What I'm Doing

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Buying a House, Part II

Things are going well with buying a house, so far. I contacted the lender that Eric (our realtor and a friend from our old church) recommended and got pre-approved for a loan that should more than cover what we need.

Then, this past Saturday, we went out with Eric to visit some houses that he'd picked out from listings near my office. One of the things we'd told him we'd like was a basement. As it turns out, a house that is listed as having a basement doesn't necessarily have a basement. In some cases, it was a small area behind the garage which happened to be under the house. Granted, all the houses we saw had a garage/basement (as opposed to just a basement that sits under the whole house), but some were better than others.

Anyway, I had expected that we would take most of the day looking at houses, but it only took about half the day. This was certainly aided by the one or two houses that we pretty much walked into and quickly walked out of.

I think the most interesting house was, I believe, the second one we visited. The exterior was not terribly confidence-inspiring. The roof looked like it had been shoddily done, the siding didn't look too great, etc. In contrast to the exterior, though, the family room we entered through the front door was "pimped out." Tile floor, nice fireplace, leather chairs, nice TV, even a bar that had been cut into the wall between the family room and the kitchen. The kitchen, however, wasn't quite as impressive. When we opened the door to the hallway that led to the bedrooms, it almost looked like the exterior (in quality, at least), except for the master bedroom. What was so interesting to me was the huge contrast between the different areas. One might say they were very telling as to what this resident's priorities were.

Another house we visited was nice enough, except that everywhere you looked there seem to be a half-finished project. Well, except for the kitchen; that had totally been redone, but we didn't really like what they'd done with it (the floorplan was similar to a house we did really like, which gave us an idea of what the house may have been like before). The listing for the house promoted a "finished bath" in the basement. "Finished," in this case, means a toilet connected to a hole in the ground where a pump is probably going to be buried.

At the end of our tours, we had only one house we were planning to keep in consideration. On the downside, the seller is asking a bit more than we're wanting to pay, but there could be some working with that. Also, the house is very, very nice—certainly worth what the seller wants for it—which means there's a chance it may get snatched up before we've had time to look at other options.

Hopefully, over the next week, we'll get a few chances to meet with Eric again, and we'll probably be out looking again next Saturday, this time in some other areas we've considered. God-willing, everything will work out for us to have a house before our lease is up on the apartment.

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