It's amazing what a few hours of driving around can do for your perceptions of things.
We're on the hunt for a house out here, and gave our realtor what we thought was a pretty picky list of things:
- X or more bedrooms
- Y or more bathrooms
- Z or more square feet
- MUST be in GeographicArea.
- Lot size at least N.
She looked at it and said, "That's it? This'll be easy."
We started getting auto-emails with listings. 150ish to start with, and we've filtered through a ton of them. A lot got discarded out of hand due to location (2.5 acres, but ... sandwiched between two major highways), or condition ("a real handyman's dream!"), or lot size, or any number of other factors that made it apparent right off that it wasn't for us. We spent the better part of two afternoons driving around and looking at ones that were still on the list. A whole lot more got nixed.
Big-ass McMansions in cookiecutter developments on lots under a quarter-acre, and most with HOA covenants to make boot camp look like a sabbatical. And none with mature landscaping, or more than a ten-foot gap between houses. Ugh. I want to be able to sit on my porch or deck with my morning coffee and not have my neighbors participate in the over-the-paper conversations.
We had one on our "we like it" list based on the listing before we met the agent. We took a look at it very shortly after meeting her. We still liked it.
We looked at it again this weekend and we all still like it. It's not the perfect house, but it's hitting most of our requirements nicely. Even has enough space for a few yard raptors.
However ... there was a listing we'd looked at over the summer that got pulled last month, and we'd been kind of pipe-dreaming about it. Location wasn't ideal based only on schools - but it was a multi-acre lot in the city we have to live in. Photos were gorgeous. We did a driveby over the summer and it looked as good outside as we'd hoped. Our agent made a call and got us an off-market showing.
It's a beautiful house, and it'll make someone a great home. Not us, though. It was at the top of our budget and needed more work than we are willing (or willing to afford) to do. And the multi-acre lot? Most of it is unusable space thanks to terrain.
We'd never have known that from drive-bys and photos.
So ... we're continuing the hunt, with a strong contender in the running. Here's hoping.
1 month ago