Monday, June 11, 2007

Bringing you up to speed.

Ok, so when we last talked, I was looking at (maybe possibly) going through a house. Here's what's happened since then:

-We called our new realtor woman, and she set us up to tour the house Friday night at 7:30. The owners moved out last week (so they say--there are empty house pics up online that I think are over a week old). So we meet at the house. Tim and I are super pumped, more than we should be. The house is way bigger and way newer (plus more expensive) than anything else we'd been through. We're psyched.

-We go through the house. It's nice. There's nothing obviously wrong with it. The sellers painted every room in the house the same color white. All the flooring is either light hardwood, beige tile, or cream carpet. It was very light, but very sterile. However, that's easily fixed. The finished weren't as nice as I expected for this price point (laminate counters, cheap bathroom fixtures, etc), but again, that's not such a big deal.

-Pros to the house: newer, great lot, huge master suite (the closet, bedroom, and bathroom of the master are bigger than our current three bedrooms combined), big unfinished basement, big kitchen. Lots of closet and storage space. Phone jacks and cable outlets in every room.

-Cons: felt small for the square footage. The living spaces (living room, dining room, family room) were not bigger (and in some cases smaller) than our current house. Considering this house is nearly twice as big, I expected some bigger living areas. Without a finished basement, having a smaller family/living room combo feels like we are losing space. Especially since we spend 90% of our waking hours in the living room. Now, the kitchen is about three times ours, which is a plus, but I don't think I should have to feel like I need to finish the basement for living space when we're talking about a big, expensive house. Other cons: no deck (could be built, though), weird sections of dead space.

-Overall, we left Friday night pretty bummed. If the house was 25 or 30 thousand cheaper, it'd be easy to overlook the design flaws and gobble it up as a house with "potential." For what they are asking, I think most of the "potential" should be used up.

-We were pretty much done with it on Friday night. The realtor called early Sunday morning to tell us the listing agent was having an open house, and we could take another peek if we wanted. We decided there was no harm in looking again. We had Tim's mom and both my parents come up and go through it too.

-After the Sunday walkthrough, Tim was more excited about the house. The parents loved it. I was more negative about it. The listing agent wasn't super pushy, but she kept telling us how many people had already been through (two other couples came through the hour we were there) and how we should hurry and jump on it. The house has been up for over six months--if it happens to sell in the two days I take to think about it, then it wasn't meant to be, I think.

-I came out with my reaffirmed thoughts about the living space issue. The house is 2900 square feet. Last year, we almost bought a house that was 1800 square feet. Our current house is barely 1500 square feet. I would think a much bigger house should feel bigger in the living area. The fact that the 1800 sq ft house felt the biggest in the main level is not a good sign for that house.

-We decided to go through one of the few houses around that is semi-comparable, just to have some sense of if this house is laid out poorly or if it is just the way the footage works in big houses. The house we are seeing tonight is a little older (21 years instead of 7), needs carpeting/tile replaced in several rooms at a minimum, and has been on the market for over a year. The square footage of the house is about the same, the lot on the older house is a little bigger (but there's no easement next door), and the current price is just a smidge lower. The biggest difference is the layout, and that's what we want to see.

-So, I guess things are on hold until after tonight. Surprisingly, I'm pretty zen about the whole thing. Maybe it's because we've been riding the real estate roller coaster for a year and a half. Maybe it's because I've finally realized we don't have to move--we have a house (seems straightforward, but once you go through a ton of houses, you feel like you should buy something for your time.) And I figure if it's meant to be, it'll be.

As calm as I am, it doesn't mean house stuff hasn't taken up most of my time. It started Friday--I got very little done at work because I was researching the house. Friday night was house touring. Saturday was a nice breather--I ran errands all morning and then had a really nice bachelorette party dinner for a college friend. Sunday was house stuff all morning and afternoon, discussing with my parents in the late afternoon, and then heading to Tim's parents for dinner to discuss. Actually, Sunday was so busy that we both realized we never actually got to eat lunch (which explained why we basically ate his mom out of house and home Sunday night).

Today has been more of the same--researching this next house online, putting together to-do lists to sell our current house just in case, etc. I have gotten quite a bit of lab stuff/ordering/summer student stuff done too, but my main mental focus has been houses.

At least it's nice to be calmly thinking about houses instead of frantically scurrying around like we were this time last year. We both agreed: we're never dealing with sellers like the ones we did last year. No bidding wars. No non-negotiating sellers. No sellers that call once a month when the other house offer falls through. We're going to do this our way, following our rules. And if it doesn't happen that way, then we walk away.

Anyway, I'll keep you posted on house stuff. At least it's something new-ish for the blog. Not that the baby isn't cute and all, but things don't really change with her often enough that it makes for an exciting read :) And I'm pretty tired about saying the same thing about lab over and over. It sucks, crappy project, crappy mentor, crappy situation, but it'll be over in a year. And at least I'm a happy person about it now, not totally soul-crushed like I was before. So why rehash it?

Maybe I need to take up a new hobby or find something else stressful to add to my daily anxiety:) It'd give me something to talk about!

Anyway, overall, life is good. Things keep moving, some more quickly (the pregnancy) and some more slowly (lab), than I'd like. But things are generally good, which makes for a happy me!

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