I know it will go by in a blink, but after moving every 2 years for nearly the last decade, 4 years seems semi-permanent. And as such, we decided to look into buying vs. renting. Part of this is because we are all craving a little stability (4! Years!). And part of this is because of where we are moving. Our new town has a small population, and this means that there is a limited market for both rentals and purchases. Cheap housing can be found, but the condition and/or size of said housing is just not acceptable. I have to keep reminding myself that we will be living on the edges of Appalachia & the standard of living is a little different from what we've been used to. I am not saying that we will be surrounded by shotgun shacks inhabited by meth-smoking hillbillys..... but the extensive selection of throwing knives (with how-to guide included) found at a local convenience store speaks for itself.
Anyway.... we decided to use the extra long weekend and take the whole family on a house hunting adventure. I've been in communication with our realtor for months & we had about 10 houses to see over 2 days.
Those of you moving to or living in larger cities are probably laughing right now. Because 10 houses? Not a lot. But it was the best we could do in our price range.
What we saw ranged from the disappointing to the nightmareish. We saw houses with leaky basements & moldy carpet. We saw houses that had a new security system and 35 year old carpet. We saw houses that stank of pets. We saw houses cantilevered on 45 degree hills. We saw houses that had been on the market for years. We even saw a house that had so much junk piled up that I did not realize the room I was looking at was actually a bathroom (I thought it was a closet or storage room).
After nearly weeping with frustration by Friday afternoon, we saw IT.
Our last house of the day was not perfect, but it was close enough. The lot is flat, the street is quiet. The 4 bedrooms are big, and we have THREE full bathrooms. There is space for guests, an inside laundry room, and even a kitchen that looks out into the backyard. It does need paint (lots and lots of paint - unless of course you love the Browns and the Steelers), and new flooring in the Master Bedroom & hallway. But otherwise, everything is solid and workable. I may even be able to carve out a space for my own workout room!
We were close to sure that this was IT, but we continued to look on Saturday. We had to drive back home that afternoon, so we left a verbal offer with our realtor & then hit the Interstate. The house had only been on the market for 18 days, so we had no idea what to expect. Sure, it's a Buyer's market, but were they really eager to sell and be done with it? Or would they sit on our offer and think they could do better? We spent the entire drive offering and counter-offering, and were left hanging all night. I'm not sure either of us slept. Sunday afternoon we finally received the call that we are under contract!
Let the packing begin! And the planning! And the mental remodeling! I can't wait to start painting!
Oh yeah, and if you're thinking of a housewarming gift (or really, any gift for us in the next 4 years), I have three words for you: "Lowe's gift card".