Adventures in house hunting

We signed a contract on Friday and spent most of Saturday afternoon going to see houses with our now-official agent.

The first one we saw needed a *lot* of work. The bathrooms were rather old and hideous (and had tile coming off the ceiling), the front porch was having problems and was cracking and sagging, the kitchen needed updating, and the carpet was kind of sketchy. Cheap-ish, but definitely easy to pass over.

The second one we saw was huge and had a super-modern kitchen with granite, stainless steel, and the nicest fridge I’ve ever seen. The bedrooms were all large and one of the bathrooms had been renovated and looked really nice. The biggest surprise, however, was when we went down the stairs to the basement, opened the door that wasn’t to the garage, and found a full two-room apartment, complete with its own kitchen, shower, toilet, and entrance on the side of the house. It was cheap for what it was (especially given the complete apartment with the house), but the location (and lack of a back yard thanks to the hill) made it reasonably easy to pass over as well.

The last one we saw I had been excited about from the listing online, and the house did not disappoint. The bathrooms were fully renovated and so amazingly nice. The house itself had central air and forced air heating, really good quality hardwood floors, and updated wiring throughout the house. It also had a huge backyard, really nice bedrooms, and space for me to have an office on the third floor (which was also really nicely done). Its only real downsides were the lack of covered parking (but it had off-street parking) and distance from things we care about.
I spent the rest of the evening and this morning worrying about the house and wondering if we should make an offer on it or risk losing it. It had been on the market already for 2 months with no offers, so it seemed fairly safe to wait on, but I was concerned that we could lose it and not find anything remote comparable again (given that all the other houses we’ve seen so far have needed significantly more work than this one). Still, given that we’d only seen 8 houses total and were therefore at the beginning of our search in a slow market, it didn’t really make sense to jump on it. But it still didn’t stop me from worrying.

In the end, the problem was solved for us, as our agent called this evening and told us someone else had put an offer on the house, to see what we wanted to do. The result was a rather strong, “Don’t do anything now, and wait and see what happens” sentiment, and made the decision to potentially pass up this house much easier. (Neither of us was willing to jump on the house tonight, which is what would have had to happen if we didn’t want to risk losing it. So fate kind of forced our hand.)
Our agent also sent us examples of comparable listings sold in the last 6 months that did a lot to assuage my concerns, since there were many well-priced houses on the list that were also nicely updated and had many of the important features of this house.

So it’s been an interesting hunt so far. Things will continue more in earnest after I return from my San Francisco trip, and we will hopefully find something awesome.

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