Monday, January 23, 2012

House Wars: The Realtor Strikes Back

Sundays have become a whirlwind for me with all this househunting going on. It seems to be the only day that we can go look so I have to squeeze in tours between various meetings for The Random Act. This Sunday was, hopefully, the last one I have to do that. 

We set out yesterday with a list of four more houses. We'd originally had 6 but one was bought before we could look at it and the other one just didn't answer the phone to schedule the walk around. Oh well. 

The day turned into a grand adventure in hidden surprises. The first place we went to? Very beautiful right from the start. Huge, sitting on a hill and overlooking a park. I was in love. Then I walked around the side of the house and saw this:

"It's just a broken window," I can hear you say. True and I thought that myself. Maybe some rambunctious kid threw a rock and, hey, accidents happen. Then I walked to the back of the house. 

Yeah, both of the bottom ones are busted out too, not to mention the builders didn't even bother to finish shingling the roof. Not a good sign. I didn't take photos of the inside. I think it was because I was in shock. We walked in and I was impressed at first by how large and lovely it was. Then I got to the kitchen. There is no kitchen. It's gone. Thieves are so prevalent in this area that they stole the cabinets.

No, I'm not making that up. The cabinets were gone. The appliances were gone. THE BATHROOM SINKS WERE GONE. I couldn't believe it. We went back and looked at the door again and found signs that it had been kicked in repeatedly and the current owners actually bolted metal plates onto it just to prevent that from happening again. Yeah, we moved on. 

Next on the list was another house in a bad neighborhood and every window had bars on them:

This never bodes well. The neighbor was a drug dealer or a hoarder, not sure which, but no one who owns 17 coolers all stacked on their back porch, 6 cars (only two of which appeared to run), large angry looking dogs, and tons of random trash strewn about their yard could possibly be up to any good. Or at the very least, I doubted they'd be thrilled when I showed up with cookies. >__> 

We went to the next home and found a place that was honestly on our list of potential houses. It was oddly laid out but the front was lovely enough and there was a nice sized back yard. The kitchen was just gorgeous as was the dining room but all the other rooms were lackluster. They were tiny and cramped, the bathrooms were itty bitty, and I don't really need the random half bath tucked into what used to be a closet in the middle of the hallway. Still, those things could be fixed. 

Then we got to the basement. Everything looked great right up till we opened one of the doors down there and found this. 

That's water....the door you see there...that doesn't lead outside. If it led outside I could at least tell myself that maybe it was just rain. Alas, no. This speaks to a much larger problem. 

It wasn't in just one place either. Most of the floor was like this. I swear I saw the Loch Ness Monster in there. We decided that between the water and the too small rooms, there was no reason to pay more for this place and then have to work even harder to make it livable when we had another option that was already great for us. 

The last house on the list was, well, perfect in so many ways. It was staged wonderfully. It was bright and homey. The only issue there was that it was too expensive and too small. For all that it was gorgeous, I just couldn't swing paying too much for something already decked out when I could pay much less for something I could decorate myself and make it look just how I wanted. 

All that said, we returned back to the home we'd fallen for last time and it still didn't fail to enchant. It's not too big, not too small, and has great potential for redesign without breaking the bank or US. 

This is the home we've decided on. Isn't the kitchen lovely?? I'm already planning out some things on this. I want to restain the cabinets, repaint, put up a tile backsplash, ect. 

This is the livingroom. It's right off the kitchen. I love the hardwood floors and there's plenty of light. 

Some of you might recognize this. That's right, it's the bathroom I'd fallen for. The jacuzzi tub and all! YAY! It's right off the master bedroom and is just too pretty. The master bedroom itself is lovely with lots of windows, sunlight, and hardwood floors. It even has a trey ceiling! 

The room on the left is the master bath and this is inside the master bedroom. This is even larger than it looks as I was only standing halfway into the bedroom. 

This is the backyard. It's AWESOME. That tree is a huge magnolia so it's going to be so pretty in the spring. I want to do terraced gardens in the back and we're going to replace the rickety chainlink fence with a white privacy fence. The one you see in the background is the neighbor's, not ours. Listen to me, I'm already talking like I own this. Heh. 

This is the back. I'm already dreaming up things to do. We're going to build out a carport to the left side. I want to tear up all that bland concrete (yay for jackhammers!) and put down patterned brick walkways instead. The whole house is going to get repainted into something a little less bland, I think. I want bright (not purple, mind you) and welcoming. :) 

Tonight we're putting in our initial offer. Wish me luck!


  1. WISHING YOU LOADS AND LOADS OF LUCK. That kitchen is pretty amazing, I should have said that before - how nice to have a brand new kitchen.
    Wow, those others were horrors, but thanks for sharing all the photos. I used to spend a lot of time looking at estate agents sites, before I blogged (and when the old geezer was out, which gave me a chance to actually USE the computer).
    Good luck Otter xxx

  2. LUCK LUCK AND EVEN MORE LUCK!!!!! I am so freaking excited for you!

  3. Good luck! I just went through the house hunting, it was about like yours except we were looking at homes out in the boonies. One house actually had a foot of water in the basement, the current owners said it was normal and that's why the furnace was BOLTED TO THE CEILING. It's all worth it in the end!


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