Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fun with house hunting Day 1

Last week, I flew down to our soon-to-be home sweet state. I had done as much internet stalking of neighborhoods and houses as I could, and had a whopping list of 11 houses to see (and that was stretching it). There was really one house that we really liked, but i figured we throw in a few others.

Hubs picked me up from the airport and asked if I wanted to drive around a little before it got dark, and I said sure! He then told me, "'Your' house in under contract."

Crapper. That's the pool house. Now what are we going to do?! I sure hope our realtor has a few other options. We drove around a little and decided to hit a local wine bar to celebrate new beginnings.

The next morning, bright and early, we headed to the starbucks near the hotel. As we placed our order, the barista asked our names. Before I could answer, Hubs gave her our real names. As our drinks were being made (and double cupped for Hubs), I told Hubs about a little game my buddy, Iv, plays when she goes to starbucks. She gives them a TOTALLY random name and watches to see if they flinch, question or giggle at her made-up name.

"Double cup grande vanilla soy latte for 'Cuip?'"

We exchange glances, look behind us and realize that the barista had BUTCHERED Hubs' name and turned completely normal into Cuip.

Cuip and I scooted back to the hotel, met our realtor and were ready for the fun!


When we moved up here, the world was our oyster. We looked at about 38 houses in a DAY, and totally had our pick. We could say things like, "I don't really like that carpet, " or, "This lot is small," KNOWING that any house we looked at WOULD work for us, it was just a matter of IF we wanted it to work for us.


First house was in Pool House's neighborhood, and here's what it had going for it:
* End of a cul de sac
* Less than 4 numbers in the address
* Great school district
* Great curb appeal
* 4 bedrooms
* bonus room for an office

Could we find a winner on the first look?! Hubs and I stood on the front porch as Realtor got the key out of the lock box.
Man this yard is really overgrown...and the porch looks horrible. Is that post rotting....

And then the door opened. Horrible does not begin to describe the state this house was in. After carefully entering bedroom number 2 (while thanking God I had the smarts to toss TWO things of hand sanitizer in my bag), I looked at Realtor and asked

Me: So this one is a short sale?
R: (looking at the mls sheet) Ummm. Nope.
Me: and what's the list price on this one?
R: $70,000 more than the lovely home you now reside in (ok she really just gave me the number).
Me: Yikes.
R:Yeah and it has it's original roof and a/c units.
Me: So we're looking at another $20,000 on top of that?
R: Pretty much.
Me: Good gravy. It's nice to know you can let your house go to crap and still ask a ton for it.
R: Yeah, I had a guy, from your state actually, come down a while ago to look at houses. After looking around, he decided not to take the job. Hahaha!
Me: Yeah, we don't have that option. Let's move on!

Next stop was the pool house, and the owners were home. And it's a short sale. We went to see it both to put it out of my mind and to see it in case the offer fell through. It was lovely and exactly what we needed in a house, but we moved on because we couldn't wait around on a short sale even if there wasn't an offer on the table.

I should also add at this point, the 11 houses we were going to look at? 4 had offers and one was pulled from the market. So we're down to 7. Minus the pool house offer, 6.

They got progressively worse.

We saw the Jetson's house (super modern updated house). Unfortunately, ONLY the kitchen was updated, the house was filthy, there was an uneven roof overhang that even I would hit my head on when I walked outside on the deck, the wood floors must have been laid by a drunk, there was no light fixture in the half bath, there was a long hallway that I fully expected creepy twin girls to be standing at the end of, but instead, there was a chihuahua. No really. Renter (not owner), had her t-tiny dog chillin in a back room.

Next was a lovely home, again, with an updated kitchen. This one could have worked, but the floor plan was super weird. The backyard was awesome, but it was filled with random plants and pieces of what looked like a greenhouse. It was almost like someone who owned a nursery went out of business and said, "Crap! What am I going to do with all of this stuff?!" and his buddy said, "No problem! I'm moving! Toss it in my backyard." And while the roof was new, there was some sort of giant lime tree, literally growing into it. NEXT!

This one looked promising. Lake front view! Man cave! Fenced backyard!
Oh, MLS, how you stretch the truth. You can view the lake if your sitting on the roof, the wind blows really heard, all the trees in the lot across the street fall over and that house burns to the ground, there's the lake! Man cave (which we hoped would work for Hubs' office) was an open room three steps down and off of the kitchen. Also in the man cave? The washer dryer. Also, while not listed, it was fun to see the smallest sink EVER in what would be the kids' shared bathroom. Looks like someone got a great deal on a piece of remnant marble and just under-mounted a salad bowl. The backyard WAS fenced, so one point for that.

We saw some beautiful new construction, but they had smaller lots than we wanted.

I had a really good feeling about this one house on the east side. It had over 2.5 acres and looked really nice. Silly me! What have we learned about looks and real estate. 2.5 acres, yes. Probably infested with poison ivy and snakes. The farther back you walked, the creepier it looked. We noticed it had a shed for an rv, so that could be fun for papa and ma. Then I noticed what looked like some sort of animal grave stone peeking up from next to a large tree. Creepy. We walked into the sunroom and noticed the siding was different from the rest of the house. Realtor, who has lived in this town her entire life said, "oh! That's the siding that was involved in a class action lawsuit recently." WOW. Enough said.

The last house on our list looked a lot like our previous Florida house, but brick instead of stucco. New paint! Fire pit! Updated kitchen! The new paint? It was on the floor. Yes, the previous owners ripped up the carpet in the bedrooms and painted the cement slab. BUT, they left the carpet in the closets, so that was nice. The updated kitchen? Painted cabinets that they tried to "antique," but instead just made it look like someone swiped poop all around the edges. There was a pit in the backyard and I'm guessing you could toss a fie in it. The only good thing I could find in the house was a light fixture in the family room, and it was installed incorrectly.

The house was so bad, we had to drive around to see something, anything, just to have THAT house not be the closer of the day.

This was not going to be good.

1 comment:

Annie said...

Yes. And welcome to Florida.

keep looking, you'll find something! I hope!