Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The House Hunt: Part 1

Before I start sharing pictures of our new house it seems only fair to explain how we got there. Spoiler alert: It was a long road!

It all started with this river house. This is the house we fell in love with enough to put our house on the market. The house that broke out heart when we found out about flood insurance and walked away. You can read the whole story here.

It was an educational experience and we ruled out houses on rivers after that. We continued the hunt on lakes... er... lake. There is only one lake close to our jobs so we narrowed in on that area specifically.

I remember taking the above picture of the cutest house with THAT sunset view over the water. I was smitten. I turned to G and proclaimed, "Lets make an offer!" To which G replied "The roof is caving in!" Ahhh yes. The foundation was bad. The roof was caving in on two separate parts of the house. It was only 800 square feet, 2 beds and 1 bath. But that view!

We realized pretty quickly the houses in our budget (and even a little over) were major gut jobs. We knew buying a lake house in our budget would take work, but we didn't expect foundation to be an issue in every single house. Frankly, that scared us because the cost to fix it was significant. Especially when all of these lake houses were already at the top of our budget AND needed to be brought up to date. 

The houses on this lake that didn't need any work were half a million or more. So it looked like this lake was just not in the cards.

We branched out. We looked at lakes closer to where we already lived and figured we could handle the 45 minute commute if we had lakefront property. We fell in love with a cute little house on the lake across from our old subdivision. It was recently flipped and a little over budget, but we were still smitten. We walked the lake while our house had showings and dreamed about living there. We saw the house and there were a few red flags: Old roof. Signs of water damage. All the door walls needed replacing. 

That didn't stop us. We met with our realtor, Mike, and wrote offer #2. We went back and forth, but the sellers would not budge on their price and refused to do any repairs. We were brokenhearted, but we had to walk away. It didn't make sense anymore. We could potentially get ourselves into a money pit and it wasn't worth it. And in case you are wondering, the house is off the market now so I don't know what happened. Weird.

I should also mention the market is crazy right now. It's a sellers' market. Houses are flying off the market. Sellers think they can get crazy amounts for their homes when the comps say otherwise. We kept pursing the dream that set our soul on fire, but houses were going too fast. If we couldn't get into a house that day it could be sold the next day. We also saw a lot of houses pending an offer, but allowing us a chance to offer as well. MADNESS.

So then we went back to a house we had originally ruled out. It was on a lake, but it was majorly outdated and over 3,000 square feet not including the finished basement. We didn't need that kind of space. It also faced a Walmart which really bugged me. It was in a newer sub so taxes were incredibly high, but the school district wasn't that great. It just had so many cons. We went back and forth. 

But it had a lake view! After much discussion we decided we had to pass. It was just too much compromise. I was relieved because I never really loved the house or could get too excited about it and it needed so much work. But G was bummed. It was tough! This hunt was so hard, especially when we didn't agree.

We started looking even further from work. It's crazy, I know. An hour commute just for a lake? We were so set on being lakefront! These houses were more summer homes though with no garage, really bad gravel roads and super tiny. We decided being closer to work was the better option.

Mike was selling a house in the subdivision across from the lake we had originally tried to be on close to work. We decided to see it and originally ruled it out right away. It was over budget. It wasn't on a lake. It didn't have a walk out basement. It didn't even have a jetted tub! 

But after our second offer fell through we decided to look at it again and decided a half mile walk to the lake would suffice. We made offer #3 and they countered. We decided to give our best offer and they declined. We were actually really relieved. I think Mike pressured us a bit and we were getting frustrated with the house hunt and almost settled. So thankful it didn't go through! And I guess it's good they held out because the house did end up selling for about $4,000 more than we were willing to pay.

I had been eyeing this insanely beautiful house since the beginning of the hunt, but taxes were insane and it was at the top of our budget so we had held off. Now we were ready to check out this house. I just could not get it out of my mind and I wasn't loving anything else we had seen. 

Of course, I fell in love with it. Completely renovated the way I would renovate a house. A jetted tub. Backed up to woods. Across the street from a beautiful, private lake (hence the high taxes) and a two minute walk to the subdivision beach. It was perfect! Except.... foundation issues. It seems to be the theme of our entire house hunt. There was an offer on this house and we had to give our answer that night and we just couldn't do it. 

The best thing about house hunting was exploring all the cute towns. We made a point to check out a restaurant in each town we were house hunting in to discuss what we had seen. So we were in a new city and I told G we had to go explore the downtown of this new city .He replied, "Why? We aren't going to live here." And these words would come back to haunt him because that is the very city we ended up moving to, ha! But more on that later!

Stay tuned for the second half of our house hunt tomorrow!

1 comment:

anneseverydaylife said...

I know! We looked at a house last night, 3 acres, lakefront, but hardly any living space, teeny bedrooms with no closet, it's amazing how much you think you can give up for a bit of lake! It's hard, but smart to know when to walk away. It's just too easy to get caught up in the dream!