Wednesday, May 7, 2008


That's THE ONE.

I loooooooove it.

That said, here's the obligatory pros and cons list:


  • The location is good, both for re-sale and for our purposes. There is stuff we can walk to, including a park.
  • This house is totally move-in ready!
  • The house is vinyl sided, so we won't have to worry about painting it. In this climate, this is a big issue because here houses need to be painted frequently.
  • Most of the windows are updated.
  • There is a new furnace.
  • There is a lovely little inground pool-- K. will LOVE it.
  • It is the perfect size. Not impossibly large, but not too small for our purposes either.
  • Our agent thinks this house is likely underpriced, but it is not a foreclosure or a short sale. She just listed a house (without a pool) in this same neighborhood. It didn't have a garage and was listed at $267,000. She immediately received six offers. This is a DEAL (though the downside to that is that we're probably going to have to fight for this one, and it is already the top of our price range).
  • All appliances are included in the price, and they are newer appliances.
  • The mantel on the fireplace is beautiful, there is a window seat in the living room looking out to the front street (M will love it!) and there are a few nice built-ins and storage spaces throughout...including a nice built in bookcase in the smaller bedroom.
  • The staircase is nice and wide (easier for moving furniture, and feels more comfortable too)
  • There are a lot of windows, for great ventilation. The ceilings are somewhat high, which adds to the house's good open feeling.
  • The house has been well maintained and feels like it is in good condition. The floors are also in relatively good shape.
  • The master bedroom, while it doesn't have its own bath, is very close to the bathroom and is very large: 14x20 at least. A second bedroom is also a good size.
  • There is a lovely sunroom type space on the first floor that could be used as an office or playroom, or for any number of purposes. It's great!
  • There is an enclosed sunroom type porch next to the pool.
  • The driveway is shared. Often this would be a big draw-back. However, there is still a two car garage (apparently with a garage door opener), the driveway is well maintained and wide enough for its shared use, and it also means maintance is shared with the neighbors (and word is, the neighbor's sons shovel it).
  • The seller's agent is in the same office as our agent, which may give us some advantage in getting an offer accepted.


  • This is at the top of our price range, and the taxes on this property are also rather high.
  • There is not a real back or side yard. There is the pool, which is gated. Then there is also a paved area that the current owners have set up as a nice children's play space. In addition, there is a small area outside of the paved and pool areas. It currently has stones as well as a stone walkway, and a patio-swing. The no-yard factor is actually a pro for us because experience shows we can't maintain a yard very well. We have a very hard time with that. However, we do have a large dog to think about. On the other hand, our dog is 12 years old (so not buying a house because of her may not be adviseable), and there is a place for her to go outside even if not ideal.
  • There is asbestos on some pipes in the basement. However, they are encased, so it would only be an issue if we decided to do updates. We'll talk to the inspector about it during the inspections.
  • The roof appears to be older. It may need to be replaced in the next few years (we'll find out in inspections).
  • The heat is by oil, and there is only one heating zone=expensive. This is something, however, that we could probably address in the years to come given that there isn't major work to do elsewhere in the home aside from the roof.
  • One of the bedrooms is very small, probably 8x8 or something. And there is no room for expansion. This is an issue for foster licensing, but because one of the bedrooms is very large, if G. and I were willing to take the smaller one at some point, we should be able to continue being licensed for the number of children we would like to care for.
  • There is likely lead paint inside that we'll need to get removed.
  • There will be costs associated with maintaining the pool, though the good news is that it seems well-maintained currently and they have done some updates on it.
  • There is no open, neighborly porch.
  • The basement does get some water, which is VERY common in this city, particularly with this type of foundation (however, there is a sump pump and a dehumidifer already installed).

I've called our agent, and she is at a doctor's appointment right now. She is going to call the selling agent and get a feel for urgency. If there is not an offer on the table yet and no word of one yet, I will meet with our agent tomorrow at 11am to write one. Otherwise, her brother (another agent) will be writing the offer with me later today, or she may do it after her appointment. Updated at 4:30 to say that she checked with the selling agent and we were the first to come in. The next showing isn't until tomorrow at noon, so we'll be able to write our offer tomorrow at 11am. I am so nervous about getting this offer right, so we are competative but don't break the bank. I really, really, really WANT this house, and I KNOW it will get other offers. It is unfortunate that I will do this without G. having seen the property, but she said it sounds GREAT, so she is on board and excited. She just can't wait to see it.

Side note: The bad news is I was basically out of my office all day. I worked much of the day Monday (my usual day off), and a lot of Tuesday (despite missing my day off). My assistant had to be out both days for personal reasons. Today I was running late because I was seeing G. and the kids off to New York. Then G. called late this morning to say she got a flat tire. She usually can change a flat tire, but was having difficulty getting the tire off. She was on the Mass Pike and AAA said that when you are on the Mass Pike, they can't send somebody out. The state police have to come. The state police came, called somebody to help, but the folks were taking forever, and it was past the kids' nap time, and everyone was in quite a state. So I stayed on the phone with her until help arrived. Part of the time she had me on speaker phone talking to the kids, who were miserable, while she kept working to try to change the tire.

I came to my office this afternoon and found a note from my assistant saying she wasn't coming in tomorrow but would be in on Friday, and that she wouldn't have time to get several things done. I don't mind at all. But I called to check and make sure everything was okay, and she seemed short with me. I have been in late a lot lately, and I know that makes her work harder because we can't chat in person about stuff. I value her so much, and I am terrified that I have really let her down. I have such a knot in my stomach. I hope everything is okay with her and between us as well. She is amazing! I have always been paranoid about my own inadequacies, and whenever anything like this happens, I always assume I am making someone's life miserable and that our relationship is coming undone. I know there are a thousand other things that could be happening, but boo hoo! I am having super, super anxiety.


Sara said...

Good luck getting the house! It sounds awesome. And I'm thinking of you, getting through stress. It sounds like too many things all at once.

Veloute said...

Good luck with the house! It's beautiful. House buying is so stressful, isn't it?