Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Again

UPDATE 4 (7/24/09): We see this is now listed as "pending sale" on the website, so we know it is going to someone else for sure now. We saw a couple of possibles in Riverbank this week, but they weren't great enough to cause us to give up what proximity we have now to school, work, family and church (location, location, location). It feels like we're on hold - probably indefinitely.

UPDATE 3 (7/22/09): We still haven't heard FOR SURE that we've lost this house, though our realtor feels certain it is gone. We have more information - our bid is lowest of the 4 by far (though at market value) but the only conventional loan. It almost seems the highest of the bids is someone playing a game, because, for the condition of the house, that bid is outrageous. We've looked at 4 more houses AGAIN today, and the more we look the more we realize this one would suit our needs (desires?) best by far. We know God has a good plan for us - whether that is the house posted here - another house - or staying in the one we now have - small and cozy but filled with love and precious memories.

SHORTENED UPDATE 2 (7/21/09): I never have liked shopping of any kind, and house shopping is the WEIRDEST kind of shopping I've ever encountered. There were no bids Friday; our realtor felt very optimistic. As of this morning we hear there were 4 bids yesterday . . . We looked at 4 more houses today.
UPDATE (7/19/09): Our bid goes in first thing tomorrow (Monday). Then it's wait and see. We did a second walk through today. Click on "comments" at the end of the post if you're interested in how that went.
Well, we are home again (from Michigan) and we are back to LOOKING at homes again!

We had a GREAT but busy time away, and when we got home we hit the ground running again just continued to rock and roll! There've been lots of events in the few days since we've been home in addition to the house hunt. I haven't unpacked a thing from my suitcase yet!

I kind of can't believe we are taking on the possibility of moving as I look toward beginning such a new and demanding phase in my career in just over a month. It's both exciting and exhausting. We did find a house yesterday that I really fell in love with, that I think will serve our family well. We will probably be making a bid on this one Monday. If you'd like a tour, check out the following pictures!
In past years I've seen a few houses of this style and have always been intrigued by them - wondering what was up with the garage configuration - wondering what was between the one-stall garage and the house . . . . . . a closer look at the garage configuration, separate two-stall and one-stall. We hear that most people use the one-stall as a workout room. If we get this place it will be the shed and camping gear storage - although it would fit a ping-pong table nicely - hmm . . . Two views of the front of the house from inside the courtyard between the one-stall garage and the front door.An elegant (too elegant for us, but . . .) front room that we would use as a library/sitting room - with an inviting jigsaw puzzle out at all times!Formal dining, which for us would mostly be formal gaming!I can't even imagine having this much kitchen (especially since I currently have a total of 10 square feet of counter space - far less than what is on the island alone here!) We would finally be able to get our lovely wedding gifts of 22 years ago out of storage in the garage and have them available for use! I guess if we get this place I'd better develop an interest in cooking!As with any house, pictures at a distance look great, but a closer inspection reveals items that need repair.This is the family living area connected to the kitchen (which is the reason we began looking for homes in the first place - wanting to be able to interact with family and friends as we work in the kitchen).Upstairs - again, much elegance here with the high ceilings - would have made more sense to me to skip the high ceilings and have more floor space! Not that I'm complaining, but this would have made a phenomenal gaming loft instead of being empty, pretty space that's just for show. Ah well . . . I do wonder how you wash these windows and that light fixture and how you get spiderwebs down! Perhaps you just don't worry about it since they are so far away no one can see that. (Never having lived in a two-story house, I'm also currently wondering how we move our big, heavy furniture items to the upstairs. Apparently people do it . . .)This is what our realtor calls "the obligatory purple room." And it is true that nearly all 6 of the houses we looked at yesterday did have one purple bedroom. He (and we) thought that was a negative, but when we brought photos home and showed the boys, Jacob and Caleb got all excited and said they wanted the purple room - YEEHAW! - no painting needed in that room! This is California, so you look right out at the houses nearby; this is actually a decent amount of distance for this area. I say this from the perspective of just having been in Michigan. - quite a master bed/master bath (though I have to wonder who puts carpet in a bathroom?) - here too you see the proximity of houses - this one looks right down into a neighbor's yard and windows - - a view down on the backyard from the master bath (better remember the close the shades when bathing!)Not much of a back yard, but, again, this is California and decent-sized for this area. At least the trampoline will fit! That will pretty much take care of the yard space. It has a covered patio - only house we've seen with one - a plus for us who like to barbeque. It's in kinda bad shape - sagging and so on, but . . . Most homes we've looked at have had nothing but dirt in the backyard - never been landscaped, never even had grass, no cement area, no overhang - all things we would have had to put in is we purchased one of those homes, so this looks to us like an oasis.This is looking across the courtyard from the front door to the one-stall garage - not as pretty from the back as from the front, but I love the whole courtyard idea.This is the other side of the courtyard.

IF (and that's a BIG if) we get this home - or another larger than what we have now - we hope to be able to practice hospitality better than we have in the past - for friends and for family - particularly as our boys have families of their own in the future (DV) - sure would be great to be able to host holidays for the family. It will probably take us a very long time to furnish this home, but the way the market is this is certainly the time to buy, so if we get it it will probably be quite empty and bare for a good long time. One huge plus of this particular house is that it is only 2 blocks from the boys' high school. That would be quite a boon to us as my new job will make me far less able to provide transportation for them. I know I shouldn't have my heart so set on this as our bid may not be accepted, but I can't help it. :-)


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful house! Some family has to buy it, and I don't know of a more deserving family than your's so let the bidding begin.
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

"Walking the neighborhood" is always a great idea. You can then really see how your future neighbors live and if the fit is right for your family. It's recommended to do this several times at different times of the day and on different days of the week.

Painting is inexpensive, especially if you provide the can rent scaffolding to make the entry paint job a breeze too....the carpet, unless torn, may just need a good deep cleaning....if not that could be a bit more expensive, but well worth the investment.

Good luck! Paula

Heidi said...

Aw - thanks so much for your sweet comment! :-)

I got your comment as I was just about to update this post stating that we wrote a bid today, and it will go in first thing tomorrow (Monday).

Going through the house a second time was an amazing experience. Even with all the pictures I didn't quite remember how everything was laid out. Also I hadn't picked up on how really truly incredibly bad the paint and carpet are, so new paint and flooring are a MUST throughout - ($$$) - lots of other little things too, but that comes with the territory. It's a foreclosure. Other fixes will wait as the years go by - a bit at a time - furnishing too. That's OK.

David and I walked the neighborhood last night, and, though this house looks very fancy and elegant to me, we noticed it is the most "plain-jane" in the neighborhood and one of the smallest (except for a couple of one-stories, possibly). Amazing!

I LOVE the courtyard! :-)

Oh, and the neighbors, who have a nearly identical house next door, have a fountain in their courtyard that we can hear from "ours" - BONUS!

The boys saw it for the first time today. They really liked it. One comment they made was, "It's too bad we have to have a master bedroom because this would make a great loft!"

Sorry - I'm gonna be selfish on that one!

Heidi said...

Our comments got flip-flopped.

Well, since IF we get this house it will be right at the beginning of the new school year - mine being probably the most demanding year of teaching I've ever had - Anthony's also, with nearly all AP classes his senior year and sports - this will be hired out. Sadly, the carpet is truly beyond cleaning! On the other hand, as much as I'd like to save money, oh what a feeling to have someone come in and do it and move into a new place with new paint and carpet done for us. So, while I wish it was "move-in-ready," THAT I am willing to shell out some bucks for. :-)

Here I am talking like this is going to happen. We have no idea if our bid will be accepted! I know many people right now looking to buy who've put in many aggressive bids and lost out each time, so . . .

Anonymous said...

Yes, if you can, hire the work done!!! It will be well worth the expense and will make you smile everyday, for paint and flooring you "use" every single day.

I've heard through the grapevine that "bankers" are people doesn't hurt to add a "personal note" with any future bids you put in. It may just help to get a house "sold" for they realize it's a "family" buying "a house" not an investor putting down dozens of bids a week. (I've heard this technique is getting some good results). You may want to give it a try just for fun.... Paula

Heidi said...

Wow! Thanks for the advice! :-)