The homes we visited yesterday were all somewhat similar, each with their own strong-point. One had nice architectural designs that got us interested (but the highest price, some $20K more than the lowest-home); The next was less architectural "nicety", but a .27 acre lot (a far cry from the .18 acres of the other two), and fell in at ~$5K less than the most expensive; The last was $15-20K cheaper from the other two - and well, that was about the only thing going for it.
All three homes:
- Were built 2001-2003
- Are in neighborhoods of surrounding 150-220K homes
- Are within a 5 mile 'by bird' radius of our current area
- 2 car garages
- 3 (1-4), bedroom
- Split floorplan
- 2 bathroom
The second home we visited was a small lot. Supposedly the same .18 acres we currently live on, but with the surrounding homes as well as shape of the property, it felt ridiculously small. With the amount of half-running trucks on the street, as well as what I am safe in saying is the worst floor-plan of a home that I have ever seen in my life, we walked in and out of this home faster than I could've set fire to it to salvage all that is holy. The floorplan was terrible, the home was filthy and in disrepair (despite being only six years old), and was useless to even consider.
The third home was truly nice. It felt like someplace that should be stayed in for a weekend in a foreign city rather than lived in. The architecture and layout fit the still-residing-owner's furniture and taste extremely well; however, for our lifestyle we would have needed to exchange all of our furniture just to be able to live there without it looking ridiculous. The home next to it had a second story that looked like it was about to topple off, and a rather small yard area and an awkward kitchen design (coupled with the need to purchase furniture, etc, to live there - plus the highest purchase cost) got us out of there.
Now to the first home we visited; which we also visited last (again). We actually ended up submitting a bid for this propertly as of late last night; however it's not owned by a bank so hopefully this time we'll hear back slightly more quickly. The last home is situation on .27 acres, with a long-skinny lot style. With the back porch within 6' of the back-yard's fence there is a gate, which separates two large side-yards so that they may be divided easily. The floorplan is simple, very square and no real foyer, dining area, or family room; just the large kitchen (which could be eat-in with a smaller table) and the living room. The property is on a cul-de-sac with two empty properties next to it owned by the city for utilities access, and backs up to a reserve. The only downsides of the entire home were that the three bedrooms all needed new flooring (the carpetting was a mess)
We visited BJ's Flooring and spoke to them about doing a wood laminate in the three bedrooms to replace the carpet, and with the size of the rooms we believe (self-installed) that it would run us just under $800 to cover all of them. The interior would need some paint, and the 4x4 posts for the privacy fence could use a bag of quik-crete here-and-there to stabilize them. Add some trees and such to the yard and the place would be just fine for our lifestyle/how we use a home/the rooms. Now it's just another episode of the waiting game.