house hunting: the beginning

We’ve officially begun the hunt for a home. We met with our realtor yesterday and he drove us around to five different properties. Before seeing them, I considered two of them to be strong possibilities. After seeing them, I think we may end up renting forever because it’s just hopeless. Here are the five, in order (and including the nicknames we gave them):

The Boss House – So named because the house is owned by our realtor’s sister-in-law’s boss. This is a tiny house. Tiny. But I like tiny houses, so I liked it. It was number one on my list… until we saw it. The living room and kitchen make up about 70% of the house, leaving the rest of the house with three teeny tiny bedrooms. I didn’t even realize one of the rooms was the master bedroom, because it was so small. I don’t think our bed would even fit inside it. But I liked the yard, and I like the location, so I was still on the “yes” side. Husband, however, has vetoed. Everything in the house is cheaply made, he says, and one of the hallways has a weird corner/bend, which apparently bothers him. My favorite house, crossed off the list.

The Cat House – So named because in the listing photos, there is a visible litter box, a cat climbing tower, and cat decor all over the place. It’s in the same neighborhood as the Boss House, and it turns out it’s the exact same layout. The big difference? The whole house smells like cat. Definite no.

Old Lady House – Where the last house smelled like cat, this one smelled distinctly like old lady. I knew it as soon as we walked in, but it was confirmed by the old lady furniture, old lady handwriting on the post-it notes all over the house and the weird long shallow old lady steps leading into the garage. This was the husband’s favorite, probably because the master suite was big and the bathroom had two sinks (we occasionally battle for sink/mirror time). I didn’t like it because it’s on a corner lot and there’s no yard at all. Plus, I’m pretty sure none of our living room/dining room furniture would fit in it. But we liked the neighborhood, so we’ll keep looking there.

The Haunted House – This one was just… well, it was just weird. I got weird vibes from the listing photos, but we went to check it out anyway. The house was a good size, but there were just too many things that we’d have to change to make it livable. Number one on the list was the three bathrooms (yes, three!) with novelty toilet lids/seats. I’m not talking like cartoon character seats for the kids or whatever, I’m talking seriously bizarre toilets. Like one was a clear resin material with coins embedded in it. Like, quarters, dimes and nickels, in the toilet seat. One had starfish and other sea life in the resin, and the third had weird mosaic tiles (not a tiled toilet seat, though, it was like the tiles were inside the resin). Just bizarre. And every single room in the house had been hand-painted with a faux finish technique, but it ended up just looking like someone from an insane asylum had been given finger paints. Another weird thing was that there was a shed in the back yard that we peeked into… and it was full of old twin-sized mattresses (not stacked neatly or anything, just thrown in among broken wood and bathroom fixtures) and mannequin heads. Yeah, totally haunted. I can’t live in a haunted house.

and finally

The Green Carpet House – This was my other top pick. It was a cute little yellow house on a culdesac. It was a good size and I’m pretty sure all of our furniture could fit inside it. But the strikes against it were fatal. Strike 1: It was covered, upstairs and downstairs, in plush dark green carpet. Our realtor called it “church green carpet” which was a pretty accurate description. It was hideous, but the price was right so we would have been able to live with it and then replace it, except… Strike 2: It backed directly up to one of the nastiest trailer parks I’ve ever seen. I don’t think trailer parks are inherently bad. I think that people at just about any housing price point can take pride in keeping a clean and well maintained home, but this place was just seriously unpleasant. We could hear loud music and banging from inside the Green Carpet House and it was a Sunday afternoon. Imagine what Friday night sounds like! So we hightailed it out of there.

Back to the beginning, then.

At least we have a few neighborhoods that we’re interested in. This whole house hunting thing might take longer than I expected, though.

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  1. You have no idea how much I wish we were in your shoes! Hopefully, next summer, we’ll be looking at houses on the market too (prices are incredibly high here), but if not, we will definitely rent a bigger place. I just wish we were already looking at houses too! Green carpet, kitties and small as they might be!

    • domesticnovice

       /  December 3, 2013

      We probably won’t be buying for a little while… our least isn’t up until October! But the USDA loan will probably require a 60 day closing, and we figured there’s no reason not to start looking now. (I REALLY don’t want to stay where we are for another lease term!)

      They’re scary shoes to be in, but exciting, too! Looking forward to reading about your house hunting adventures soon!

  2. House hunting is so hard! When we were looking for our house, we were super poor because I hadn’t been promoted yet and my husband was starting law school (aka unemployed). We found the PERFECT house – one story, gorgeous wood floors, huge living area, and kitchen, great bathrooms, etc.). Only problem – it was $45k out of our price range. So, we ended up in out current house instead. It’s fine, but I still get envious thoughts thinking about how much better entertaining and hosting people would be in the awesome house!

    Good luck with the search!

    • domesticnovice

       /  December 3, 2013

      I refuse to even look at houses that are outside of our agreed upon price range… because I know very well I would fall in love with something far too expensive and have a hard time settling!

      You know what I bet will be even harder for me? To stop looking once we’ve made a decision. I am the QUEEN of buyer’s remorse. I don’t want to let my curiosity get the better of me and happen to find the perfect house AFTER we buy one!

  1. house hunting: part 2 | The Domestic Novice

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