The Haberstroh family is well known in Westport — Charlie’s on the Board of the Finance, Patty does yeowoman’s work for Human Services, and they and their kids were long involved in town athletics.
The Horeliks are well known too — think sports and Dunville’s.
Now, the entire world will know that Chuck Haberstroh and Jacque Horelik bought a house together. Before they got married.
The ins and outs of both long journeys — home-buying and proposal-engagement-marriage — form the centerpiece of a feature story appearing in the Real Estate section of tomorrow’s New York Times. Apparently, Chuck and Jacque are on the cutting edge of a new trend. In Times-talk, that means:
Two distinct forms of desire — the carnal type and the kind that involves granite countertops — have been known to intermingle, but perhaps never more so than now.
Chuck Haberstroh, Jacque Horelik and their new home (Photo courtesy of Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times)
Writer Hilary Stout describes how the couple met by chance at Lehigh, where Chuck was a student. Later, in Westport, they “went on a date to a cool pub and restaurant. Things were a bit on and off for a while, but then they began to get serious.”
Soon they were living next door to each other in Norwalk. Not long after, “she ditched her room and moved in with him.” Then — ka-ching! — they “signed a lease on a small apartment of their own.”
This being the Times Real Estate section, where the twin voyeur hobbies of homes and personal lives meet — er, intermingle — we learn more about the young lovers/house hunters:
He was in his late 20s, she was two years younger. They had been together for two years. They made each other laugh, they liked each other’s friends, they loved each other’s company. And so they knew — as everyone seemed to be telling them — that it was time.
To buy real estate.
According to Stout:
The peculiarities of the housing market today are leading more couples to ponder the question, “Should we buy?” before they settle the question, “Should we commit?”
With the market beginning to favor buyers, on October 30 Chuck and Jacque closed on a “three-bedroom Cape Cod-style cottage in Fairfield, Conn., with hardwood floors, a front porch and a back deck on a pretty corner lot. They got it for $430,000, $29,000 less than the asking price.”
Jacque — a 28-year-old special education teacher — said she was “itching to get engaged before we bought the house.” Chuck — a 30-year-old vice president of CastleKeep Investment Advisors in Westport — “definitely felt the pressure from me and both of our families.”
But prices and rates were dropping; the time was right. Rings, dresses and seating charts could take a back seat to mortgage applications, home inspections and moving vans.
In good Times fashion, after a detour to explore the home-buying processes of 2 other unwed couples, the story circles back to Our Heroes:
And for Mr. Haberstroh and Ms. Horelik, both the real estate and the relationship have now fallen into place, to the delight of Ms. Horelik’s family, who are of the wedding-before-house school.
The first night they slept in their new home, they got engaged. They are hoping for a late-summer 2010 wedding, but have not set the date.
“Between moving in and outfitting the house,” Mr. Haberstroh said, “we’ve had a hard time finding time to really make progress on that front.”
Let’s hope their parents knew that already, and won’t just read it — along with the rest of the country — in tomorrow’s New York Times.