Monday, October 25, 2010

Three House Showings and a Decision?

Disclaimer - this is a long post, so you'll probably get bored half way though.  I apologize in advance. 

So we saw all three houses this weekend.  We saw them back to back, well almost, the one house we had to see on Sunday because the people decided not to show on Saturday.  All of the houses were second or third showings, so knew that these were the three we were going to pick from.  And after seeing 20+ houses, I was glad to have then narrowed down to three.  So lets look at the pros and cons of each. 

House #1

This was the first house we were supposed to see on Saturday, but ended up seeing on Sunday.  It was a three bedroom ranch, with two car attached garage, fenced yard, and finished basement.  

  • 2194 sq ft
  • Fenced yard
  • Finished basement that was large and very open
  • Bar in the basement
  • First floor laundry
  • Hard wood (laminate) floors
  • 2 1/2 baths
  • Large extra room upstairs that could be an office or extra family room
  • Nice landscaping
  • Beautiful deck
  • New Windows
  • Nice neighborhood
  • Very small two car garage, two cars could barely fit in there
  • The kitchen had newer counter tops, but I still would want a full tear out
  • Small odd shaped yard
  • The house across the street had a front yard full of statues
  • Price, this house was on the high end of what we would like to pay
  • Busier street
  • Not within walking distance of anything
So we liked this house the first time we walked through it.  It was in a nice neighborhood and it looks adorable from the street.  The house is very nice on the inside with new windows and wood floors (they are laminate, but looked nice).  The basement was fantastic, it was very open and had a bar, full bathroom, and a workshop.  Unfortunately, the duct ran right through the middle of the basement, so tall people could never stand in the middle of the room or even in front of the bar, but me and J are both short enough, so it really wasn't a huge deal.

The real problem was with the small garage.  It was so small there would be no way J of working on his car.  There was no room for a work bench or our bikes.  And there is no way we could add on because of the shape of the lot.  So that was a real deal breaker.  The other problem was the kitchen.  The counter tops did not line up and had fairly large gaps, and the cabinets were very old.  Plus it had an original faux brick wall.  The kitchen would be a full tear out, and that's gonna cost us some money.  And with this house being on the high end of our price range, would it be worth it?

House #2     

This house was a three bedroom ranch with an attached garage and unfinished basement.

  • 1340 sq ft (unfinished basement)
  • Beautiful landscaping
  • Nice size yard
  • Large windows
  • Huge garage
  • Very large basement
  • Nice neighborhood
  • Quiet street
  • 2 full baths
  • Fenced Yard
  • Carpet thought the whole house, blah
  • Outdated kitchen with all original items
  • Strange floor plan
  • High Price
This was the house that J went and saw the other day while I was at the dentist.  He said it had potential and he wanted me to see it.  It was a decent square footage considering that the basement was unfinished and could be finished.  A very large family room or rec room could be put down there and probably make the square footage of the house well over 2000 sq ft.  The garage was huge.  It was perfect for what J would need it for and plenty of room for my car as well.  The yard was very nicely landscaped, probably way better then I could ever do.  It was beautiful

But there were some glaring problems that I saw.  One the kitchen was all original, meaning it had yellow counter tops, yellow sink, yellow appliances, as well as yellow floors.  That means all the counter tops would need to be replaced, the floor would need to ripped out, and all the appliances replaced.  And it had a single sink, and there was not room for a double.  I don't think I could live with a single sink.

It also had a floor plan I didn't like.  You walked in, to the left was the door to the kitchen and to the right was a hall to the bedrooms and next to that was an open staircase to the basement and then your living room.  An open staircase to an unfinished basement in the living room.  It was so strange.  I just didn't like it and I didn't like that it wasn't an open floor plan.  I love open floor plans and that's why I want a ranch house.  I just wasn't feeling this house at all.

House #3

This is a three bedroom ranch with a two car detached garage.

  • 1843 sq ft
  • 2 full bath
  • Nice neighboorhood
  • Quiet street
  • Large garage
  • Full finished basement including workshop, extra bedroom and full bath
  • Nice size yard
  • Hardwood floors (real)
  • 3 season porch
  • New windows
  • New counter tops and sink in kitchen
  • Bay window
  • Upstairs office
  • No landscaping
  • Small deck
  • Unfenced yard
  • Long driveway
  • Flooring needs updating in some rooms
  • Bathroom needs a little updating
  • Lighting needs updating
  • Needs a new paint job
So this was the third time we've been through this house.  We really like this house.  It has almost everything we're looking for.  It needs a little updating here and there, but nothing major.  The hardwood floors are beautiful and are in such good shape for being original.  The floor plan is very open and great.  It has a beautiful large bay window in the living room.  They just replaced the counter tops and sink in the kitchen, and they are beautiful.  The three season porch is huge.  We would like to put a patio door from the porch to back yard, but that can be a project for next summer.  The yard is large and very private.

The house does need a little updating.  I'm not a fan of the floor in the kitchen, J keeps telling me that it's not that bad.  The yard isn't fenced in, so we'll have to decide if we want to fence it in or get invisible fencing for little Yoda.  They just painted the house blue, and well I'm not a fan of blue houses, so we discussed painting it next spring, which will be easy since it's a ranch.  Like I said before, we would like to put a patio door out to the back yard from the three season porch to kinda open it up and make the flow a little nicer.  The bathroom needs some updating, but nothing a little cosmetic work and some paint won't do.  There is a half wall as you walk in that we might take down and we would probably take down a pair of upper cabinets to open up the flow of the house.  Then we would also take out a built-in in the kitchen to add a little more counter space.


We think we've made up our minds and we're going for house number 3, I know big surprise.  We just really like this house and think that it has almost all the things we want.  We've done our homework and looked at almost every house on the market, and we keep coming back to this one.  It has the least amount of curb appeal because the lack of landscaping, but has the most potential and everything we're looking for.  We're talking to the lender today about closing costs and getting a pre-approval for this specific house (we got a general pre-approval when we started looking).  Then we're going to make the appointment to really go through the house and check everything; faucets, windows, water pressure, open and close doors, etc, etc.  And after that visit, we're planning on making an offer.

It's exciting and scary all at the same time.  I've already started freaking out, but I know we'll be happy with our decision, we really did our homework and planned everything out.  So I'll keep everyone up to date and hopefully everything will go to plan.      


    Carol said...

    I remember our first house. You two are going about it much much more informed than we did back in 1970. It will all come together. Bet once you get in there the spring will come and landscaping will be a fun challenge. Fingers crossed for you.

    Lauren said...

    Good luck! Make sure to get a home inspection done if you go through with buying the house.

    Three Fates said...

    Thanks guys. We've tried to do our homework and tried to make sure we've covered everything. Luckily we have the best agent ever, he sits us down and explains everything to us. He's great. And he would never let us buy a house without an inspection, so hopefully we've actually do have everything covered, I hope. :-)

    Storm, The Psychotic Housewife said...

    I think house #3 sounds like a good decision too. The updating doesn't sound like it would be too much work, either. Here's to a smooth signing process! :)

    Lynne said...

    Best of luck! Sounds like you've really got a good plan to move forward with your prchase.

    Three Fates said...

    Thanks everyone, we're meeting with the loan officer today (I think), I hope all goes well.

    Tara Beaulieu said...

    I knew it, I could tell by the way you kept going back to that one. You were rooting for it all along! Good luck with the rest of the process. We just bought our first home (ranch house) last summer and it was stressful and at times I just wanted to give up because it could get so frustrating but now that it's over, I am SO happy we did it. I is so rewarding!