Lauren and I had ourselves quite the adventure last night as we checked out houses for the first time with our realtor. In less than two hours, we made seven stops in one neighborhood and ended the night considering two, maybe three of the houses possibilities. It seems that every house in this area has its quirks—even the good ones. These houses are all very old—the “new” ones were built in the 1940s. For houses in our price range, we’re looking at about 1,100 total square footage.
The first house we saw was the best, in my opinion, except it is a short sale. Not entirely sure what that term means, only that it’s basically a joke because the process takes so long. This house’s highlight was none of its features, but a tiny puppy in a cage in the living room that the owners left behind for the night while they went out. I think all three of us found this tiny yelping cocker spaniel to be a distraction as we tried to study the house. If that puppy came with the house—which I’m sure could be arranged for the right price—Lauren would have been sold!
Another house we went to, which was also considered a possibility, featured a misplaced toilet. Between the kitchen and the stairway to the basement sat a toilet. No bathroom, no walls, just a toilet. We all had a good laugh and figured it would be perfect for those times when Lauren is stuck in the kitchen cooking a big meal and can’t leave the food unattended.
The final house we visited was enormous and had so much potential, but the previous owners really ran it into the ground. There was a basement bathroom straight out of a horror movie. The front yard featured a bewildering series of fences that formed square cubes… for gardening or for wild animals? We couldn’t figure that out, but it bore an eerie resemblance to a Dugard-type compound. If we were really ambitious fixer-uppers, that would have been a great place.
So, our first day was a success. We’ll pick things up either this weekend or early next week with another neighborhood.
Keep looking. I remember when I first started I seen some really bad houses. Just keep looking and you will find one that you go wow this is perfect.
Consider location first, then neighbor hood.
When you are looking at a house in person focus on, is the house structurally sound. Check basement for cracking / shifting of the foundation. How old are the windows, are they double or single paned. Also you can find out previous energy & gas costs through the selling Realtor usually. So you can estimate how much your bills might be.
Next look at the appliances. How many are energy compliant. How many will you have to replace in the next few years. Appliances very much factor into the overall price of the house.
Then look at how modern looking the place is and if you like the backyard etc.
The house could have been a total dump and that adorable puppy would have sold me on it, too! What a great marketing tool…keep it in mind if you’re ever selling your house.
I have more interest in #6 and #7 than you do for sure… maybe I have more of that do-it-yourself spirit? I think I get more excited by what COULD be that what just IS. Especially in our price range. I just find that unknown, fix-er-upper thing exciting!