Monday, April 11, 2011

The House Hunting Begins...

I thought I would write about something that wasn't pregnancy or Victor related (imagine!), and share with you our journey into house hunting...yes, we're finally, finally, getting a house!

I hope.

Last year when we first moved to Sussex we toyed with the idea of getting a house, but with me being on Maternity Leave it just wasn't possible, so we waited until that was over, but now that I'm working for myself (which I haven't blogged about properly yet, have I? Must do that...), the banks/mortgage folks won't consider any salaries I make as income because it's not 'established' yet, so we'd have to wait at least a year. Long story short, it wasn't looking good. I had gone to see a couple of houses without Dan just for fun back in the Fall (including this one), but once I realized the house thing wasn't going to happen, things got a bit quiet.  But then about a month ago the house-bug bit me again and I started wondering if there was another way...well, with the help of my very generous parents, it looks like we're going to have a way (they're not buying us a house, just helping us get the mortgage!  We have the money, just not the credit...)

Anyway, so last week we started doing the official hunting (meaning Dan came along, haha).  We saw 2 houses, and are going to see another 3 this Wednesday.

Here's what we've seen so far:

This house is in a quiet area of town and is move in ready. Quite big, lots of space, decent sized backyard, a loft upstairs for my looks really good on paper.  But it wasn't for me.  I saw it, thought in my head 'this should be a good house for us', but my heart just didn't feel it.  I saw nothing but the negatives; the kitchen was really small, there were 2 small living rooms/dens instead of one large central space, the downstairs layout was just awkward, there was carpeting everywhere (on the stairs, everywhere!)...these are all minor things, I know, but like I said, my heart wasn't in it.  I quickly forgot about it after we left, even though I know I should have given it more of a chance. 

This house, on the other hand, is the exact opposite.  My heart was in it 1000% percent, but my head knows that it's just not feasible or smart. I actually went to see this one back in either November or December and fell in total, head over heels in love with it, despite its many and obvious flaws.  It was enormous, old (1872!), in a beautiful country setting, had tons and tons of character, land (almost 3 acres, including greenhouses, gazebos, flower beds, grapes, a ready made chicken coop, etc), plenty of me it was perfect.  Of course I knew that the septic needed to be replaced completely and the roof probably needed repairing too (I mean, look at it), it would be a bitch to heat, and there was a serious dip in the kitchen floor...but I chose to ignore those things, romanticizing it in my head for the next 6 months. 

We went to see it again on Saturday with my parents and Dan, and the list of problems just grew and grew (can I just say how proud/impressed I am with Dan? He's able to find plumbing/heating issues that I would never, ever see...I had no idea he knew so much and am so thankful that he has these skills, it's going to come in handy for sure!)  Anyway, the house is a 'money pit', and just not worth it. 

I cried on the inside when I realized it couldn't happen, and yet somehow in the back of my mind I'm still dreaming of a way that it could work (I told Dan that the only way it could work would be for us to be rich city folk who would just say 'ok, we'll buy it and sink 100k into making it the house we want, and we'll hire everyone to do it for us and we'll just wait until it's ready then move in'.  Umm, yeah, not us!)  But maybe somehow, someway...

So that's it so far. We're going to see this one, this one, and this one next.  None of them is ideal, but I think that compromise is something we're going to have to accept (especially with our price range).  It's hard to get the location, house, and space you want, it's always a combination of one or two of those things, but finding something that has all three is pretty hard.  I've also realized that I house hunt based on my heart and general 'feeling' for the house, versus the reality of what it is.  It could be a gorgeous, perfectly built house, but if I don't feel something inside saying "I love it!", then I won't be able to get over that I don't think.  Luckily Dan is quite the opposite, he looks at this with his head only, so between the 2 of us we should be able to find something.

My rough plan is to move out of here by July 1st, meaning we'd need to give notice by June 1st, so that gives us 3 months or so to find a place.  Challenge?  Yes.  But I'm SO READY.

Thanks for letting me ramble on about this, I'll share more on the houses above once I see them and any others we might find along the way.  Hopefully our dream house is out there, waiting for us.

Until next time,


Selena said...

I am laughing because someone made comments about me when I was pregnant and we bought a house, not pointing fingers at all! LOL.
You will find your dream house I have no doubts. Good luck hunting!

Stephie C said...

SO excited for you guys on this next journey!!! I am also a bit envious as I cannot see us ever being in a place to purchase a home terrifies me too much along with awful credit so yup I will remain a happy renter for many more years :) But yes these houses all look amazing and I cannot wait to see more!!!