I Housed Her

17 Apr

Anyone who knows the title reference WITHOUT googling it will get treated to an ice cream cone the next time I see you.

And now for the real news: Steve and I bought a house!  Yay!  Inspection is complete, the loan process is well underway, and Steve and I are on a no-spending spree for the next month while we accumulate the last of our funds needed for closing.

But I’m sure you guys probably want the juicer gossip such as details on the house.  We’ll get there but right now I don’t have good pictures to show you.  Therefore, this post is going to instead be about the house hunting process.  Allow me to begin at the beginning.

Steve and I met with four Realtors before we chose the person we worked with.  The first was, frankly, not our style.  The second was a little too intense for me.  The third I really liked because a) he had a bald head, b) he wore sunglasses on a cloudy day during almost our entire interaction with him, and c) I kinda felt like he didn’t really give a damn.  I know that makes him sound like kind of a jerk but what it really felt like was someone with whom I didn’t feel pressured to buy, or even like, a house.  We’ll call him Red.  The final Realtor we met with was John, who was a friend of Steve’s uncle James.  We liked him from the beginning and, much like Red, we didn’t feel pressured with him.  He also talked a lot, which I think is why we picked him since neither Steve nor I is much for making small talk.

The first house we fell in love with was one I affectionately refer to as Boy Blue.  Here he is:

Red showed us this house on our trial run tour with him.  What we liked was that it was a house we could stay in for a LONG time since there is room to grow; it was on a biggish lot that could support a vegetable garden, a dog, and some flowers, and the layout provided a lot of light and great flow between the rooms.  What we didn’t like was the price tag.  At $60,000 over what we originally capped our budget at, and at $30,000 over what we could comfortably afford, this house was way too expensive.

Nonetheless, we were so enamored that we had John take a tour of it as well.  He was just as enthusiastic about the house as we were and so, after much debate and discussion of mortgage payments and taxes and IRAs and the like, we decided to put in an offer.  We offered $25,000 less than what they were asking and after a few days, we got a counter offer back.  We raised our offer and told the seller it was our final one and…he countered.  He only countered back $4,000 more than what we had offered the last time but something felt wrong about the house.  We had said that if our offer wasn’t accepted, we would walk and after much consideration, we did just that.  It was sad to do because we both really liked Boy Blue but in the end, we both felt we were making the right decision.

After we recovered from the loss of Boy Blue, we both found another house that we liked.  Steve liked this short sale which we called Great Oden’s Raven:

It was at a great price and in a good location and had almost everything we were looking for.  However, something about the house felt wrong to me.  I couldn’t put my finger on it but I just didn’t feel good about the house.  I liked the layout, the yard could be dealt with and the house was a great deal, especially for a starter home.  But I just couldn’t bring myself to agree to putting an offer in on it.  We kept an eye on the house, but kept searching.

The house I next fell in love with is one we referred to as “the little house on the prairie”.

We called it this because it was a small house (about 900 square feet) but it sat on a large acre lot in the middle of a somewhat prestigious neighborhood.  I had grand dreams about custom building a house on that lot while living in the little house on the prairie (and simultaneously caring for and reaping the abundance of a large vegetable garden).  However, when we saw the house in person, Steve was less enamored.  Additionally, the seller’s weren’t very motivated to sell and were asking far too much for what they were trying to sell as only land.  I still see that house in my dreams but it wasn’t an appropriate choice for us at this time and so, we kept searching.

Finally, we found another house that we both loved: Plymouth Rock.

While this wasn’t a place we could stay forever, it is a place we could stay through the next 7-10 years and where we could save up money to buy a “forever” home.  The house was in an area that we hadn’t originally been looking in but had a great school district, a large yard, and enough bedrooms.  The only problems were the bathrooms but at the price we could get it, we could afford to renovate the bathrooms sooner rather than later and the fact that the house was on a busier street.  Still, Steve and I were ready to put in an offer.

But, lo and behold, while we contemplated an offer on the Plymouth house, our original love, Boy Blue, was not selling.  We’d been keeping an eye on it and for one month, Boy Blue didn’t sell.  Finally, April 1 came and as we prepared for our meeting the NEXT DAY to put an offer in on the Plymouth house, Boy Blue’s price dropped $30,000!  I only noticed because good old Red sent me an FYI e-mail.  I immediately called Steve to see what he wanted to do and we agreed that, since this asking price was less than our original offer, we should put another offer in.  We waited on Plymouth Rock and decided to try again for Boy Blue.

We put in an offer on Friday and waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Then, on Tuesday we got the news: Boy Blue had multiple offers put in on it that weekend.  Since we had offered before, the seller was kind enough to offer us one final “take it or leave it” chance at Boy Blue.  I quickly called Steve to confirm but it didn’t take long for us to conclude that it was a great house at a great price.  And we accepted.  So, introducing once again, as our official new home, the handsome Boy Blue:

We’re both so excited to close and move in a few weeks and overjoyed to be finished with our house hunting process.  We have a list a mile long of projects to do (including removing about a mile of wall paper) so look forward to those posts in the future.  We will hopefully close May 20th and then you will get more than a glimpse of Boy Blue.

Here’s his measurements:

36-24-36 (wink, wink)

But really:

4 bedrooms
3 ½ baths
2800 square feet
2 car garage
½ acre lot
1 basketball hoop

And, just to give you an idea of how much we looked, we saw:

24 houses over about 45 days

But in the end, we only made two offers on one house.

Boy Blue.  Love it.



3 Responses to “I Housed Her”

  1. teambehnke April 17, 2011 at 6:13 PM #

    My that last picture sure is blue looking. Perhaps you should take it to photoshop and fix it!

  2. Jane April 21, 2011 at 2:55 PM #

    YAY! I love it : ) Can’t wait to see more pictures, and hear all of your adventures in home owning!

  3. liz May 26, 2011 at 10:03 PM #

    she is beauteous and i can’t wait to see her!!! love you all!

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