Last week, I had three top choices. On Monday, I viewed them again along with three others which I eliminated. Yesterday, I made a decision on a house. Today, I signed the papers. Tomorrow, I'll fax them to my realtor, and hopefully by 5 PM the next day, I'll know whether the seller has agreed to my offer.
Trying to decide between two was a lot harder than I imagined. One house I fell in love with way back in August, and the other in September, both for different reasons. The houses are basically polar opposites, but in the end, the huge yard the openness, and the future potential of the second house won out.
Here were my three picks and what feature I liked about it.
House L was actually my favorite house aesthetically inside. There was a huge amount of detail into remodeling this house. The kitchen was absolutely fabulous with granite counter tops and the sun room very nice. It also had hardwood throughout the house. It was too bad that this house did not have much of a yard and was in an undesirable neighborhood.
House LM was the one I first fell in love with way back in August. The house was well maintained and structurally very sound. No painting or anything needed to be done cosmetically. What I really loved was the lot. It was wooded, private enough for a neighborhood, had a cute gazebo and bridge. The only major cost would have been fencing. I learned that this house was occupied by empty nesters who wanted to move back to where they were from. They also had a lovely, very pregnant cat who we saw on our viewings. This is a house I could imagine any of my single friends with a cat and/or dog living in, even a couple who had no children. If my first choice doesn't work out, I'll go with this house. The only cons to this house was that it felt a little cramped and had a small kitchen.
House G, I found in September. It's much larger than House LM but very open. It isn't made quite as nicely as the other two but still good with no major problems. The rooms are large and most of the house is hardwood. The kitchen is spacious and has a tile counter as well. The major selling point for me was the gigantic yard which was part of my criteria list! The property itself is somewhere between 0.75-1 acre which is quite a lot for a neighborhood and definitely enough for me and the dogs. The area seems nice and it is near a small park.
In the end, I went with House G. Besides the selling points mentioned above, they are leaving some other nice features like a security system and warranty. I also thought there was a better chance of negotiation with these sellers than House LM, especially since most of the houses around LM had sold for close to the asking price. I also learned that these sellers are motivated.
For now, all I can do is wait and see. Now, I can understand how real estate can be so stressful and why so many realtors are literally tied to their cell phones. It's easy to see how hearts can be broken if someone makes an offer of a house you happen to love.
Hopefully, by mid-November when the house closes, the inspection is done, and all the paperwork is done, I will be able to officially call myself a first time home buyer/owner.