mentions of ‘fighting’, but somehow why do I feel this is such a beautiful poignant start to a wonder-filled life?
    Am super happy for you!
    Can’t wait to hear more about your next few steps in life!

  • Wow, of course a house brings up a lot of our past, aka: childhood, What did a house mean to use as children, was it peaceful and safe, or full of discord and pain???? It is a time to heal any and all of it now… So, happy for you and your man! We have been with you on this ride all along cheering your every move!! A house is what we make it, not location or house plan!!! When we get into our 40’s the tears come more easily, what till your 50s!! (Peri-menopause) We love you Garance!

    Hugs and Kisses,
    Melissa Lee

  • ”Kaloriziko” (well-rooted) as we say on Greece!
    My big dream is to have a summer-house in Paros island (Cyclades/Greece)!!!

  • très très joli billet… j’aime bien le parallèle avec les rêves et la manière dont ils se réalisent, avec leur lot d’obstacle, c’est si vrai.
    plein de bonheur entre ces murs alors :-) …

  • How wonderful Garance. Like you, we would also love to own a place with a yard but it is seemingly impossible in Sydney unless there are loads of cash. Anyway, we will continue to press on and pray for the best!

  • Moi qui suis en plein divorce après 15 ans de travaux de rénovation de nos mains de “notre maison”, tu as réussi à me faire pleurer avec ton post… C’est très émouvant. Belle vie à vous deux.

  • So many congrats Garance! I went through a very similar process over the last few months, luckily the loan went easily but my process was much the same, doubts, fears, dream home – white, 1930s beauty with sea glimpses – and then organising renovations (floorborads, Benjamin Moore paint on the walls, new column radiators, period fittings) and finally we are moving in next Friday! I know what a blessing it is to have your own home, and a really nice one at that, I’ve been dreaming of this moment for so long too. So thank you for writing this post, and helping me relieve this wonderful, stressful, meaningful,oeriod through your words and funny observations. All the best!

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