Sunday, October 31, 2010

House #2 - Truesdell Street

After recovering from the loss of house #1, we were on to Plan B.

While visiting our hometown over the weekend, we happened to see a yard sign advertising an upcoming house auction. Although we weren't expecting a great house to be up for auction, we thought it couldn't hurt to drive by and look. We were pleasantly surprised - brick home, good neighborhood, large fenced in back yard - and rushed home to see what we could find out about this house online. We could see pictures, and we weren't totally turned off from what we saw. Only one bathroom, but it was large. Main floor laundry, large master bedroom (could be two rooms) and an open living, dining and kitchen space. The home had an unfinished basement, but there were possibilities for extra bedrooms, bathroom(s) and family room. It needed some work, but yet again, lots of potential.

Auction House - Truesdell Street

We slept on the thought of bidding on this home for a few nights, and in the end decided to go to the auction and bid on what might be our first home. One problem. M was going to be out of state for work on the day of the auction. GREAT. This left J to suffer bid on the house by herself. Luckily, her dad was willing to come to the auction and work through it with her. M & J thought through all the possibilities so (hopefully) J wouldn't have to do much deciding on her own the day of the auction - it's hard to think of all possibilities that could come up during an auction! You've been to 'em - people start throwing up their arms or just stick up one finger (not that one) to bid and you're left guessing "Was that me? Did someone behind me bid? I don't want to turn around and look to see who did it - you don't do that during auctions! No, I didn't want to bid that much!"

After talking through tons of situations that might arise, and finally determining a price we were willing to bid up to, M left on his trip and J headed back to Central KS to bid on what might be their first place. Long story short, after J thinking she might be buying their first place, she was outbid (by much more than M & J were willing to pay knowing the amount of money it was going to take to fix it up). J was by far the youngest bidder there, and thought was hoping that the others would give up in and let her buy it, seeing as they knew it would be their first place. But, wasn't going to happen. She sucked it up and held in her tears and then called M to tell him that yet again, someone else won what was supposed to be their house. Hopefully the third time would be the charm...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

House #1 - Arnold Drive

After looking at a few more houses during January and early February, we thought we found "the one." It needed some work, but after walking through it with our families, we were told the work could easily be done. The upstairs was finished and just needed some updating. Laundry was on the main floor, formal living room and family room, formal dining room, space for an eat-in kitchen AND a sun room that J already had re-done and decorated (in her mind, not literally). The basement had two workspaces - a workshop for M and a craft room for J - and room to finish off the other half and add lots of square footage to the home. Yay for potential!

Front of House

Back of House - Doesn't that sun room just scream potential?!?

We pictured our stuff in this house, pictured our (future) children in the backyard and had already been to Home Depot and Lowes fifty thousand times to pick out our new paint, cabinets and countertops. (We have never been ones to jump the gun or get ahead of ourselves – if you know us, you know we are lying here – but by this point, we had a large bag worth of samples, brochures and examples of anything and everything that we might need or want when re-designing our future home. Just being honest here - don't judge.)

We finally agreed that we should just call and start the process of putting in an offer. After crunching the numbers, we made an informed decision on what we wanted to offer and M called the realty company. The worst they could say was it sold, right? WRONG. Think “I’m sorry, sir, but that house just went under contract earlier this morning,” didn’t hurt to hear? Ouch.

On to plan B.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Lesson in House Hunting

M & J became interested in house hunting in the fall of 2009. After J’s graduation and Christmas, we decided to move from online searching to actual home showings. We tried out four places on the first day out and never would have guessed that one of them would be our future home.

One house was too smoky for our taste and not big enough. Nope.

The next two seemed like more logical options. Both in good locations, had lots of garage space, but had some work to be done and were listed at higher prices.

The last home was in a great location, but that was about the only “great” thing we saw that day. Torn up inside, only one full bath, lots of work to be done in every room and a HIDEOUS 18 inch back door that could not be overlooked.

After the first day, we were discouraged by the amount of work to be done in all of these houses and felt like we had lots to learn and were going to be sacrificing a lot to even find a house we would consider buying.

We went back to Manhattan and stalked checked out realty Web sites often to see if anything new was coming onto the market. Things got crazy for M in February when he started traveling frequently for work and then in March we lost his dad. At this point, it reiterated the fact that we should move back to Central KS and fast. Our lease ended in Manhattan in May, and if we wanted to avoid being homeless, we needed to act quickly. Little did we know – we’d have to go through attempting to purchase three houses before we’d land our first place.