Coming home by Carter M.

When my wife and I were starting to look for a house, we only looked in Lowell. She went to school in Lowell and has either lived or worked (sometimes both at the same time) here for much of her adult life, and I have been working and/or living here for over a decade, so it was an easy decision. We started casually, browsing the usual assortment of listing and real estate apps. My wife sent me a particular listing, and my heart skipped a beat: this was the one! A perfect ranch a mile from downtown with a view of the Merrimack River. I was in love.

Unfortunately it was out of our price range and time and common sense conspired against us. It sold before we even got a chance to look at it. We continued to shop, but nothing else caught my eye.

A couple of weeks later I was on the phone with my mother, telling her about this amazing house that I still had only seen on paper and a quick drive by, and I decided to visit it on a whim. The "for sale" sign was back up!! I called my wife and our realtor. The previous deal had fallen through... that morning. Even better, the sellers had already moved and in an effort to expedite the process they had lowered the asking price. To right within our budget! Could we see it? They were set to have multiple visits the next day. Can we get in first?

Less than 24 hours later and an hour before it was to be open, we were standing in the kitchen making an offer on what was to become our permanent residence in Lowell. The moment I knew it was meant to be was when we found out the previous deal had fallen through because the buyers were using a first-time home-buyers assistance program. The seller was concerned because it was going to take a few months for the money to come through. I looked at my wife in surprise. I had applied for the same program, and had been disqualified because I had made a mere $24 the previous year above the maximum cutoff line for assistance. Turns out that was the best $24 I ever made!

Laura Frye