Over the past 2 months we've been house hunting online and planning when we could go look and what we would like to see. We made our list, picked 50 homes from the 650 that matched our online search and headed down to NC. We were set up to see between 15 and 30 homes a day, it was intense. We met with our fabulous agent who drove around with us, provided us with snacks, and a wealth of information about the area, the homes, the schools. She scheduled and rescheduled, she called and got last minute showings as we drove by houses we liked. When we finished a long day (12 hours) of looking at homes and didn't like any of them she stayed up all night searching for homes we may have missed. Our last day to look at homes was approaching and we didn't have anything. We were going to have to do this again and hope something, anything popped up on the market. The problem was houses are selling in DAYS in the areas we liked. Some homes we wanted to see were only on the market 4 days, we didn't even get a chance to see them before they were gone. To say we were discouraged was an understatement.
Finally it came down to the last day and we revisited 2 homes that we had seen already, just 2. The funny this was is it was home #1 and home #4. We saw these homes within the first 2 hours of looking. I laugh at the show house hunters because they show the family looking at 3 homes and then they choose, there's always something wrong with the houses and I always think, well if you don't like them keep looking and why are they only looking at 3 homes. But here we were after sifting through over 700 homes online and looking at 40+, we were down to 3, none of which were a perfect fit for us.
Now we had to start our compromise.
*Home 1 is country living within minutes of the city. It has a large yard for the kids and is move in ready. However the square footage of the home is less than desired.
*Home 2 is a more spacious newer construction in a community with a pool and playground. The bedrooms are smaller but it has more rooms. The backyard is nice size for a development, though unfenced. The drawback to this home is the strict HOA.
*Home 3 is a unique 1970's split level that has been immaculately taken care of. It features a beautiful pool and spacious deck. However there is no garage and it is the furthest from work meaning at least a 40 minute commute without problematic traffic.
What will the buyers do?
We thought about waiting to see if anything pops up on the market but that is a gamble. What if something doesn't and you've lost your chance at what you originally liked? I know we could rent but rents are more than mortgages down there and we would have to pay to move our stuff now and then pay again to move our stuff to a home when we found one. It's a tough call to make. We don't want to settle for something we don't want but we also don't have a vault of money to throw away.
We had to eliminate one house and that was house #3. With it being the furthest from work and having very little yard (due to the pool) we thought one of the other houses would be better.
We were down to #1 and #2. The deciding factor ended up being the HOA. We live with a strict HOA now and are not happy with having to ask permission to even plant a lilac bush.
We decided to put an offer in on home #1. While it's missing the extra room that we wanted it does have a very private back yard and there is room we could add an above ground pool if we wanted to. It is also 10 minutes to work which means we will see more of daddy.
We now play the waiting game and see if the buyers accept our offer. I'll keep you posted. We may have found our next home!