We went out house hunting this past weekend and every house we saw was a dud.
That’s okay though- we don’t want to like anything right now because we can’t make an offer until about the end of February. Mr. Darcy’s parents generously sent us a LARGE gift of money to use towards our down payment. Technically if we were to bid on a house right now that money would be seen as a gift and we’d be required to put down 20% on the house. So, we’re waiting so that when we do bid our bank statements will reflect that amount in our accounts for the past 2 months and we won’t be forced to put 20% down.
It’s good to be looking though since we’re still wondering about what neighborhood best suits us. We’re surprised that many of the areas we thought would be on the top of our list aren’t contenders right now. Maybe THE house will appear in one of the neighborhoods we haven’t set our sights on. . . we’re open to whatever might come.There were many houses that we just drove by because the neighborhood was absolute shit. Like one was right behind a row of run down restaurants and a nail parlor so all you saw was iron-clad windows and doors and trash strewn about. Gross, no thanks!
We looked at a house that was behind the dreamy house we wanted. It’s set back from the road with its own driveway that almost makes it feel like you are in the country. There is a pond in the front or what appears to be an unkempt pond/swamp and the yard is very grown over with moss. It could be cool or it could be a disaster but either way, it needs a lot of work. We couldn’t see inside the house except for peering in windows since the real estate agent didn’t leave a key. Such is the way with bank owned (not short sale) homes. I don’t really want that house as I would likely spend the rest of our life looking over into the dreamy house and thinking about “the one that got away.”
We stopped by a short sale house which is not something we’re interested in dealing with but it helps to see all different kinds of homes that are on the market. This house had not been upgraded and the basement was unfinished though we never went down there since upon entering the house itself we were struck with a) how freezing it was inside- it was colder inside than outside! and b) how eery it was. There was a very unsettling, sad vibe about the house. The bedrooms had deadbolt locks on them that you could lock from the outside. What?! I was like, “They locked people up in this house! I don’t like it here.” Our realtor was like, “Something bad happened here, I just feel it.” I agreed and we quickly left.
There was one house though that had great curb appeal- which I’ve learned means it’s a house that when you drive up you’re like “that’s cute!” And it was- great details on the front, ample front yard with white picket fence with the house set back from the street. We got up to the front door and WOW you could see the view through the window right away. AMAZING! You could see the water and the cityscape. It had a big deck which would be great for parties. But. . . the layout was crappy, there was no dining room area- it bled into the living room- and the bedrooms were small and oddly laid out. Plus, the basement was not upgraded much and the dark wood paneling and tiny windows made it feel dingy. It just didn’t have enough bedrooms (we want 3 minimum) and there wasn’t a whole lot of wiggle room with the layout to make it work for us. Again, it was bank owned not a short sale. I’m certain it will go fast.
The last house we saw was for sale by owner. He is asking $308,000 and, well, he’s not going to get that. It’s located right under the West Seattle Bridge on ramp and off a very busy, loud street. There is no charm to the neighborhood. The house itself has been upgraded some but it still has an odd layout- you enter into the kitchen which is haphazardly laid out. The master bedroom is off the kitchen and the kids beds were in this strange pass-through room that has stairs that go down to the basement. I could see they tried to fix it up but it was just not for us. The location alone was problematic. I have a feeling that guy is going to learn the hard way that his house is over-priced.
We’re learning more and more what we’re willing to bend on and what we absolutely can’t deal with. We’re more stuck on the flow of the house, the spaciousness of it, and the layout more than anything. There are a lot of people buying up these cheaper houses to turn them over so there is still competition out there and it’ll only get worse as we get into the spring season when all the houses come on the market. But we’ve got our fingers crossed we’ll find the perfect house for us for the right price.