Our realtor, Matt, came to our house fully prepared. He had printed up comps on the yellow house (poor guy! He wasn’t privy to the long, rambling conversations we’d had that led us to conclude we should not, in fact, pursue that one) and on our house here on Trotters Lane. We were really pleased by his assessment of the house’s value, and we caught him up on our new plan. There were four homes on the MLS that looked, on paper, like they would work for us going forward. When Chris had started investigating building our own house, we had created a list of what we would want a floorplan to include.
- Formal Dining Room
- tray ceiling
- Library (envision this being opposite the dining room at front of home)
- Preferred center staircase
- Powder Room
- Kitchen (with eat-in space)
- Pantry space
- Living Room
- Coffered (beams in a grid) ceiling
- Gas fireplace (stone? With wood mantel; capability to mount TV above)
- French doors out to deck
- Guest Bedroom with Ensuite bathroom
- Mud Room
- Master Bedroom with Ensuite
- Closets with built in shelves,rods
- Three ‘kids’ bedrooms
- Hall bathroom
- Laundry room
- Family Room
- Home Theater
- Craft Room
- Powder Room
- Walkout Access to Backyard
- 3-car garage
- Front porch
We set aside the following Thursday, July 10th, to meet and tour houses; Matt left and got to work. When the day dawned, we gave the kids each a clipboard and a pencil, so they could write down their impressions of each place and feel part of the discussion, and set out.
We toured house #1. It’s in a charming neighborhood; one of my very best friends in Owensboro recently moved a block away. It’s been on the market for about a year, and I’ve been dreaming of moving into it for almost as long. Romantic visions of the shady, rolling backyard – our kids riding bikes together – jogging up the street to hang out in each other’s kitchens — I mean, I was *seriously* jonesing for this home.
It was built in the late 1970s, and while it has had some updates (primarily in the lovely kitchen), it needs some TLC (primarily in the sad walkout basement). It was a steal at $259,000 – and at that price, we could afford to rip out the entire basement and put it whatever we’d like! But Chris isn’t keen on living in a place being torn up by contractors; the four bedrooms are very close together upstairs; and it only had a 2-car garage.
House #2 was huge and had nearly everything on our “if we build” list.
The colors on the walls were NOT our style, but we aren’t afraid of paint. The master bedroom had a closet… oh, that closet… it was bigger than my first apartment. There were some updates needed, though – the powder room and the basement guest room were straight outta the 80’s. The lovely backyard would need a fence. And while the neighborhood is nice, we don’t know anyone who lives over there, which is a minor point against.
We’re personally acquainted with the sellers of House #3. It was my favorite, based on the listing information. Checked off all the “build it” boxes, and other than a few walls to paint, was move-in-perfect!
The fenced-in backyard was absolutely lovely, with landscaping right up my alley, a huge playset for the kids, and a great lake view from the upstairs deck. The master suite was dreamy, even though it had wallpaper in the bathroom – we both, surprisingly, loved it! However, the last house was the one Chris had preferred from the listings, so on we went.
And we drove up to this:
From the very first impression, Chris was smitten. The stone, the circle drive, the three-car side-load garage. This house doesn’t fit everything on our list; there’s no basement and no media room, no center staircase and ‘traditional’ formal living and dining layout. But the bedrooms are perfect; there’s a jack-and-jill bath that would be great for our girls to share while Jonas would have a bedroom and a full bath slightly apart from them. (Looking ahead to the teenage years, that’s a great idea!) There’s a mudroom and a pantry and a craft room, and the backyard space is huuuuuuuge. There’s 5 bedrooms, 4 baths, 3 fireplaces, and we were fully impressed.
That night, neither of us could sleep. We woke up Friday morning and decided that, with House #4, we could throw out the plans to build. We started a punch list and told our realtor we were going to list this house. Our plan was to take a few weeks to get this house ready; put it on the market; and then draft an offer.
A few days later, Matt came to us with an alternative. The sellers had been on the market for 47 days with no offers; they were happy to hear of our interest and were hoping we would write an offer BEFORE our home was listed. We put it together on Monday (July 14) and after much countering late into the night, came to an agreement. We signed the official counter-offer package on Tuesday, and then started scrambling to get this house ready!
Our house officially hit the MLS on Friday, July 18th. Our purchase of House #4 is contingent upon the sale of this place, so we are waiting in patient hope that everything will fall into place. (But we’re in agreement that if, for some reason, this house doesn’t sell within the time parameters and House #4 gets a competing offer, we will take that as a divine sign that it wasn’t meant to be our house at all.) Our realtor feels very confident that we’ll get a lot of traffic and can sell within just a few weeks. Pray along with us that he’s right!