Make it stop….

March 11, 2008 at 2:17 pm (Pre-Move Updates) ()

We didn’t get the house we put an offer on last night.

Yep, we found the one house with another buyer interested and they also made an offer yesterday at the listing agent’s urging, and their offer was accepted.  We found out last night at 9 p.m. and had to go back to our pile of houses and pick something new.

Tom was having a really difficult time with it last night, the moaning and bitching and general dis-spiritedness.  I was hopeful that we could find something today from the remaining, ever dwindling selection, that we could be happy with.

We woke up this morning and as Tom was checking his email, he got an alert for a house that came on the market last night.  We’d actually seen this house online for quite some time, but it looks like they took it off the market March 1st and just re-listed with a new agent last night, at an attractive $269,900.  We made that house our first priority to visit this morning.  Poor Sandy, our agent.  She just can’t seem to get rid of us.  She has been so helpful and kind and a real benefit during this process.  At the same time, I’m getting tired of seeing her black Tahoe every morning.

The house is okay.  That’s about the best I can summon at the moment.  Here is the picture and link.

oak-street.jpg

I think the problem is that we’re just totally spent and we’ve looked at so many houses in a short period of time and we decided that we wanted to stay close to Eagan, so that really limited our choices in the end.  And try as I might, I’m still comparing it to other homes I’ve seen recently, whether sold or not, expensive or cheap, there were other houses out there that I liked better, but this one fit our criteria and left us money to play with when it was all over.

The good things about this house is obviously the price, it is fenced, it has 4 beds, 3 baths, and a deck.  Also, it has curtains.  So right there we’ve taken care of a few high ticket items.  The bad parts, or parts I wish were different are as follows: it’s not as bright and open as others, the kitchen and master bedroom look directly at more than two other homes (and they are on opposite sides of the house), the house does look over a pond, but the other two sides are packed with homes.  Yes, it’s fenced, but along one side of the house runs a popular paved walking trail so we’ll have people walking past our house all the time and the dogs will go ballastic at all hours.  And, it’s 2,230 square feet, and while that’s respectable, it is a little smaller than the other ones I liked.

Tom was nice enough to take a look at the house that I liked better.  It was more money, but it was a flipped home, so practically everything in the home was new except the drywall.  I liked it better, it was larger and had the potential for even more space in the unfinished basement.  Additionally, I think it feels like it has more privacy in the backyard.  We called the seller directly to see how low he might go, because if he was willing to go down $30K, then this house would be only $64 more a month, and in my mind, would be worth it.  (It would be a competitive price because the taxes were much lower).  Alas, he wasn’t willing to go $30K lower, which I had expected, and as we were walking around, it appeared that he didn’t put gutters along one side of the gagage and since the day was nearly 50 degrees, there was about a 16 foot section of house that had about 8 inches of standing water next to the foundation.  Also, it appears that he put lots of dirt down to level the yard, so that may have been a complete mudpit when the snow melted.  Right off the bat we’d have to put in a partial fence, curtains, perhaps new sod, and deal with whatever the inspector was going to say about all that standing water.  Given our timeframe and general feeling like we need to get something done, we decided to put an offer on the first house.

We made a full-price offer, so I’m assuming they will accept it.  They are going to lose a lot of money on this house – they bought it new in 2005 fro $298 and then put in the deck ($10k), fence ($5k), and hot tub.  Hopefully we’ll be able to get the inspection done tonight or tomorrow morning and we’ll be on our way home tomorrow afternoon.

I have to say, I’m not excited at the moment.  Some people have said things like “isn’t this exciting” or “what an adventure”.  Frankly, it stopped being fun somewhere over the weekend and it’s become draining.  Between the jet lag, the uncomfortable beds, and the general stress of finding something, anything, that will meet our criteria, this has been very stressful.  I’m sure that once I’m in the house and not comparing it to the 50 others I’ve seen in the last 3 days, it will feel less like we’re settling.  And a home is what you make it, so once we get our stuff in it and remove their tacky semi-Navaho shit, it could be cute.

I’m trying to be positive and think about the fact that since it’s less money, I’ll have money to go in and right away repaint the walls something other than “dark sand”.  There’s a color that’s bright and cheerful.  Also, I can use some of that money to replace the ugly faux-western tile-look linoleum in the foyer/kitchen.  With all the realistic looking linoleum out there, why did they go with this one?  I’ve actually been fooled by some linoleum this week, but not this one.  Also, for the first time, I wouldn’t fight Tom on installing nicer counter-tops and a back-splash.  Stuff that will go a long way to making the house brighter and more like us.  And it might help ease the pain of feeling like we lost much better homes and are settling.

I was really worried that we were settling too much with this home.  I saw how Tom lit up at the prospect of a theatre area, and how much we both really liked some of the brighter, more open houses.  And after Thursday when we revised our criteria, this house wouldn’t have even gotten us out of the car because all the other houses are too close.  I knew we would have to compromise somewhere along the line in this process, but I really didn’t think it would be on something important like acreage (less than 0.25) or size.  I thought it would be on something like finishes, cosmetics, or older interiors.  So that bummed me out a little bit.

But, like Tom says, we won’t be stretching at all financially with this home so that gives us the ability to have more fun with our money.  I’m holding him to that statement.  And I will be happy in this house, it will be fine, and it will all work out.  But right now I’m just drained and, I have to admit, a little bit disappointed.  I wanted to be more excited about the house we eventually bought, and I feel that this is our only realistic choice – everything else on our dwindling list is more expensive and further out.

During the inspection I’ll be taking measurements of some of the rooms so I can play with furniture arrangements, looking again at what I might like to spruce up, and really giving it my best to see how I can make it feel like everything I want.  Maybe I can plant a big tree outside the kitchen window so I don’t stare at 4 other homes and their naked children running through the sprinkler.  Maybe we can plant some shrubs along the fence line to deter the dogs (unlikely, but it would look nicer).  I can plot where I want to put my free-standing freezer.  Because NOW WE’LL HAVE ALL THIS EXTRA MONEY.  (in case you were keeping track, we went from $320 plus immediate sod, fence, deck and curtain purchase to move in at $270 and need nothing – a $50+swing).

I’ll talk to you all later, but please don’t call me tonight.  I need to decompress and stop rehashing this.  Tom and I have hashed houses for over a week and I can’t do it anymore.  I need to get my mind space in the mode to turning this into our wonderful home and stop comparing or wishing that the the market/situation/time was different.  I will talk to everyone tomorrow or the next day.  Love much!

P.S.  I really do like this house, it’s a good house, I wasn’t coerced into anything, we’ll have plenty of room and it suits us, and I’m just venting and keeping it real.  Unfiltered emotion, all on one page.

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