Thursday, June 12, 2008

Let's buy another house!

As I mentioned before, its always a good idea to start house hunting right before you take 2 vacations in a row. Doesn't everyone plan it like that? Why pack when you can go look at houses you probably won't like--in the heat. Someone forgot to mention all these empty houses didn't have the AC on, on a 96 degree day. Why oh why do I overlook things like this? Well, it was still better than driving out of town to Sears to buy a Lands End bathing suit. Our local Sears does not carry Lands End (ofcourse) and that is the only brand I have found that has under wire support for the girls and lets be honest, that is a necessity. What is making this trip sound even more fun is that I will probably have to take Ryan with me. Joy. Pure joy. So, we either go today or tomorrow, or there will be no swimming for me this weekend. And lets be honest, I won't be going in the two days I have when we get back before DC. Its now or never baby!

Anyway, back to the houses. The market is not as soft here as Ethan told me. Or another way to say it is "yes, there are 3 car garage options in our price range--we just don't want to live in THOSE neighborhoods." I believe that we have become house snobs recently due to living in new construction and planned communities. Don't get me wrong, I've had issues with some HOAs, but on the other hand, the neighborhoods like very nice and well kept. Fortunately for us, the neighborhood we live in now is not a strict HOA, and I define that as we haven't had a ticket or notice the entire time we've lived here. That tells me we can be ourselves and not worry about it. Just mow your lawn and don't leave your trashcans out all week.

The problem tends to be the "must have" list. Ethan decided a 3 car was a must, I think its more of a "wish." If the backyard is big enough for some type of shed, then that would work for me. I understand there are a lot of things that don't belong in the garage (highchair, about 10 diaper boxes full of Ryan's clothes, christmas decorations, a bouncy seat, a jumperoo, etc) but he would not let me get rid of that because of the "maybe baby #2" so there they sit. And, he told me if we had a 3 car garage we would only park 2 in there anyway. Since we do actually have 3 cars, it means one is still out. So, I am more of the idea that we don't rule out 2 car garages in a few of the neighborhoods that we like and then decide. If we can store non-essential garage items somewhere else, then we should be ok. Or we could sell the convertible :)

I was basically able to rule out some areas we didn't want to live in. Then I walked through the houses being amazed at the gross state of almost every carpet. YUCK. And lets not forget most of them are missing key appliances since the owners like to take them before the bank kicks them out. One was even missing a toilet. Our realtor keeps telling me I need to love the house, it has to have a "wow" factor for me, I"m just not sure that will ever happen. Our previos house hunting...well, really wasn't hunting.

Our first house we bought across the street and one over from the house we were renting. We did not look at any other house. I loved the neighborhood (built in 1950, lots of retired people on the block, quiet, hard wood floors, newly updated and a gigantic backyard). I saw the sign go up, noticed they were doing a lot of work over there, found out a contractor bought it and was gonna flip it. I took a tour and told Ethan to make it happen. I wanted it. Plus, they were adding another bathroom, turing a rec room that was added onto the back into a master suite. I lovedi t (except for the original kitchen cabinets). It was a 3 bed, 2 bath, 1500 sq/ft on almost a 1/4 acre. We had grand plans to put a pool in, fix up the backyard. We did a really cute brick walkway from the curb to the front door. I painted for goodness sakes. And then Ethan got a job offer for San Diego and you just can't pass that up. Bye bye house that we only lived in for a year :(

We rented in Rancho Del Oro for a while and the HOA was ridiculous. After a year we started looking. We went to some open houses, not wanting to get a realtor because the one that sold our first house for us SUCKED. He is the reason Ethan ended up getting his license in the first place. Every weekend we looked and decided we had to raise our price a little because we did not want to live in Escondido with a chain link fence. Sorry.

Then we noticed some new houses being built. They were affordable, so we jumped in. At this time we didn't have a child, weren't really planning on a child, so we didn't think about school district or anything like that. If you went to our house one way it looked like a very nice area. If you came from the other direction, scary. You know, drive by the check cashing place and the Popeyes. We had a great park nearby and nice neighbors. It was a 4 bed/2 bath, 1800 sq/ft. The nice thing was that it was new so you could pick stuff. The bad thing was that we couldn't afford any upgrades :( Looking back now, the layout of the house was great and I like that the other bedrooms were separate from the master.

Now we are renting again, and I didn't love anything I saw. I couldn't imagine myself living in hardly any of them. No WOW factor. I like our rental more than anything I saw, and I can't figure out if that is because of neighborhood or not. It would be very hard to leave here. Even though its man made, we have a lake with a great 1 mile track to walk around. We have 2 parks in walking distance. The landscaping is always kept up. There is a pool/spa, tot lot, and tennis courts behind a gated area. Ryan and I spend a lot of time at the parks, and I love that I feel like I'm exercising when I"m walking around the lake. Its a nice view, plus we go to the dock and look for fish a lot. Ethan takes him swimming on Saturday mornings in the summer. It would be hard not to have these things. I guess what I'm trying to do is convince him that location is more important than if you're reading...

Actually its time to head to one of the parks right now before the heat of the day kicks in.


Lizzie Fish said...

this is so great - i think everyone should post about their house hunting adventures because we all look for SUCH different things! i am drooling at the idea of a lake with a track, two playgrounds and a pool...and the ability to even GO outside and play after six in the morning.

good luck to you! =)

McCoyFamily said...

I agree the area not the garage and square footage is important! I still live in Canyon Crest and will probably live here till I die, LOL..They actually have made some improvements to the road on the scary way into the complex and the new middle school and Park are amazing! I hope you find what your looking for in a house something that will make you and Eathan very happy:)

McCoyFamily said...

I'm sorry Blogger spelled Ethan's name wrong:(