Mar 16, 2008

House Hunting, Part Deux

About this time in 2007 we decided we should start looking for a new house. We always knew we'd eventually need something bigger than our current three bedrooms, and with twins on the way that time was coming sooner rather than later. We thought it would be a relatively simple process and hoped to find a new house and sell our current one all before the twins were born. Well, as everyone knows, the market collapsed and we didn't exactly have buyers flocking to our property. After looking and looking for a new house. And looking. And loooooooking. We decided our best option was to build with Beazer in a master planned community in what we considered the ideal location in the Dayton area. We couldn't find an existing home that we were both excited about, so building seemed like the best choice. Plus, building gave us more time to sell our house and save up for the down payment. In addition, Beazer gave us an option in our contract to back out of the purchase if we hadn't sold our home. They in turn had the option to try to sell the house on the open market while it was being built (still giving us the first right of refusal should they receive an offer from someone else). Well, long story short, the contract option allowed us to back out of the sale when Beazer suddenly decided to pull out of Ohio entirely. That was great news for us. Not so for the dozen or so people that had just built houses there on what was supposed to be a 600 acre, 900 home community. Who knows what will happen to it now...

Anyway, we were glad to be out of the whole deal. Wintertime with a two year old and newborn twins is NOT the time to be trying to buy and sell houses. We yanked our house off the market and basically went into hibernation mode concerning real estate. Now that things are beginning to thaw, we're jumping back in the mix with a new strategy (and hopefully better results). We ditched our agent (and the commission expense) and decided to sell our house on our own. We'll funnel that savings into our list price and hopefully speed up the selling process. We haven't listed it yet, but, putting the cart before the horse, we've already been looking at houses for almost a month now. We spend hours and hours every week combing through online listings. Every Sunday we hit the road and try to visit a half dozen or so open houses.

Which leads us to tonight's blog. I had in my head the idea that I would be blogging today about how impossible it is to find the house. I can't imagine how many houses we've looked at in the last twelve months. Sixty? Seventy? Over one hundred? I wouldn't doubt it. But in all our looking, we've never found a house where we've walked in and thought, "this is it." We've found a handful of houses that we thought were "it," but we always seemed to have to talk ourselves into thinking it. In the end, usually after "sleeping on it," we never convinced ourselves to the point that we'd actually make an offer. It can actually get quite depressing. Never finding a house we both really liked is what led to signing the contract with Beazer originally. And it's actually how we ended up in this house when we built it in 2004. In fact, we often lament that our fantasy solution would be to add a bedroom to this house and move the whole thing further north, closer to Julie's work and both our families. We love this house, but apparently we were never going to find something comparable in the right location.

So tonight's blog was supposed to be a question to all of you out here on the internets. Is it possible to find the "perfect" house? There has always been a deal breaking flaw with every house we research. No yard. No privacy. Bedrooms too small. No basement. Poltergeists. No office. Kitchen too small. Bad smells. Poor construction. Weird looking neighbors. Water leaks. Power lines. I could go on. We're we being too picky? Probably. I thought maybe our dream home just existed out of our price range, but even that wasn't true. I looked out of our price range and still no dream house, just more disappointments but with more square footage and bigger price tags. So does the house exist? All indications were that it didn't.

Until today.

Almost on a whim we decided to look at a house at the very top of our price range. It's listed at a price significantly higher than anything else we've considered to date. Up until now, it seemed like a lower price house was our best option because then we could invest more money in making it our "ideal" house. We were wrong. Our best option is the house we saw today. Unlike every other house we've ever looked at, we walked to our car today with both of us saying, "we have to buy this house." This is it.

So now we have to find a way to buy it. We've got to get pre-approved again. We have to get the house inspected. We have to get our house sold. We have to come up with the 20% down. And, of course, we have to get the owners to accept our offer. Things aren't exactly in the bag.

We're not even close to the finish line, but at least we've finally found a house we really, really want. So keep your fingers crossed for us. Say a little prayer. Sacrifice a chicken. Whatever it takes.

I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

blah blah blah said...

That sounds really exciting, and we hope everything works out for you guys. Do yourself a favor though, and try to meet your neighbors first(we want to move just because of ours).

We had that same feeling with our first home, we weren't searching for our dream home just a starter home, but we looked and looked and finally we found the one and we knew it instantly. Our dream house has yet to be built. We're now looking for our dream lot, we plan on doing background checks on all of the neighbors. We always seem to end up with a good house and not so sane neighbors.

We also hope you have good luck selling your current residence. We are sitting on a house we've been trying to sell for a year now.

Good luck,
-Ward and June