Monday, February 4, 2013

Adventures in house hunting

"Oh yeah!!!! I'm so happy it's Monday!!!"
~ said no one ever.


I've got a case of the discouraged grumps today. 

We went to see our first round of houses, and what a total, unequivocal BUST. I feel like crying.

We saw a total of five houses yesterday. The first two were old, outdated, and just smelled.... off. (I guess I'm finally starting to see why people love hardwood floors so much - ICK!)

The third house could NOT have been more haunted. It was a foreclosure, so we going into it thinking "Oh man, this is a super deal!" Well, we pull up, and though the neighborhood is nice, the house looks.... creepy. Okay, let's keep an open mind, I thought.

I got nauseous as soon as I walked in. I have no idea why. Does a house ever just give you the heebie-jeebies? Well this one did. I felt nervous being there, like something really bad had happened in it. Plus, it was only a "good deal" because it would need so much work to make it liveable. To top it off, there was a car parked across the street the whole time we were looking at the house. There was an old lady in it, just sitting there, staring ahead at the house. Didn't blink. She was either the ghost of a person who died there, or an evil neighborhood troll set to cast a curse upon anyone who would buy it. Go ahead, try and tell me that's not a sign to get the HELL out of there, and fast. So we did.

The fourth was in a lovely area, and was actually a pretty decent house (though dated from the outside) which only needed minor cosmetic updates. Except the layout was terrible. For some reason, before the 2000s, families and builders just must not have seen the value in having an unobstructed view from the kitchen to the other rooms in the house. One of my "must-haves" is having an open concept from the kitchen to the living room/family room, so I can watch the girls play while I cook. Even my architect husband couldn't find a way to make it work with that house, so it got crossed off the list.

House #5 was another foreclosure in a gorgeous area. The neighborhood was so nice, and we thought maybe this was it. When you walked in, you were greeted by a horrible smell. The layout of the house was open, perfect, exactly what we were looking for, but the house was a piece of shit. No, literally. There was human/dog/something excrement everywhere. I wanted to puke. Again, it was a "good deal" because you'd pay $20k immediately to replace every square inch of carpet, plus pay someone to professionally sanitize every square inch of the place. I don't have time for that. I'm due in 14 weeks (!!!)

So that was three hours of my life I'll never get back. Neat.

But because I'm me, I'm going to look on the brightside after that disaster of an experience:

- We now know more of what we DO NOT want. No more foreclosures. No more homes in the area where the first two houses were (not nice or well-maintained homes). Zeroing in on two specific zip codes now.
- We are going to stop trying to "get a deal" and just focus on finding a nice house in a nice area. 
- We are SO appreciative of our current house now. It feels homey, smells nice, and I was so happy to get home and sleep in our nice comfy house after seeing where we could be living
- If what we've seen is what's out there right now, our house has a good chance of selling! Compared to the (literal) shit holes we saw, ours is palatial perfection.
- It's February, so not prime selling season, so the odds that better/nicer homes will come on the market as we approach spring are pretty good.
- Our house is ready to go and will be on the market TOMORROW! All of Jon's our hard work will finally be justified when a "For Sale" sign is in our yard in 24 hours :) Very exciting!

If you have any encouraging words, please do share them! ;-) I'm in need of some today.


  1. You will find a great house in no time. The search is rarely fun, but hopefully it will pay off. On a funnier note...I had a similar experience with a creepy house! Oh my gosh, they had creepy banjo music playing and the doors were like ones found in dungeons in the 1700 or 1800's (I would imagine). Good luck!

  2. You WILL find a house girl. Don't give up just yet. I will say I once thought house hunting was fun- oh how young and dumb I was. It's not- it is exhausting and depressing. There will be that one perfect home for the 4 of you. There will! Stay positive girl.

  3. Oh gosh what an interesting experience! You're house is out there I'm sure, although I know it's hard to be patient!

  4. We're in the process of looking for our first home now too. I was devastated when we didn't get our first pick but we've been out 3 times with our realtor and we've found a few more possibilities.
    Funny story about weird houses I have friend looking as well and they went to a house and there was an altar in the with weird ethcings on the wall and such...sooo strange...
    good luck and try and have fun with it!

  5. We looked at a few foreclosures a while back and they were rough. The house we live in now was about to go in foreclosure so we got a good deal but it was a rental. It was dirty but nothing a good cleaning and carpet replacing couldn't handle. Too bad you weren't looking in November. My parents had their house for sale and it is BEAUTIFUL and in a wonderful neighborhood. (They were in Hilliard--not sure where you want to be). Best of luck!!

  6. The advice I have is just to keep remembering what you said- this is a bad time to look for houses, so the offerings can only get better. I've been looking online and slam the lid shut on my laptop every time because even online, the pickings look slim! The second picture looks just like the house I grew up in...definitely no view of any room from any other room:)

    I'm not sure what kind of tools you are using, but the key to our finding our perfect house this time around was that our realtor created a search that would email us ONLY the houses that fit into our criteria when they went on the market. We stopped looking every night and just waited for those prices to drop and for one to show up on our list.

  7. I had the same experience when we're looking for a rental house last year. For the first two months, we tried ourselves, but decided to hire a realtor to help us out in the end. We laid our requirements, and in a span of less than a month, we already found a new house. I suggest to first determine your needs and set a budget. Then, if you can, hire a realtor to do the house hunting for convenience.

    -Von Madison

  8. You will experience everything while house hunting, let me tell you that. Some houses might give you the creeps, others would make you sing like you are in fairy land, but it all comes down to one question: is it the perfect house for you? Oh, and followed by the next question, which is: can you afford it? Why not try asking for professional help, like a real estate agent's help, so you can have more options? What do you say? =D

    Leona Gladen

  9. The fifth house would have been perfect if it weren't for those animals defecating everywhere and the amount of time it would take to fix everything. Looking for a new place isn't always easy; let-downs and disappointments are always there. The key is persevering. Hopefully all your efforts wouldn't be in vain. I can see you already gave birth to such a wonderful child. Good luck and I hope you found a place that suits you and your family well.

    Houston.Churchill Mortgage