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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Home Sweet Home: This or That

I think that finding “the” house, at least for me, is terribly difficult. Mr. Rogue and I had been looking for months in the areas we were willing to live and within our budget all, much to my dismay, to not even get a flicker of what we were looking for. The housing market in LALA land is seriously like a different planet.

We looked hundreds of houses online and narrowed it down to a few. I went out with our real estate agent the next week to look at five of the properties. Two of them felt fantastic but both for completely different reasons, just to make it interesting I am sure.

One house was on one of our favorite streets in the areas we were looking for. It also had the most fantastic backyard; I would use the word resort-like. A large deck area for alfresco dining, a big grassy area and then a gigantic pool; ahhh that backyard... it was PURE BLISS. I could imagine so many bbq’s and lazy summer days lounging by the pool.

However while the backyard was fantastic the house wasn’t as great. Built in 1950 the plumbing and electric was severely outdated. That coupled with the fact that there were only three bedrooms, the closets were somewhat small, the washer and dryer was in the garage, that major construction work would need to be done to make it nice and that the house was only as big as our current home but three times as expensive all made me not so happy.

The second home was only .25 miles away from the first house but it was on one of the less desirable streets. The other houses on the block were smaller and the backyard was a small city backyard with mostly concrete.

But inside the house was a dream come true. Walking through the door my inner cheerleader started doing back flips; this was the house... tall ceilings, a gorgeous wood floor, an unreal kitchen that opens up into a casual living room which opens into the backyard... a fantastic layout for entertaining. As I dragged my jaw along the floor being led through gorgeous room after gorgeous room I was ecstatic, this was the house! But of course I couldn’t show my glee... no I had decided to be bad cop, as in act that the house was OK! And seriously folks being bad cop, which I am normally quite good at, while walking around this house was one of the hardest things for me to do EVER!

And that was only the first floor.

There was a second floor with more windows and rooms and bathrooms than I could wrap my head around. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better we entered the master suite with a closet bigger than my first apartment. It was difficult to drag me out of that house, I wanted to just camp there right in the middle of that closet and never leave.

And get this people... the amazing house that we LOVED, that was 2.5 times the size of our current home was the exact same price as the house we looked at with the fantastic pool.

Mr. Rogue and I went home to think about it, but really there was nothing to think about. As we drove away I started planning where I would put the furniture we had, and then I started squirming thinking about the furniture I needed to get. When we got home we forced ourselves to wait until the next day, you know because we love torture and because we are masochists at heart. The next morning we called our agent and made an offer.

And then the agony of the next week and a half started, where we countered and they countered back... over and over for five counters! And every day was agony; I didn’t sleep for days and days, because I really wanted that house. I had already imagined Thanksgiving and birthdays there. I was already hosting parties and raising children in this house. This is the moment when I curse my overactive imagination and inability to control my whole ‘visualizing the goal to get the prize’ thing. And we could have accepted a counter offer much sooner to stop my agony but then I also really wanted to get the price as low as possible. Enter conundrum and the fact that I was driving my husband mad.

I tried not to get too emotionally attached because I know things can happen in real estate all the time. Offers can be easily refused, prices could never match up, or the bank could refuse the loan. But it is hard not to get emotional, at least for me, about where our future home. Home is where the heart is after all!

So I was on a week and a half tissy when the owner finally accepted our last counter offer and we were officially in escrow!

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