Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | July 23, 2010

searching

I don’t know what happened, but I haven’t posted in nearly 3 weeks. Perhaps I have nothing to write about. Perhaps I’m too tired to do anything more than read blogs on my droid in between seven thousand other things. Perhaps it is because I have thrush again and I am depressed. Perhaps it is because we are house hunting and my precious little internet time has shifted to searching for the perfect house in the best school district for a price we can afford (which does not exist).

We have outgrown our current home. We knew we would need more space, and soon, but I don’t think we realized just how soon. The two bedroom home that my husband bought ten years ago has been great, but we are so cramped. We moved all of our living room furniture off to the side to make an open space for Birdie on the floor. I am seriously thinking about dismantling our dining room table and creating a dedicated babyproofed play space. There are piles of crap everywhere but nowhere to put anything away. It is bad. .

S is excited about the possibility of living closer to work and having a shorter commute. I am excited about living in a nicer neighborhood where I can feel safe walking with Birdie (ours is going the wrong direction). I’ve never bought a house before, so the whole process is new to me. We found a house we really liked: nice neighborhood, big backyard, quiet street, good school district, just a few blocks to the elementary school, beautiful new kitchen, 4 bedrooms. But, it is an older home with some potentially expensive heating and cooling issues, the basement is FUNKY and there are a few other flaws. It is just out of our price range, and we could probably make it happen it if we didn’t have to worry about unexpected maintenance problems. We were so close to putting in an offer on it, but we chickened out, and I am glad.While I was excited about so many aspects of it, I was surprisingly not all that disappointed when it didn’t work out. I am taking that to mean it was not meant to be our house.

How did you know when you found your home? Did you know right away?

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Responses

  1. Thrush again?! Dang it!

    We knew immediately. We had looked at dozens of homes. We could compromise could have put in on some other house, but the excitement when we saw this one just completely made up our mind for us.

    We were not finding anything we liked in our price range in the city we wanted to live in. We decided to start looking across the river and I’d ruled out one neighborhood based on a comment a coworker had made. Then, literally the last day we had to look (because DH had to go out of town for a month long detail in new orleans b/c of katrina and by the time he would get back we would have had to renew our lease for another year), the last house we looked at, in the town we didn’t want to live in, in the neighborhood we didn’t want, we found THE HOUSE. Turns out, our neighborhood IS Mayberry (my co-worker was completely off) and driving across the river is probably actually better than living in the other town in many ways. And we went 10k over our budget to get the house, but it was worth it. But my realtor was funny… we were loving it so much and she stopped and said, “Wait, this is too god to be true.” So she made some calls and found out the house was under contract already, but the buyer had a contingency to sell his house first! So we offered the asking price with our only request being a water softener and no other contingencies and we got the house! It was very exciting.

    It was new construction, so we didn’t have any maintenance issues to deal with and that was nice. Our builder is a great guy and our neighbor. I wish it was a little larger, but it has enough rooms and I don’t think that we will outgrow the house if we finish the basement, but we might want more land someday and that will push us out, but I’m hoping that day is a long ways off.

    If you feel that excitement… you wake up dreaming about decorating the house and Birdie playing in it, that is the sign… but sometimes those practical matters of schools and such have to be taken into account. But it seems like most areas are buyer’s markets these days, so hopefully you find a deal without too much trouble.

  2. Well, we have a “good enough house’. Our neighbors are great and we love our town. Our house needs a TON of work. Our backyard is an out of business used car lot. But..it has a bathroom and a bedroom downstairs and the mortgage was low enough for me to stay home with Petey. That is our luxury, me being a stay at home Mom. If we had bought a fancier house Peter would be in daycare right now.

    We’ll move in five years or so, and we’ll move to a “just so” house.

    Our town has great schools, is so small it only has three police officers, we re in walking distance to a park, and every one says “hi” when you pass them on the street.

  3. we knew that we wanted more living space, mature trees, and a good school system. i didn’t care about the other stuff. now we have small bedrooms, only 1.5 baths, and 200+ bags of leaves to rake every year, lol. no house is perfect, seriously.

    you know we turned our dining room into a play room. i still think it’s a little strange, but seriously…it was one of the best things that we could have done. we have a safe place to put the kiddos so we can prepare dinner, check the mail, or (gasp) go to the bathroom!!!

    good luck in your search.

    xx

  4. We pretty much knew. We definitely knew when places weren’t right. We started off slow by going to some open houses on weekends in neighbourhoods we thought we might be interested in, just to see what was out there. Once we started looking, it only took us a week or so to find the one. We wanted big, modern, 4 bedrooms or more (for a guest bedroom and office), 2+ baths. Close to subway. Hardwood floors because of DH’s allergies. Good flow +/- open concept. A garage for our future car. We found one house we liked in a suburb, and then also found our house, which only had 2 bedrooms at the time, but was located 1.5 blocks from the subway in what seemed to be a nice family neighbourhood. DH can still bike to clubs to go to concerts, we can still walk to grocery stores. It’s contemporary, recently renovated and built, and we loved the fact that it was custom done by the previous owner who was even taller than us, so the countertops are all at our height. The counter in our master bath even struck me as being too tall when I was pg and the belly was getting in the way. Although it didn’t meet our criteria in terms of # of rooms, something about it caught our minds, and we figured out that we could make it work by renoing the basement to create two more rooms. 6 months after moving in, we’re still loving it.
    Set your must have criteria, your would be nice items, and your budget. I bet you’ll find something that just feels right.

  5. We are in the exact same boat! We’ve been looking for a new house for months and just made an offer on one on Sunday…of course there are issues from the home inspection that we’re trying to work out, but I think it looks like we’ll be moving. It’s much better space for H and all his toys – more room to spread out. I hope you find a place you love soon! You’ll know it when you see it.

  6. east grand rapids? we looked at a few houses in gr before we bought our house, it would have put us closer to my husband’s other daughter but further away from my family and the friends we have here in michigan.
    we must have looked at 30 or 40 houses before we bought this one, as soon as i saw it i knew this was the one and we went through hell to get it (short sale among other things). after looking at so many houses with weird layouts, creepy dungeon-like basement bathrooms, tiny bedrooms, zero closet space and odd locations, finding this house was a relief. it needs to be updated but it has a good location, nice layout, decent sized bedrooms, big closets and plenty of them, as well as other storage space and a normal second bathroom in the basement.
    as far as i’m concerned the most important things about a house are location and layout, everything else can be changed.

  7. Sorry I’m so late! First, thank you so much for all your support on the BFing issues I’m having. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to call you this week. I miss you!

    Anyway, we totally knew when we bought our house that it was “the one.” We loved the neighborhood and the layout. It had good curb appeal which was important since we know we aren’t staying here that long, and we knew that the work we needed to do was cosmetic only.

    Make sure it has tons of storage space. Ours doesnt (we don’t have basements where I live now), and now that BB is here, we have outgrown it! I agree with the comment above: location and layout are the most important.

    Check out who is in the neighborhood – we found our new best friends right across the street. Everyone is our age and there are tons of kids for BB to play with.

    OH, and go check out the neighborhood at dusk and at night. We ruled out several neighborhoods by doing that. Although, I know where you live and I don’t think it will be a problem! 🙂


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