We're building a house. Can't be that hard, right?

We're embarking on a home building expedition, and here's what we have to say about it!

Search This Blog

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Shhhh....we found a house...

...MAYBE! Don't scare it away.

We actually saw a house last week that we really liked but I didn't say anything about it. After all we've been through, I didn't want to jinx it! I didn't want this to be the 4th house that we liked, commmitted to and then didn't get. That's just deflating.

We've also been giving each other a heavy dose of "if it's meant to be, it will happen", and "our house will find us", and "when the time is right" blah blah blah. Whatever gets you through the day, right?

Last week, my Dad went downtown to run an errand (or perhaps to get out of the house since we ALL live there now!!) and ran into a guy he was friendly with when my brother and I were in school. His daughters were me and my brothers ages, and we all went to the same church. They got to talking and Dad mentioned that John, Kyle and I were living back at home again since we were having some really bad real estate luck.

Old Friend says, hey, I'm thinking of selling my house, I'll give them first look before I put it on the market if they want. He told Dad his address and Dad told us. 

What?? Did a house just find us?

John almost had a heart attack. It's on this road that he runs on in Ashland that he LOOOOVES. Good neighborhood, well-built homes, nice street, easy location, close to my parents, etc. He was SO EXCITED. We drove by the house immediately. Dad didn't really have any idea what the house was like, or how big or where, but John knows that street so well and knew that all the homes are pretty nice and good sizes so we felt pretty confident.

We did a drive-by and it's a contemporary house. Not too crazy, but not quite the open colonials we'd been looking at. If we saw this online, we'd probably debate whether or not we wanted to see it at all. Here's what it looks like now:

See? Kind of funky looking. But not bad!

The next day, we called Old Friend and went to see the house. It's a TOTAL bachelor pad. It's just Old Friend and his 24-year-old son. And has been for the last 10-15 years. They have done nothing to update it much at all. They use the dining room for all their boxed junk and the kitchen table is a fold-out card table! There are hardly any curtains anywhere, nothing on the walls and the wiring for a security system that they ended up not installing is just sticking out of the walls. haha, Old Friend laughed about it with us and told us he knows he is not 'real estate show' ready. No kidding.

They did add AC a few years ago (yay!) and that was it. He told us he was going to have the roof redone, some of the windows replaced and was going to repaint the outside. Those things will make it look a lot better. The yard is a bit overgrown, too, but that's just a good long weekend in the spring project.

It's a a 3 bedroom (we were hoping for 4, but the basement is not finished so that's high on our list of things to do. That will give us the extra space we are looking for when John's LA family comes to town), but has almost 2300 total square feet. When you walk in the front door, you are in a gorgeous 2-story foyer which opens to a 2-story living room. Very pretty and light! There are two huge picture windows in the living room, one on the front and one one the side and a skylight above the front door. The dining room (or as Old Friend likes to call it, his 'junk room') is to the left and has a great little prep area/pantry that joins it with the kitchen.

The kitchen has tons of cabinets and a space for a table (which we never had in the condo!) and leads out to the deck. It also looks into a nice sized family room with a real fireplace! I am BIG on the kitchen that looks into the family room! I want to be able to cook dinner and watch Kyle at the same time!

There's a half bath downstairs and lots of coat closet space. The best part, is the laundry room is on the first floor, right where you walk in from the garage. Awesome.

Here's a really rough layout of the first floor:

I don't think I can make it any bigger so sorry if you can't read it very well! You get the idea, though. We really like the flow of the house and the openness in the foyer and front room.

The second floor has a huge master bedroom with the 3 big windows you can see in the picture above. It has a walk-in closet and it's own enormous bathroom. There is a full bathroom and 2 more bedrooms upstairs and both are really good sizes.

The 'bones' are there. Definitely. But...there are some SERIOUS updates needed. Like:

The MAUVE carpet that coats the entire second floor has to go. Like immediately. The first floor is only carpet (all 3 rooms but the kitchen) and the foyer and kitchen are tile. Old, dirty, white tile. That has to go, too. We plan to do hardwood in the foyer, kitchen and dining room and leave the living room and family room carpets (for now...they are a nice neutral gray, so we can live with them.)

The doors are about 2 steps above plywood, so those will be replaced, along with the frames and trim. It's all wood now (which I hate!) so it will be replaced with white trim, frames and molding.

All of the bathrooms need to be redone. Not that I don't like the color forest green, but it's just not a good countertop color. AT ALL. The kitchen is liveable, the oak cabinets have stood up well, but the lamiante counter top is making me sad.

We also want to finish the basement, add some recessed lights in the family room, replace the glass and brass chandelier in the foyer (please, and quickly!) and replace more windows. And actually paint. I think all of the rooms are still the same off-white primer that comes with the house. haha

Old Friend is going to replace a few of the windows on his own. Some of the window panes and frames are starting to fall apart, but some are fine. There's also one with a crack in it that a bird flew into. ouch. And, they are all crank windows, so they only open about 6-10 inches from the side. We want to eventually replace them all with standard push up windows and update the picture windows in the downstairs.

I have no doubt this was a great house in 1995, but it's been 15 years! It needs a new wardrobe!

Almost all of those things (aside from finishing the basemenr) are weekend projects. And stuff we can do, or can get someone to do quickly. There's nothing major, just replacing some fixtures, doors, countertops, etc. The plumbing, wiring, structure, etc, that's all fine. We can do the little things.

Our plan now is to go back tonight to take a second look with our agent. Old Friend is selling without an agent, so we have a little room in the price without having to pay two agent commissions. And, since techincally we found the house, we don't need to involve our agent either. But, she knows the process, can get us the good inspectors, the good assessors, and can navigate the closing process for us. And Margot the Agent has done SO MUCH for us, that how could we box her out now? She told us she's cut her commission in half, too.

I am 99% sure we'll be making an offer tonight and hopefully can move before Kyle's birthday in November. If that all happens, we are taking our two months of no mortgage payments and replacing the carpet and adding the hardwood before we even move. That will be one project out of the way!

Hopefully, we'll have REALLY good news tomorrow!

1 comment:

  1. The floor plan gets bigger when opened in a new window. It looks like a nice plan, well laid out. Don't forget to troll the craft blogs to find ways to update without buying new. Here's one that just redid a fan that could work for your chandelier redo: http://sunnyslifeinrehab.blogspot.com/2010/08/im-big-fan.html
    Good Luck!