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Quote of the Day
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
I'm re-emerging from a fog tonight to share some news that has, in part, made the fog seem less dense and forboding. T, ST and I have decided on a house to make an offer on, and we're quite excited about it. We've done some pre-negotiating with the seller's realtor, and we're fairly confident that we can get the house if we want it.
House Hunters on HGTV is one of the few television shows I watch with any regularity. I love watching people go through the home-buying process, love making fun of their bad taste, love seeing their housing options, and really love seeing how they made the house they eventually bought a home. Here is my version of Midwestern State House Hunters:
Option 1. Funky Waterfront House This Traditional-style house was built in the 1970s and is one of the most interesting properties I've ever seen. The rooms are huge, but some are oddly-configured and the major working spaces (e.g., kitchen, bathrooms) need a lot of updating. The house had one owner, and her 1970s decorating tastes are all over the house: rainbow-striped wallpaper in one bedroom, psychedelic red and blue linoleum in the laundry room, cork board on one wall of another bedroom. The house is unique, though, and a true diamond in the rough. The basement is large, dry, and unfinished -- perfect for T's vision of a media room. The best feature of the house, however, is outside: it is on a sort of canal that leads right to a large lake. We could dock a boat right in our backyard and be on the lake within a minute. The lake access makes the price tag hefty and the property taxes high.
Option 2. Pond House I've talked about Pond House before, and we visited it again when we returned to New Town last weekend. As I mentioned earlier, Pond House is stuck in the 1980s and needs a lot of serious updates. The bathrooms are both hideous -- a brown tub in one and a gray tub in the other -- and the vinyl flooring in the kitchen is very dated. The outside of the house is also not a style we envisioned for ourselves. We typically prefer Colonial, Traditional, or Cape Cod style homes, and this one is definitely Contemporary. Nevertheless, this house has good bones and could be a real showstopper with some updating. The house sits on a wooded acre about 10 minutes outside of New Town. There is a clear five acre pond in the backyard, and songbirds galore. Because of the waterfront bonus and a recent assessment for city sewer, the taxes on this property are sky high. The price tag is also at the top of our budget.
Option 3. Boat Ramp House This house is in a new subdivision just blocks away from Pond House. It is new construction, and the style is Colonial. The house is lovely and has a lot of nice features, not the least of which is the cavernous bonus room over the 3-car garage. We liked all of the fixtures (e.g., dining room chandelier, faucets) and the colors for the carpet and tile. Another bonus is that the house has a huge (but not sodded) yard that backs onto the public boat access for yet another large area lake. Some of the downsides: it is a lot like our current house, so aside from the huge bonus room and an additional bedroom, we'd be moving into nearly the same configuration of rooms. Another downside is that the dining room is small, and I'm not sure our large dining room table (similar to this) would fit in it (and that table is my favorite piece of furniture, and so is non-negotiable). When we visited the house, we were excited to see the bright basement with egress windows, but dismayed to realize that the sump pump had failed and the basement floor was covered with two inches of water. The price is the same as Pond House, but the taxes are about 25% lower.