It took two years and 130 houses to find the one. It was my first house and I considered my options carefully. I didn’t rush in. Instead, I rushed to the bathroom. / It was always the kitchen that made my stomach seize. This one was the same as all the others: an industrial-sized refrigerator, dark brown cabinetry, marble countertops, and an island as big as Manhattan. / “This is a spectacular renovation,” my wife, Victoria, said. She was right. The kitchen was straight out of Better Homes and Gardens. The bathroom was pristine and all beige. It had Grohe fixtures (no American Standard). There was a candle burning because certain smells sell houses; they evoke an image of home. But that candle had nothing on me.