Thursday, May 5, 2011

Three Days of Househunting

It looks so much more fun on Househunters, but I always wonder how many properties they actually see.  Surely more than three?

- House #1: Really pretty good.  A little smaller than we are used to, but a great start!  Painted in yellow, orange, red, all colors we adore.  3 bedrooms, 4 baths, and a big carpeted basement.  Cute back deck, minutes from my work, two car garage (nowhere to be found in Boston!).  The neighborhood is quiet, and a tiny bit rundown, but the house is really well maintained and beautiful. What a nice way to start our hunt!
- House #2: It will take months for this guy to fix this house, though he assures us it can be done in 2 weeks.  Mr. Move-a-lot was frantically mouthing "NO!" to me while holding Baby-Move-a lot.  Example: "So, in this bathroom, I want to take out the ceiling, walls, flooring, vanity, mirror, and fix the lights.  And replace these tiles."  Really?  That's all?  Yeah, every room was like that.
- House #3: Was amazing.  A complete dream home at an insanely low price.  We are talking master suite with jacuzzi and fireplace in a gated community.  But, too far for Mr. Move-a-lot to commute.  I don't want to talk about it.  It hurts too much.

- House #4: Not bad at all, cute yard, and every room had a chair rail, which was a little weird.  Odd choices of colors in some rooms, but a good start to the day.
- House #5: Pretty awesome.  Odd layout, and a bit small, but the living room has a whole wall floor to ceiling windows showcasing the amazing garden, pond, and woods.  Yeah, I'd rent that for the living room.  Had some things we didn't love, but we kept going back to the living room again and again.
- House #6: A townhouse, nothing special, and it turned out to be too far out for our commute.
- House #7: I hate people that are late.  Like 30 minutes late.  Especially when you're pretty sure the house isn't going to be great.  And, just as we were pulling out of the driveway to leave, she shows up and shows us the un-great house.  Waste O' Time.
- House #8: Another townhouse, but this time in a good location.  New carpets, a bit dated, but lots and lots of room.  Mr. Move-a-lot puts this one tied at the top of our list with House #5.

Wednesday: Having discovered what areas are good for us to live in and what aren't, we cancel an appointment, but do get to see
- House #9, 10, and 11: Three townhouses in the same complex, all managed by the same "move, move, move, don't care how cute your baby is" woman.  They are really really nice and located super close to downtown Alexandria, and all have new kitchens.  But, now that we've seen House #8, all townhouses are compared to it, and these are much more expensive and much less space.

So, we discuss.  A lot.  And we finally pick.....

House #8!  So, townhouses aren't really "us" but this one isn't too bad.  First off, it's 15 minutes for each of us to get to work.  Priceless.  It's also grossly underpriced compared to everything else we've seen, and it has twice the space of anything else town-housy we've seen.  Sure, it's only got one parking space, but we've pulled into the area at various times during the day and there are always 8 spots open in the visitor's lot.  Yeah, the bathroom has wallpaper that's pretty hideous, and the kitchen COULD be more updated, but it's got brand new carpet, a little tiny yard perfect for the dog to do his business, and a walk through master closet that leads to a master bathroom.  Of course, 4 bedrooms would be better than 3, but with two huge family rooms on two different levels, if another baby comes along, the bottom floor could easily convert to a temporary guest room.  AND, it's ready for move-in, so we don't have to wait for anyone else to get out.
We sent off the application and were given a 99% chance of getting the place from the property manager, so now we're just waiting for the official ok and we are set.

The big goal will be making this very beige, slightly dated but full-of-potential house a home for us.  We are very eclectic people, which was why it was tough to let go of House #5, but I'm ready for the challenge and to take blog readers on our journey!

It feels great to have something locked in (almost) for our move!

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