Our Home Buying Descision

December 5, 2014

A lot went into the decision to buy an older home.  Our first home was brand new and adorable.  It had a ton of lovely features but we still always felt it was lacking something...for us.  I don't dislike new homes but if we ever live in a new home again I want to build it 100%.  As in, with an architect and on our own land so it's all us.

Must haves for this house were:
3 bedrooms and a flex space or four bedrooms, a formal dining room, master bath, laundry in the house (rare in older homes in our area), one story (Jonathan just couldn't deal), one very specific elementary school zone, established neighborhood

Wish list:
fire place, bath tub in master bath, no neighbors behind us, split floor plan, NO POOL!

We knew right off the bat we didn't want a new build for our second home.  Not only did our first feel lacking but we also lost money on the sell (assisted with buyer down payment and realtor fees) which is not uncommon in our area with new build neighborhoods.  Especially because ours wasn't built out.

So, when searching for our home all our requirements narrowed the list A LOT.  First we had to be in one specific elementary school zone.  Possibly for G and a lot for resale.  And we wanted an older home, so our list of neighborhoods just from those two items was three.  And old on this side of town is at the oldest 50's.  The other side of the highway has houses from the 20's but nobody wants to live over there unfortunately because of the schools.  So, we only had three small neighborhoods, in our entire area, to choose from.  So, we waited.  And waited.  We knew this going in, that it would be a waiting game but we were willing to wait it out.

Which, you may wonder why we were so dead set on this smaller area.  Why we picked this town.  My brother and sister in law and their kids are here.  My mom and step dad are moving here this summer but have owned a house here for years.  Jonathan's grandparents live here.  We love our church.  Short commute for Jonathan.  Small town feel.  Close to bigger cities.

Anyhow,  we looked at a lot of houses and put in a lot of offers (read about one huge fiasco HERE and more about all the offers HERE) that always ended up falling through.  One was even a new build.  I freaked out on that one.  I started crying one day because it just felt wrong and I couldn't do it.  It was even two story which I adamantly did NOT want but it's so hard to find good square footage in a one story.  I think two story homes are beautiful but I just knew it would never work with Jonathan.  Things would just pile up.  I know this.

So we decided on this older home.  The only thing I didn't get was a fire place and by adding on Georgia's room we made it a split floor plan.  I plan on adding a faux fireplace so it's all good.


Plus, this home has a lot of added bonuses that made it a winner.  Screened in back porch that I eventually want to make a part of the house.  It's on an acre (something about having a kid just made me want more space for her to run!) and I really want to add a guest cottage or art area...something like that.  We have no back neighbors.  Maybe refinancing since we got if for a steal and paying it off before/while G goes to college. We also have high hopes of buying our next door neighbor's house/lot and renting it out...eventually bulldozing it (small old home.  owned by smokers) and fencing in two acres IN TOWN!  Then, maybe building our forever home on that lot and selling this house...which is all up in the air.  I know, BUILD a forever home when we love older homes.  But, it wouldn't be in a new build neighborhood (which is actually my main issue with new builds...the neighborhood feel) and we would hire an architect so it would be 100% us which, I've already said. And, I'm rambling.

The one thing I cannot change about our house that I wish I could is the ceiling height.  But, since I've started to add curtains at ceiling height that is feeling/looking better.  And, you can raise ceilings but our roof has a very low pitch and I don't want to lose our attic space so it's a no go...plus, I can just image that would cost a fortune.

After:  Tall tree is still there I just was standing next to it when I took this picture.  And, it's not really an after...it's an "in progress"

So, all of that to say a lot went into our home buying decision.  I never thought I had that much criteria until I re read this entry.  I was very picky but it worked for us.


Lea said...

So happy for you and wish for you many happy years in your new home. We are building a new home after living in the same house for 33 years which is too long. 😀.

Melanie said...

Its looking good!! Can't wait to see more inside updates too!

Jefferson said...

What a beautiful yard you hard. That is a great place to raise a family. I remember the first home we bought. It was a tiny little place but we had an enormous yard and that really made all the difference. I have had to have a big yard in all of my houses since because we loved being outdoors.

Jefferson @ T.J. Lamb Real Estate


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