The house hunting blues…
So, I’m already starting to dislike house hunting. The housing market in the Ann Arbor / Ypsi area is kind of crazy.
We made an offer on the b est house we saw in our first day of home touring. Unfortunately, neither we nor our agent think the house will appraise for the asking price, or even as much as the second (and final) counter-offer the seller made, so we’ve walked away from that one. We had our second day of house touring. Three houses were on the list. We got to the first one, and our agent told us before we even got out of the car that it was not the house for us. Having seen the house even just from the street, I’m inclined to agree.
The second one in our list was one that we were downright giddy over, just from the pictures. We got there right after an open house finished, and got to walk through with just our agent. Oh, we fell in love with that house. Sadly, so did several other people, so we made an offer for as much over the list price as our budget would allow. Unfortunately for us, someone else was able to offer more than we could. I’m very glad for the seller, quite certain the other family will be very happy with the house, and we’re back to the proverbial drawing board.
I’m starting to wonder exactly what it is that we absolutely need in terms of space, realistically. Do we need a guest bedroom? Is a second bath that important? Do we absolutely require a dining room? Tiny houses are a thing, but I’m not sure they’re a great thing for us. But maybe we could make it work? It seems like it would be rather hard to fix if we got there and concluded that we can’t. As charming as these tiny houses are, I’m not sure I can see my way clear to buying one. Even if our mortgage payments would be that much less than our current rent.
So, the next question becomes: how much work are we willing to do on a house? That’s another way to bring a house into our price range. I’m extremely disinclined to buy a house that will need tens of thousands of dollars of work to make livable, requiring us to continue apartment living whilst also paying a mortgage. I’ve seen how out of hand renovations can get… once you start taking a house apart that has been let go, they have this nasty tendency to need about three times as much work as you thought at the outset, blowing your renovation budget out of the water, extending the time you need to be paying for two homes, and oh, the stress. We’re willing to do some cosmetic work, I think, but nothing that means we can’t move in as soon as we have possession of the place.
There are a lot of devos around, and some of them have nice enough looking houses, I guess, but I don’t trust the solidity of construction in a lot of them, and living in a little box made out of ticky tacky that looks just the same as every other house on the street… well, it just isn’t us.
I’m seriously beginning to wonder if we should just try to find a piece of property and build something new…