Lee and I toured/walked through the three houses we were scheduled to see. Being a virgin to the home buying process I did not really know what to expect having someone (the realtor) who you've never met before show you some random family's house. I will admit it was not as awkward as I thought it would be. I like the realtor. He is the listing agent for one of the homes we saw. Super nice, not overly talkative, not pushy, but honest. Other points to note before delving into the homes.
1. The realtor said we would like be able to rent our house out without too much of a struggle - possibly to the point where we might might might not have to refi out of our current 15 year mortgage. And his agency oversees rentals at only 6% of the rental price! I was thinking we would be paying someone 10-20% but 6% is worth having someone else handle it.
2. I did not realize/understand that a house gave off vibes or could make you feel a certain way. Its strange because Lee and I are not the touchy feely kind of people but an experience at one of the houses very much effected our 'feelings' towards it and the other houses we saw.
Okay now for the mushy gushy good stuff:
House #1 - 1.5 story house. Brick built early 90's. TONS of storage space. Great mudroom right off the garage. Kitchen/dining room has a weird laminate to carpet thing going on. Master bedroom is not huge - but there are two separate kind of walk-in closets. Living room is a nice space with a real fireplace. Lots of open space on the second floor. All the bedrooms are on the smaller size (compared to what else we saw). All the bathrooms were decent sizes but all only had one sink!!! The ceilings were all low especially upstairs - but totally manageable. Other small complainant was the upstairs had 4 different carpet colors which was strange.
House #2 - 2 story house. Vinyl siding built in the late 90's. This house and the layout reminded us of my parent's house. Big open entry way, living room and family room. Kitchen opened into the family room which I really liked. There was a separate dining room. Laundry was in a closet!!! which was a bummer since that is what we have now. Kitchen countertops were uncomfortably high. Garage led right into the kitchen. Very generous master bedroom and bathroom. Other bedrooms were nice sizes but the closets were not very deep. Upstairs bathroom was nice and big - downstairs bathroom was insanely small. I liked the higher ceilings. Back porch was likely not built to code because there were no railings?!?!?!
House #3 - 1.5 story brick house built in the late 80s. Okay this house was the creepy house. From the moment I walked in I wanted to leave. Other than the bad vibes the rooms were very partitioned off the the overall condition of the house was not good. Kitchen had an awkward layout. Laundry was in a closet off the hallway. Don't really remember much else about the downstairs probably because I do not want to and did not bother taking notes. We hesitated to even go upstairs. The second floor was spacious. Awkward placement of the stairs destroyed the entire layout. Very partitioned off. Lee and I quickly Bee-lined for the front door. The realtor was still inside locking up and I looked at Lee and he looked at me and we just knew. We cannot really explain what about the house it was - past the cosmetic problems there was an eerie vibe to that house. That houses needs an exorcism in a bad way! Nothing else said.
Overall, I wished we had seen House #3 first. My last impression of the house hunt for the day is that creepy vibe. House #1 and House #2 felt much more home-y and right. The realtor is going to send us info on other houses, though if we can get a decent price on one of the homes then we might just go for it. We have some other things to consider. We will be meeting with the bank this week to see what they say in terms of our spending ability. Still the one big thing that I cannot get out of my head is this is definitely a buyers market so we are in the drivers seat so we must get a good deal.
Anyone looking for good Christmas present ideas for us... We're counting pennies to add to a down payment : )
The saga continues... updates forthcoming!