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Easier Said Than Done

January 12th, 2009 at 08:33 am

"Never fall in love with a house" --- I've said it myself, and I firmly believe it, but it definitely is easier said than done sometimes!

On Sunday we visited a couple open houses. One of the houses ... *sigh* ...

Ideal location.
Seems to be very solidly constructed.
Wonderful floor plan.
Reasonably priced.
Great lot size w/ pretty territorial view.
DH & I both like it a lot.

It's a bit older (about 25 years), which is both a positive and negative.
Positives =
- At that age, you can really get a sense of how well built it is, because it is holding up extremely well. In fact, my DH has a very strong preference for new houses, and for him to like an "older" house it has to be very well-maintained and have a sense of solidness.
- Also, my preferred mix of furniture (2nd hand Craigslist & garage sale finds), some antiques, and some new will not look at all out of place. (Some houses are so shiny and new that you just know garage sale furniture will look odd.)
- Also a positive in my eyes is that fact that it is a tad bit out of date, which turns some buyers off and therefore keeps the price at a more reasonable level. A specific example is that it has laminate kitchen counters, and I know there are plenty of buyers out there who won't consider a house with anything less than granite. Me? I couldn't care less about things like that because they are merely cosmetic.
Negative = It is not going to be as energy-efficient as a newer house.

The other negative on the house (nothing to do with its age) is that it is a bit larger than our ideal house size.

I put a call in to the listing agent first thing this morning to get some additional information, but she has not called back, so I'm starting to wonder if the house sold. The open house was swamped, like nothing I have ever seen, and certainly not in this down market.

I must stay cool and remember this is a business transaction .....
I must stay cool and remember this is a business transaction .....
I must stay cool and remember this is a business transaction .....

9 Responses to “Easier Said Than Done”

  1. monkeymama Says:

    I have issue with the statement that the only preference of granite over laminate is the way it looks. LOL. Granite is far superior for cooking and lasts a hell of a lot longer. Wink But um, yeah,I agree - I wouldn't buy a house for the upgrades - the thing is you can always change that if you cared. (I'd personally take laminate over tile. I have less of a love affair with granite; it's more of my HATRED of tile which led us to granite countertops).

    My dream house is a completely revamped and energy efficient older home. They just don't make them like they used to, and it is nice to be in an established neighborhood. But we have become pretty spoiled by both the energy efficiency and permanence of materials in a new home. (E.g. roof is supposed to last anywhere from 50 years to forever).

    But that's the thing, you can always improve an older home.

    Well, Good Luck!!!!!

  2. scfr Says:

    LOL Monkeymama ... I was just about to come back on and revise my entry (now that there's a comment I'll leave it as-is) and say that I realize there are definite differences in quality on different types of kitchen counters. Granite's nice because you can set a hot pan on it without worrying about burning it, and because of it's speckled appearance it doesn't show crumbs as easily. On the other hand, it is porous so you have to be careful about staining. I've lived with laminate, tile, and granite, and all have been just fine with me. There are plusses and minuses to all types. In my dreams, I'd have a terrazo countertop made from recycled glass. In fact, the only type of countertop I'd shy away from is Corian ... I think Corian is nice-looking and love the ease of cleaning, but it does scratch and then it looks bad.

    But, yes, I think you got the gist of my statement, that in the big scheme of things location, quality of construction, and livability are key. Countertop material is the icing on the cake.

  3. pearlieq Says:

    Good luck!

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    If it is meant to be it will be. Smile

  5. merch Says:

    Understand completely. We went new and now my wife needs new furniture (half joking).

  6. whitestripe Says:

    we are the same: we have a lot of older style op-shop/market furniture - while our longterm goal is to slowly replace everything with good quality stuff, it's nice to have things fit in so they don't look out of place. we have a lot of 60's and 70's style furniture that will go perfectly in the house we are considering as well. Smile good luck, keep a cool head!

  7. koppur Says:

    I love old houses. My aunt and uncle have a house that was built in the mid-1650's! THAT is my dream house! Good luck and I hope you get it!

  8. whitestripe Says:

    wow koppur. i would love to see pics of that house it must be gorgeous.

  9. scfr Says:

    Update: We are sitting on our hands right now. We have an appointment to look at the most comparable house we could find in the same neighborhood this weekend. Talked to the listing agent yesterday to get some additional details, and the house has not sold. DH & I are currently discussing whether, if we decide to make an offer, we want to use a buyer's agent or go it alone. We have a definite difference of opinions on this that needs to be hammered out.

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