Monday, February 18, 2013

A-Hunting We Will Go

So the house has been sold. It was crazy and fast and weird. One day, we were mentioning to our real estate agent that we might be interested in moving, then a month or so later we get a call saying someone is looking for a house in our neighborhood and were we interested in selling. Sure, why not, we thought. The prospective buyers came to the house a week later (a crazy week full of cleaning and reorganizing the house and getting it in something close to showing condition). The next week, they came back to see the place with their parents. A few days later, they made an offer and we countered. Almost 1 month to the day we got the call that someone was interested in our house, we shook hands, signed a contract and got this ball rolling.

So...the house is sold. We officially have 3 and a half months to find a new house. That's not scary at all. Especially since we can't even make an offer until our taxes are done...But we're almost there. So this weekend, we started house hunting.

House hunting is a depressing business. At least it is if you live here on the peninsula. We have what seems like a lot of money, but there is not a lot out there for the amount we have. What we want: a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house, with a bonus room, in a nice neighborhood with good schools. Sometimes it seems like we are reaching for the moon. The thought here is that we don't want to move for a long time. It should be big enough for Brian to have a workable office, Lorelei to have a bedroom, and space for a guest/play/mommy's craft room. We also need some sort of backyard area for the pups to play in. And I'd like something big enough to entertain in.

What we have found:

House #1-Cute Cottage
3 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice neighborhood...check
Good schools...check
Bonus room for Brian...nope
In our Price Range...yes. Just barely.
Verdict: no go. While it is a nice house, it is just barely bigger than our current house. No room for entertaining or to grow. Oh, and it has very old wiring.

House #2-Property Brothers with a View
4 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice neighborhood...check
Good Schools...check
Room for an office and a guest room...check
In our price range...no, but seriously overpriced
Verdict: the big problem with this property is that it needs to have the drywall totally ripped out to update the old wiring. The floors need to be refinished. The kitchen needs to be ripped out. But...it has an awesome view on the edge of a hill and if we got it for the right price, we could update this sucker and have a showplace.

House #3-Crazy Winchester Mystery Cat-House
3 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice neighborhood...nope
Good schools...kind of
Room for an office and a guest room...maybe
In our price range...nope
Verdict: No. Absolutely not. This place was horrible from the get go. A former duplex turned into a house, so it has weird flow. Carpets with cats that have clearly marked the territory as their own. Doors that open to NOTHING (on the second level). A tiny backyard. You have to drive around the block to get to the garage...Just...weird.

House #4-The Mary Poppins House
4 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice Neighborhood...check
Good Schools...Check
Room for an office and a guest room...check
In Our Price Range...check
Verdict: This house is practically perfect in every way. Completely redone, beautiful everything. Lots of storage space, skylights...in our price range. Or it was until it got 26 offers, one of which was $80,000 above asking price!

House #5-Work That Gluteous Maximus House
4 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice Neighborhood...check
Good schools...check
Room for an office and a guest room...check
In Our Price Range...Nope
Verdict: This house was really cool. 3 floors with an amazing view and lots of space. 2 balconies and a sunroom. Very cool fireplace. It's above our asking price, but hoping we can get it down since it's not in the greatest condition. The carpets need to be ripped out and the kitchen is a joke.

House #6-Bank Owned Fixer Upper
4 bedrooms, 2 baths...check
Nice neighborhood...check
Good Schools...more or less
Room for an office and a guest room...check
In our price range...yes
Verdict: This house has very good bones but it is beat to shit. The only things worth keeping are the floors...in some of the rooms. There is carpet that seriously needs to be ripped out, a kitchen that needs to be redone, a lot of work. On the plus side, it's cheap and we would actually have the funds to fix it up.

So right now, we are thinking about Houses 2, 5 and 6. We have our fingers crossed on #5. They all need a lot of work, but it's exciting to think about finding a place and making it our own. While I love our current house, they made choices I probably wouldn't have. With any of these places, we are going to have the opportunity to truly design it the way we want. It's just going to take a while.

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