Friday, December 18, 2009

More Houses

The adventure continues: Wednesday we looked at more houses.

First up was an older Cape Cod (1949). This is the house we wanted to see last time but the realtor was unable to contact the residents. It was nice but the wood floors in two rooms needed finishing (they had been sanded recently) and the paint needed touching up in some rooms. Bonuses: OK kitchen, LOTS of storage, big closets, 2 baths, and two rooms upstairs that would make nice offices. Negatives: the yard is very small (no room for a sunroom). The linolium on the stairs to the basement is peeling and the tile in the basement is probably asbestos (and would need to be covered/sealed). This house is my second choice.

I fell in love with the second house: a ranch with a wonderful sunroom, deck with gazebo, and finished basement. The yard is a nice size and nicely landscaped. We also really like the neighborhood: all brick houses from the 1950s, all well-maintained with low turnover. This is the kind of neighborhood people stay in. Negatives: there's only one bathroom. (Hey, how hard can it be to add a second bath? Roger and his dad used to build houses.) I put in a bid on this one last night. Wish me luck! I'm praying really hard...

The third house was a new home in a new subdivision. No trees or sidewalks, but the online photos looked great: large master bedroom/bath/walk-in closet, a wonderful kitchen and great room with fireplace, 3 baths, and huge beautifully finished basement. Sadly, the house is now bank-owned and recently had water standing in the basement. That meant that the basement had been stripped AND still had mold. I'm so allergic to mold I barely saw this house. A few minutes indoors and my eyes and throat were itching. This one is a definite no go.

The next house on our list was a split level in the township. It had a severe mold problem so we didn't even try to go there.

The most interesting house was next. It was originally built in the 1800s! It had a new kitchen but everything else needs lots of TLC (a definite no go term in my book). The second level was in good shape but there was water at the base of the basement stairs. We looked in the basement out of curiosity after the realtor told us the support poles were logs. Yup, logs were holding the floors up. Under the oldest part of the house the basement was fieldstone on one wall and something that had been painted white on the other walls, smoothed logs maybe? Nice yard but this was another definite no go.

The last house was a ranch just a few doors away from our apartment, on a busy and partially commercial section of Irish Rd. Traffic made getting in and out of the driveway a major pain. The house itself was a nice 3 bedroom 1.5 bath ranch with partially finished basement. The kitchen was really nice but the renter wasn't kidding when they said the house was messy. Judging by the toys covering most of the floors, we're guessing they had three kids. It had nice deck and huge back yard; the field behind it was included, so there was a lot of land. Negatives: one room in the basement (probably painted by a tween or teen) was black with rainbow-colored designs. It was far out, man. The waterheater was unusually small for a house that size. Given the traffic problem, this was a no go.

I really, really want the ranch and am praying the owner accepts the bid, but I expect her to make a reasonable counter-offer.

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