Thursday, March 28, 2013

House Hunting Heartbreak

Our house hunting journey has intensified. We have gone from viewing on-line listings to viewing actual homes. We have viewed our first three homes and to my surprise, I fell in love easier than I expected. 

House #1 - Gorgeous neighborhood & gorgeous exterior of home and property. In the first minute of entering the home, I must have told Patrick " I love this house" 10 times. The staircase rocked my world. I'm also a sucker for a beautiful formal dining room. I know that most people find them dated and to be a waste of space but to me they scream happy family. This dining room was the perfect size with beautiful moldings and a stunning front window. The kitchen was gigantic, perfect for Patrick :) but plain and dated. I love that we could make it our own. My heart is longing for white kitchen cabinets and gray countertops. I'm certain my cooking skills would improve. 

There is a sunroom that is the perfect space for so many things. I could see such lovely breakfast in this space. The living room and family room are darling. French doors welcome you into the living room. The staircase down to the basement once again rocked my world. The basement is a walkout showing views of the beautiful property. The basement is finished, but an open canvas which is great for Patrick and his skills. Surprisingly this very large home only has a 2 car garage. A disappointment, but the ceiling is so height that Patrick could put his hot rod on a lift. 

We made our way up the beautiful staircase to the upstairs 4 bedrooms and 2 bathroom to find small spaces. The master was cute with an adorable balcony but the room was small and there was not a walk in closet or room to build one. The master bath was outdated which is fine, I would rather make it my own, but the space was so small. I didn't mind the 3 other rooms. They all had great light and beautiful views but the bathroom was small. What if we had three children? This space was too small for them to share. There is an additional bedroom and full bath in the basement but we wouldn't put a young child down there. 

We have tried every way to reconfigure the upstairs and it just doesn't seem doable even with ripping out the entire floor. Patrick also felt that the neighborhood was all white collar. Like my girlfriend Melissa said about her husband, he needs to see a pick up truck in the neighborhood. 

House #2 - Located in our #1 location. This house is in the heart of the village that I grew up in. Finding a 3,000+ sq ft home here for under $700,000 in good condition is most likely impossible. The homes here are unique and extra special. Mostly historical landmarks that have been restored. If you look really hard you might be able to find a deal for the area and I thought that I did. 

This house was listed well over our price point and then one day it dropped $150,000. We went to see it that day and then we went back the very next day and as we entered the door the realtor just got word that a full price offer was made and they were still excepting offers. This move was well played by the seller. Now people are fighting for it and going well over the asking price. We walked away but we were not heartbroken. The house needed to be taken down to the studs and would have been much to expensive in the end. I'm sure someone is rehabbing it and we will see it back on the market for 1 million. 

We are still hopefully that something will pop up, but not holding our breath. There are complete tear downs listed at $500,000. Crazy! We could buy in Hawaii with an ocean view for what we can get for our money here.  On a side note, there is a new HGTV show called Hawaii Life that I am obsessed with. I had to stop watching because I was ready to pack my bags. 

House #3 - The heartbreak begins. Equestrian Estates is a subdivision that we love. It's more of a village within a small town. Every time we drive past, I tell Patrick how much I love it. This is another area that is really hard to touch but I found a gem that was priced to move fast. The day that it listed, I scheduled a showing. 

We drove up the long beautiful driveway and my heart went pitter patter. When we walked up to the home, it had such a presence. Like my husband, it stood way up in the sky. We walked in and it felt like Christmas. The home was in excellent condition and move in ready. All we needed to do was cosmetic to make it our own. Patrick was silent which was making me crazy. His silence, I later found out meant that he wanted the house. He knew that it was going to move fast and that we were going to have competition. He told me not to get my hopes up.

 I couldn't sleep that night. I had every room of the house designed. You have to visualize yourself in the home to know that it is right. Well, the disappointment came when they excepted another offer. I felt like someone stole my house from me. I wanted to scream at the owner "but I saw it first!" 

Now I'm just frustrated and wondering how many times will this happen. I'm back to stalking the house listings and waiting for another to pop up and hoping not to be broken hearted again. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Home Sweet Home.

Our house will be listed very soon and we have started the hunt for our perfect home. I am very, very grateful for the house that Patrick has provided us, but I have never felt like it was our family home. When I moved it, it was very bare and very masculine however, very nice. Patrick is somewhat of a minimalist and he likes things in order and always very clean which I appreciate. He does not like anything out of its place or clutter in any space. He has softened up a lot since the dog and then baby arrived. Some things are just out of your control, but I do my best to keep things clean and organized but Patrick is usually a step ahead of me on that. Along with his great cooking skills, he is very skilled with cleaning, I know, I'm very lucky to have a husband who cooks and cleans, he also grocery shops. 

Finding a place for our family to call home is a very big deal to me. I have not had a place that I have felt completely at home since my childhood home that we moved out of when I was 11. Since then, I have been here, there and just about everywhere. The life that I lived made me who I am today and I am proud of that person but I do not wish these same circumstances on our children. I want them to always feel at home. To always have a home that they love. A home full of family and friends that they love. A home where they feel completely safe. A home where they will create memories that will last a lifetime. I'm not sure that the home that we buy next will be our forever home, in fact I'm sure we will move again at some point, but we plan to spend the next 10 years in this home creating wonderful memories that we can carry with us to our next family home. 

I have never sold a house, as we are preparing to sell ours now, or shopped for a home as we have started to do. We will be renting a storage unit to fill with excess furniture and storage bins to make the house as model looking as possible. I hope that we will not have to live this way for too long as I will miss being surrounded by family photos, nick nacks and trinkets and the bareness of the house may seem slightly depressing. Patrick is thrilled to get a great deal of out things out of our house and for things to be very minimal again. I am hoping to purge myself of many things like the bins and bins of clothes that I have not worn in years and should probably never wear again. Since I was 11, I have lived in over 10 different places. You would think that I would have accumulated much less. 

I am expecting that it will take some time for our house to sell and that we will look at many, many homes before finding our perfect match. Hopefully it will be a smooth process.