When A House Finds You

In summer of 2020 I was unexpectedly offered to buy my dream home in the Hudson Valley. November 12th marked the one year anniversary of me owning this house, I would like to share this magical story:

In fall of 2015 I found the listing for Maitopia on Airbnb. I gasped and within minutes booked a stay that was a good 6 months out, the first weekend I could get my hands on. 

I’ll never forget the moment when we entered the driveway, in spring of 2016. There she was, this modern, tiny beauty. I could barely breathe of excitement. As we got out of the car my daughter noticed the Swiss cross flag on the shed and jokingly said: “This house was waiting for you, mommy!”

We kept coming back to Maitopia, 1-3 times a year, for long weekends and I became Instagram-DM friends with the owners. Every time I stayed, I would post about the house, gushing about how perfect it was and thanking the internet for the sharing economy. What a magical world we live in!

Then, on June 17, 2020 the owners messaged me saying “We are thinking about selling the house!”

I remember jumping from my chair, screaming “OMG!” My daughter thought something bad happened and looked at me with a look of horror. “What’s wrong, mommy?” I said “Heath and Sarah-Mai want to sell Maitopia!”

I typed back, in all caps: I WISH I COULD BUY IT!

Their response blew me away: “Well, we were hoping you’d say that, as we can only sell the house to someone who loves it as much as we do and we think that person is you. We won’t put in on the market!”

I felt so many feelings.

I was in no place of buying a house. Or so I thought. With the pandemic raging in NYC, I was terrified of losing everything I had built over the past 15 year. The last thing on my mind was buying a house. I was sure I couldn’t afford it.

Yet I knew in my heart of hearts that this property found me. So I examined my limiting beliefs, tried to find solutions on how it could work, and things started falling into place.

About a week later, I asked the owners, whom I had never met, if they’d meet me on the sidewalk outside their Upper West Side home. 

I shared with them that I didn’t take it lightly that they offered the house to me. After all, it was their labor of love. They designed it. They built it. It was an extension of them.

I handed them a plant and my offer (love) letter, which was wrapped in drawings of the house that my kids made.

It was a powerfully loving moment. On both ends. Some tears were shed.

(This process taught me so much, as it made me think that if I ever were to sell one of my companies or anything else I have built, this is how I would want this transaction to go down. Loving. Heart-centered. Thoughtful.)

A few days later they let us know they accepted our offer. My kids and I were estatic, dancing through our Brooklyn apartment!

The mortgage journey that followed after was not the most pleasant but we got there eventually. Lots of lawyer-y non-heart-centered stuff followed too. Part of the process, I guess. Deep breaths.

And here we are, a year later.

I have been a homeowner for 365 days. I admit, I have dealt with more broken things than I want to acknowledge, but I am starting to really understand the house. My friend Sue once said that the house is teaching me how to take care of it. I feel that.

This also means I have been an Airbnb host for 365 days straight. And let me tell you, I have grown as a host. (I have so much to share on this front, but that’s for another time.)

Today, I just want to revel in the fact that this house found me. It is my happy place. My heart swells up every time I enter the driveway.

Thank you for choosing me, Maitopia.

PS: Yes, I do rent the house, you can see the listing here. Please note I am slow about opening up the calendar, I do it a few months at a time. If you want to see more photos, you can check the Instagram account here and a walk through of the house is here. Sarah-Mai and Heath who built the house have since created a new magical home in the Northfork and are soon going to be renting that one out too. You can see it here.

11 Comments leave a comment below

  1. Absolutely marvelous! Congrats on this magical journey!

  2. What. A. Dream. Ecstatic for you. Wish I lived closer, I’d rent it in a heartbeat ?

  3. I’ve been reading you via RSS for a few years now, but never commented.

    This was a very heart-warming story, I am very happy for you and your family. I wanted to tell you this post brought a smile to my face.

  4. I am so happy for you! I love seeing peoples’ dreams come to fruition. The amazing memories you will be creating with your kids … simply priceless.

  5. So happy for you! The house is like you and your kids : a well balanced mix between love of design and warmth! Lots of love from Switzerland!

  6. So happy for you! Lots of love from Switzerland!

  7. a nice coincidence and the beautiful simplicity of the house, thx

  8. Which is more special- the house or this experience that you describe? :)
    Very happy for you, and that such a thoughtful person is the house’s caretaker!

  9. What a wonderful post. Very happy for you.

  10. Congratulations Tina – this is absolutely wonderful. I remember being dazzled each year by those instagram pix back in the day.

    BIG YES! to crushing those limiting beliefs!

  11. spectacular home. congratulations to all of
    your positivity is coming back to
    you , the dog is going to be over the moon there