Saturday, February 23, 2008

House Hunting 101

Yes, we are hoping to move soon. For anyone else who plans to move in the future, here are a few tips...

1. Start looking at houses, when your own house is not even close to the vicinity of being ready to be put on the market. Make sure walls are falling down, there are leak marks on the walls of the basement, the dust in your husband's workshop has dust on it, the studio has become a junk room/toy factory/exercise equipment mockery, the garage is a tool shed, and each and every available nook and cranny is stuffed as full as humanly possible.

2. Fall madly in love with perusing house sites, such as pittsburghmoves.com, that not only give you all the details of the house, but pretty pictures to look at of the houses.

3. Constantly add more houses to your saved list, so that by the time you get around to seeing them all, they will most definately all be sold.

4. Actually believe that the pictures on those sites truly show you the house as it appears in real life. (At one house we looked at they had conveniently cropped out the huge electrical tower in the side yard! Can you say "kid-friendly"?)

5. Keep thinking about a house after seeing it, and deciding it is not right for you. Get sad when you see that it has been sold. (We saw a house with an amazing studio/office with huge windows looking out into the yard with a pond, and a kitchen that almost brought me to tears and I don't even cook. I am still dreaming about those 2 rooms. I should mention the one car garage was detached, and after spending months at my own home, standing in the cold/snow/rain trying to buckle Dylan in his carseat as the cold air/snow/rain goes down the gap at the back of my pants, I WANT a 2 car integral garage. Oh, and also, that pond came with 3 ducks that had lived in that back yard all their lives. The owner said if we didn't want the ducks she could give them to a farm but they would most likely die. Yea, I already have a cat I don't want, let's add 3 ducks to the mix).

6. When you go to look at houses, be sure to take along a very active toddler who loves to climb up and down stairs, over and over, and over. Your realtor will love toddler wrangling while you stroll through the homes.

Seriously, it might be a while before we move! I honestly believe in the power of writing things down that you want and putting your wishes out there for the universe to sort out, so I'm going to do that here.

-3 or more bedrooms
-at least 2 bathrooms (we only have one now, which creates some "situations" quite often)
-2 car integral garage
-a room for Jim's workshop & tools, that I never have to step foot in
-a room to use as a studio/office where we can house the ridiculous amount of artistic supplies we both have, I can have a desk to write at, pay bills, etc., and there is no other junk in it
-a decent flat yard (fenced in would be awesome) for Dylan to play
-a deck would also be awesome (since we have a front and back deck now, we are spoiled in that area)
- a kitchen that we don't need to remodel (you have no idea how hard that actually is to come by!)
-a neighborhood with nice people, who actually wave hello, know our names, and maybe even become some of our closest friends!
- a good school system (one of the main reasons we are moving)
-a view of the beach (Oh, sorry, that will be the next house)

Wish us luck!

9 comments:

Pam said...

Good luck with the house hunting. I hope that you get a house with everything you want (and even more!).

Nicole said...

Ugh. Real estate market. We've had our house for sale for almost 2 years. Yep, I said almost 2 years. Its ridiculous. Good luck with house hunting and selling yours! I can't wait to house hunt....

Driving With the Brakes On said...

Lots of luck to you! My husband and our realtor looks at over 200 houses (no, that is not a typo) and we made close to a dozen offers before we finally got the house we are in. Logically it seems silly to wait until your house is on the market to start looking, but the ways things are going, early is never soon enough!

And, to help with the sale of your house, look into a cheap storage unit to store all the clutter - it may cost you a little bit each month, but getting everything out of your house will help it look bigger and more open. Our house in CA was 1,000 square feet . . . I took something big out of almost every room and boxed-up nearly half of our knick-knacks and pictures to make the space look as big as possible, and to make it easier for potential buyers to picture the house with their personal belongings in it.

Julia said...

Good luck, good luck, good luck! That's so exciting!

Things I've learned from just going through it? Move "good neighbors" to the top of the list. You can remodel and change anything but that. We chose a house that wasn't perfect but in a neighborhood we LOVE. Then we practically gutted the place (slowly over the last two years-I can hear my husband's sander downstairs as I type) and now we have our dream home nestled in between our two best friends' homes. Well, that is, unless they can hear the sander, too... :)

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

You are so much further into the pain than we are. I haven't found a single house online that warranted an in-person visit. Yeah, we should be moving right around the Toddler is in college.

*Sigh*

Jen said...

Wow, "2 years", "200 houses", "gutted the place",
"the pain" - I feel so much better now. You people need a lesson in ENCOURAGEMENT, don't ya? You just had to be honest, didn't you ever hear of LYING? ; )

Jonny's Mommy said...

Yeah, I remember hunting for a house.We had some very scary housing hunting experiences -- really liked the one that was held up with big sticks and right by the river just waiting to be washed away in the spring floods. Hubby tried to say that it had a nice view. What sold me though was when the real estate lady said "The foundation is cracked and some serious work will have to be done at some point or the place will fall in." Good sale, lady.

Janet said...

We built our house and I WISH we had made your list before we did. I do not have anyplace for my art supplies or to pay bills. We had to close in the upstairs back porch so DeBoy could have a bedroom.
Oh yeah, I don't cook either, but I do love me a nice big beautiful kitchen.

Shellie said...

Good luck! Once you do make the plunge you will make someone very happy to sell in the market we're in now.