Thursday, January 20, 2011

The hunt begins

Yesterday was our first round of house-hunting. I think it went well. We have a "no," a "pretty much a no," and a "heck yes! but probably no." But more on that.

The first house we saw was a 3 bed, 2 bath in Glendale. The pictures online were good, but they were NOT representative of the house itself. Someone got creative with angles or Photoshop, people. The layout and the structure was good, but it was so dirty and destroyed that it was hard to imagine how it could be our home without a lot of work. And there'd be hours and hours of cleaning before we even got to the "lot of work." We're willing to put in some elbow grease, but not that much. Note to people who are leaving their house: it's not necessarily to rough it up before you go. Also, if your 10-year-old son is as tall as me, as indicated by the marks on the exterior kitchen wall, you're feeding him too much processed hormone-y meat, and I'm just plain scared. That is all.

The second house was one that Dan had picked to see. It's a short sale, which has me hesitant. I want out of the apartment ASAP, and I find it hard to believe that we can't find something we'd like just as much that wouldn't require us to go through a process that I hear makes people say "I'd rather pull my own eyelashes out." But he was all jazzed about its big driveway, so we went. The house was cute, and in a cul-de-sac, which is nice. The living area was spacious, and the eat-in kitchen was modern and has a ton of counter space. The backyard had a covered patio, and the house is getting a brand new roof thanks to recent hail damage. The downside: the bedrooms were clumped together and the master bath was tiny. Like "hey, we have a failry big closet, let's make a tiny bathroom in it" tiny. Nothing redeeming enough to endure a short sale.

The last house was one we weren't sure we'd get to see. It's in a beautiful neighborhood. There were people walking down the street with dogs and there were kids on bikes. Nice area, and super convenient to all the things I have here in Ahwatukee. We walked in and instantly loved it. Fireplace, all tile floors, wood flooring in the bedroom, split floor plan, a ton of kitchen counter space, really nice master bath with double sinks. Great foundations. The listing says "as is" and there are some obvious things we'd have to deal with - the guest bath would need tile replaced, we'd need some drywall work done, and the master bedroom would need a new door to the patio. The counters in the kitchen are also an ugly pink, but they have a lot of potential. None of this is stuff we wouldn't be willing to do, and quite honestly, with my husband being the fixture snob that he is, we'd plan to work with the bathrooms before we ever even moved in. Yes, my husband is the guy who replaces toilets before he even puts his clothes in the closets. The kitchen is something we plan to eventually upgrade unless we're lucky enough to find a home with an amazing kitchen in our budget, which isn't likely.

Point is, we love it. We'd seriously put and offer in like right now. Of course, everyone is all "look more!" Well, Dan and I operate the same way, which is great for us as a married couple. You see, we don't have to look at every house on the market in our price range to pick a favorite. We know what we like when we see it and can say "yep, I'm happy with that." I did it with my wedding dress, the frame on my Sistine Chapel print (we looked for 3 hours and ended up getting the one I first pointed out), our wedding venue, etc. We don't need to shop by elimination. It's just not our style. So to those of you who are reading thinking, "that's only 3 houses! You can't put an offer in on the first day!" Oh yes, I can.

However - and this is a big "however" - the listing also says "auction." The realtor said that usually with auction properties, the MLS states where and when the auction will be, and this info was missing. So there's a small possibility that this was added prematurely and that the house is still available to the general buying public. The realtor is going to call today to see what's up. So we may still have a shot at this house, though it's probably not likely, and we're realistic about that. If we don't have a chance, this house will at least be a standard against which we measure others. It's got everything we hope to find.

We're seeing between 6 and 8 more houses this weekend. I'm very excited, because at least I've seen that there is at least one house out there in our budget that we can love. It's going to be a long Saturday, but we're both really hopeful.


Amanda said...

I say this to everyone, but REAL ESTATE IS RUN BY THE DEVIL HIMSELF. I LOVE my home but it was a bitch to get. Just remember, if somehow you don't get this one, there's a's because there is a perfect one out there. We went through 2 different was a short sale that we were in love with. One we put a bid in and were outbid. Whatever you do, dont' watch the real estate shows -- they will just piss you off.

Shana said...

Crossing my fingers for you. I say if the 3rd house you see works for you then go for it. There is no need to see every house on the market if you find the one you love early on. Trust me...been there, done that. It's a pain.

Good luck and keep us posted.