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New House

Some of this story is true…


It’s a great house, really.

A split level Cape Cod, three bedrooms and two bathrooms, new roof and furnace, in a beautiful part of town. My commute will be just twenty minutes, and my husband can even take the train. Plus the school district got five stars on the Internet, and everyone’s assured us the local spirits are both powerful and benign.

We toured the house in July, with our Realtor, who pointed out the study could really work as a fourth bedroom. The wallpaper’s a bit outdated, but structurally, everything looks sound. And, even though the house had been empty for a couple of months, the hearthfire was still burning and the shrines of the lares and vestas were well-kept, with fresh offerings.

So we consulted the astrological charts and made an offer. It was a little lower than their asking price, and we wanted them to cover our closing costs too. We didn’t expect the sellers to accept right off the bat, but they did, although they said we’d have to cover our own closing costs.

Of course we did a home inspection, which turned out pretty well, all things considered. The inspector found some problems with the wiring in the downstairs bathroom, although nothing posed an immediate hazard. The vesta of the kitchen seemed upset, and he sensed some hostility from the local forest spirits. Plus the dishwasher leaked.

So our Realtor negotiated with the sellers, and they replaced the dishwasher for us, and got an electrician to rewire the faulty outlet in the downstairs bathroom. We decided to mollify the kitchen vesta ourselves, since we’ll have to live with her, although the sellers did offer a sacrifice to the forest spirits. The home inspector thought something small would suffice, but the sellers went ahead and sacrificed a goat; our Realtor said they must be pretty motivated.

Then it was just down to negotiations with the bank.

We thought everything was fine until the week before closing, when our banker called to say the underwriters had seen bad omens that morning and wanted another consultation about the damn forest spirits. It was frustrating, you know, because I thought the whole thing had been solved by the goat sacrifice.

But our Realtor really worked his tail off finding us a medium at the last minute, and she agreed to write up an inspection report after consulting the bones at midnight in the front yard. She charged us an additional fee for the candles, but I guess that’s fair.

The medium’s report recommended an additional sacrifice, a white rabbit, which was no problem. Really, the only hard part was making sure we caught all the blood in the crystal vial to send to the bank, and then of course we had to pay overnight shipping rates.

The next day I was pretty much on pins and needles, burning incense constantly, whispering prayers to all the gods who might be able to help. I almost didn’t want to answer my cell when it went off in the middle of the grocery store. It was the banker; she said the underwriters had pleasant dreams after receiving the rabbit’s blood, so we were officially cleared to close.

Thank gods!

My husband and I went downtown the next day with two legal forms of identification and the biggest check we’d ever written in our lives, the down payment plus the closing costs. It hurts a bit, you know, when they cut open your palm with the iron blade to have you sign the loan documents in blood. But it healed fast, and besides, we were so ready to move in.

We’ve already got a sacrifice brewing for the kitchen vesta, and I’m picking out new paint colors for the living room.

It’s going to be great. It’s such a nice house.

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