I had a friend come up to me and say how much she enjoyed reading about the "bad homes" and asked me what some of the good homes were. Hmmm...we had a hard time coming up with that kind of list. I know that everyone has different tastes and budgets. Unfortunately, our budget limits the amount of taste we can afford :) While you don't need to know all of our financial information...all of the houses in the "positive" list are anywhere from $30,000 up to $130,000 OVER our mortgage approved budget (which was still higher than what we wanted to pay, but I'll get to that later.)
Five Four "Wow, these houses are really nice
but there is no way that we could actually afford it" List
4. The one that was $56,000 OVER. This house was nice. A great new neighborhood in a popular school district. The home was less than three years old. It did, however, have HOA fees. This house also recently sold for just $10,000 less than the original asking price.
3. The one that was only $44,000 OVER. This house was great. It had plenty of space (four bedrooms), three bathrooms, a large living room, and a nice fireplace. After checking out Zillow, I found out that it sold for $30,000 less than the original asking price. That is a very motivated seller!
2. The gobs of newly constructed homes. There is a development just a few miles down the street from where we currently live. We LOVE most of the homes that they have built. Great layouts, beautiful cabinets and counter tops. I really like the mudrooms! Besides the cost, the biggest problems with these homes are: lack of square footage, kitchen layout, and tiny backyards. Most of the new homes being built have such small square footage. I think they use the space well but we don't have a ton of stuff and I wonder where it will all fit. The kitchen layouts are a bit odd too. I know that the open concept is really "in" right now but some of the dining areas are so small that I don't think we could fit our table in the space. That is the only nice piece of furniture we have...it stays with us. The last thing we wish these homes had were larger backyards. The plus side would be you could mow your lawn in about ten minutes, but we really do want room for a swing set for the boy.
1. The dream house. The house that topped the list was amazing. At only $130,000 OVER our price. We of course did not go in to this house thinking that we could actually buy it. This was open one weekend and we jumped at the chance to see how the other half lives. This house had four bedrooms, four baths, two living spaces, and topped over 3,000 square feet. It had great landing on the second floor that could have been used as a fun reading nook. The most interesting feature of this home, however, was the indoor exercise pool. Yeah, indoors. "Umm, Julie, I thought you didn't know how to swim." That is true, BUT it's an exercise pool. I saw it as a very expensive wading pool for Ezra :) It really was a dream home. This listing was up for quite awhile and they eventually dropped it in price by $30,000. Still after no one bought it they pulled it off the market. Not quite sure how houses that expensive can sell in our community. (Again, more on that later).
So these are the nicest houses that we have seen. As I mentioned earlier, we went in to these homes via open houses on the weekend. We didn't ask our realtor to show us any homes that were that far above our comfort price.
Stay tuned for future installments about our misadventures. Still to come: the rant on house prices for our community, Realtors, making our first offer, and hopefully...finding (and purchasing) "the one."