Friday, May 30, 2008

Hunting for...something better?

I'm not a very good hunter...maybe if I was hunting animals, I would be, because I latch onto the one that I want and can't stop thinking about it, pursuing it, planning how to get it. When it's houses I'm hunting, I'm not sure that my very high level of attachment is an asset. I saw 5 homes Wednesday night and I'm completely bereft at the thought that we're not going to buy the one that I fell in love with.

The first one we saw was really lovely and I thought it was perfect. The second one we saw needed a lot of work to update it, but was very large and could even have 1-2 more rooms added in an extra tall crawl space later. The third one is barely worth mentioning, although it's interesting that it's the same builder and layout as several we have liked - this one only had 3 bedrooms though and just seemed much smaller and cramped. The fourth was perfect for us. And the fifth was god-awful with the messiest paint job I've ever seen in day-glo green and orange. So, with 3 possibles, we spent a lot of time looking and comparing and #4 has all the great qualities we're looking for:
  • move-in ready (no major work needed)
  • space for a video/gaming room with a door
  • a good kitchen
  • nice master suite
  • plenty of room (2500 sf 5 bedrooms)
  • ample bathrooms (3 and a half!)
  • living room and family room (in addition to video room)
  • great entertaining space
  • enough room for children and parents
  • outdoor space that could accommodate a small garden for me and a run for Chibo
  • front porch and back deck
  • we'd be above our neighbors, so they wouldn't be looking in on us
  • two car garage
  • not too many stairs coming into the home (interestingly, it's right across the street from the home we loved best that had too many stairs!)

The negatives are:

  • over-priced
  • not so handsome outside (although I think we could paint trim to spruce it up)
  • electric range (although realtor said he'd get the gas line extended for the range)
  • master bath upstairs not as nice as some we've seen - just a regular shower/tub and a single sink instead of a double sink with a soaking tub and separate shower -- I could deal with this though for the rest of the house (and there is a soaking tub in the downstairs master which would be the video room)

I can't think of any other negatives, although I know A could probably come up with more. He's very thrown by the fact that this house has dual master bedrooms. One on the main and one upstairs. For me, I love this, because we can move his or my parents into the master on the main if they need to live with us at some point or we can move down there when our children are grown enough that we want space from them! To me, it's a win-win situation, but it's fairly weird for him. And if both his and my parents needed to live with us, in addition to the master on the main, there is another bedroom on the main. We'd probably use it as an office in the meantime, but even with a full house - both our parents, ourselves and 2 kids in their own rooms, we'd still have an extra bedroom that could be used as an office, a livingroom and separate family room - I think this is more than enough space for now and the long term.

I cried in the car because I'm pretty sure A is not that motivated to buy. It's very frustrating because I want so much to begin living together instead of all this back and forth that I find draining (when I'm not even the one going back and forth!), but he seems content with the status quo. And then I feel guilty when there is so much else going on that we need to focus on: our parents' health, my business, him finding a new position. I guess I just feel like having a home together gives us such a stronger foundation for facing the other challenges and crises in our lives. I just have to keep breathing and remembering my mantra: if not this, something better.

If not this, something better...

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