melaniesuzanne: (Homeowner mouse is home)
[personal profile] melaniesuzanne
The beau and I have discussed moving in together for a few months and have both been scouting out properties via online resources to see what the inventory is like and figure out what each of us is looking for in our home. Happily, we're on the same page with what we're looking for with respect to rooms and amenities and neighborhoods. Our only difference, really, is that I prefer a Colonial or Victorian facade while he's a fan of mid-century modern and contemporary. Despite that gulf, he admits that what the outside looks like is pretty low on his list of demands and if we found two houses with identical insides but different facades, we'll get the traditional house to make me happy.

Last autumn, I found a house about two miles away from my current house in the Forest Ridge neighborhood and it looked fantastic online except for being above our price range. I've been watching the price drop every month and it fell into our range last week. Sean's stepmom is a realtor and she arranged a viewing for us on Saturday afternoon. We got excited sitting out front while we waited for her to arrive, critiquing and praising different aspects of the property. As we approached the porch, I realized that the front door was red. I want a house with a red door! (Sean thought I wanted a TARDIS blue door, but no.) And then I spotted a claddagh door knocker. Were those signs?

Erm, no. The online pictures were MUCH better than the reality. It's not a BAD house, but there have been some poorly chosen "upgrades" made to the property including a tiny bedroom with a porcelain tile floor while the bathroom across the hall sported peel-n-stick tiles. There's no door between the master bath and bedroom. Sure, there are lots of houses like that, but the toilet wasn't closed off in a water closet. It was just ~there~ without any barrier to the rest of the bedroom. Ew. The basement had a finished game room, but the rest of the basement was... not good. The back yard was TRASHED thanks to the current owner's dogs. Also? It's a short sale. One the plus side, the neighborhood is quiet and well-maintained and not that far from the bike trail so I could still bike to work.

The reality of that house has cooled my ardor for it, but Sean's not discounting it. I spent a lot of time yesterday reminding myself that this was only the first house we've looked at. As the temperature warms and spring blooms, more for sale signs will pop up and we'll find the house we love.

Date: 2015-03-23 02:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I just got rid of the peel and stick that adorned by kitchen floor since 2007...and the floor under that was peel and stick from probably 1999...and the floor under than was peel and stick from 1989. Then you got to the subfloor...which was cork. I had hoped the original tile floor was damaged and patched over which is why the floor was so uneven - it was just that they used cork in the kitchen so every time you spilled anything, the cork absorbed it. Fun!

Now I have a fabulous tile floor. Much better for when I sell my place in a couple of months.

Date: 2015-03-23 01:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oof, how very annoying. Congrats on the new floor, though!

Date: 2015-03-23 01:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ugh, short sales. Before we bought our current house, we put a bid on a short sale. The bank refused to negotiate and it ended up selling like 9 months later - for slightly lower than the price we offered. Plus that house was trashed as well (and I mean *trashed* , random holes in the walls, leaks, etc). Glad we didnt go that way!

There's a local MLS search I like called - its a local broker that put together, but its DMV focused and really simple and powerful (and fast).

Date: 2015-03-23 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Sean had the perfect short sale experience. Not only did the bank accept his lowered offer, they accepted the offer and closed pretty quickly, AND paid closing costs. He got the unicorn of short sales, heh. I seriously doubt that would happen again, and if there's more than one mortgage on the place, we're running away without a second glance back.

Thanks for the link to that other site! I've exhausted Zillow and at the moment.

Date: 2015-03-23 06:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There's no door between the master bath and bedroom. Sure, there are lots of houses like that, but the toilet wasn't closed off in a water closet. It was just ~there~ without any barrier to the rest of the bedroom

Oh, wow. I can't imagine using the toilet while my SO was in bed right there, able to watch. That's horrific.

Good luck on the house hunt though! And, if you go for that one walls aren't THAT hard to install.

Date: 2015-03-24 02:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Able to watch. And hear. And smell. No thank you.

Thanks! I know the right one is out there, just waiting for us to find it. :-)

How is your build going?

Date: 2015-03-24 01:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
We're still in the customization phase. I should post an update but I keep thinking that we'll have everything finalized "any day now" and I'll update then.

Right now we're arguing about where the laundry room goes. I want it convenient to the bedrooms (where the laundry is generated) and the builder wants it in the kitchen.

Date: 2015-03-25 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh, I'd definitely want the laundry as close to the bedrooms as possible. The amount of time and effort saved, particularly if it's a multi-story home, is intense when measured in years. (My previous dwelling had the laundry no more than three steps away from the bedrooms.)

Make the builder build outside their box.

Date: 2015-03-24 05:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, if you're looking in Forest Ridge, there's one coming on the market next week.... ;)

Date: 2015-03-24 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Too right. :-) But as cute as your house is (and as gorgeous as you've made the yard!), we're looking for a little more space and adamant about a two-car garage.
Edited Date: 2015-03-24 06:03 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-03-25 04:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
One house I have seen had the master bathtub sunken in the floor of the master bedroom. There was a separate shower, sink, and WCed toilet, but the actual bathtub was in the floor of the bedroom. I... kinda liked that setup.

(And, oddly, two separate friends rented that very same house.)


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