Friday, April 17, 2009

Bob the Realtor

Chris and I decided a month or two ago that we would begin casually looking for a house. It all started when we went to get haircuts at Bayberry Hairstylists. Chris's stylist, Nina, mentioned that she had just bought a small house and only pays $400 a month for the mortgage and taxes. Until then, we weren't sure if we would even buy one this year, but we figured it was worth taking a look.

Nina gave Chris the card of Bob Allen, her Remax Realtor. We sent him an e-mail and a few days later, he had us meet with a mortgage guy from Bank of America to get an idea of our price range and how much monthly payments would be. As it turns out, we could easily find the kind of house we wanted--sort of small, not too big of a yard, but with a spacious living room--and pay less or equal to what we pay for rent now.

Sounded good to us, so we started browsing through listings that Bob sent us. We got busy for a few weeks (see Disney World posts, lol) and didn't look at any houses for a while. When things slowed down, I started going to look at a few houses with Bob while Chris worked and brought home the bacon so we could afford a house. haha The list of possible houses grew, and we started to narrow down what exactly what we wanted.

Yesterday, Bob and I dragged Chris along to go back over the 4 houses I thought Chris should see. Funnily enough, we liked houses all over the spectrum. There's a great little houses for $59,000 with an unfinished attic that could easily be turned into an enormous master suite. There was a nice one for $74,900 that needed some cleaning and a kitchen makeover (pictured above). And then there was a large 1600-square-foot home with four bedrooms and no work needed (pictured below). We decided we could see ourselves living in any of them. We were all set to go back and discuss our options when Bob sprang another one on us: a small ranch for $89,000 that just went on the market the day before. Only two bedrooms, one bath, but new roof, furnace, siding, hot water heater ... you get the picture. So we decided to swing by on our way home and see if we could get in to see it.

We pulled up to a very sweet little house in a gorgeous suburb. We realized then what all those cute little city houses we had already looked at were missing: the house was set back a bit a ways from the road, and there was so much space between it and the neighboring houses. It felt completely different than the other houses.

We were eager to take a look inside. The seller's agent was still at the house, taking pictures and getting things cleaned up. We even watched her wrangle the "For Sale" sign into the front lawn. Lucky us, Bob managed to get us in to be the first people to see the house. It was clearly built in the 1950s (Bob said it was in the second generation of houses built after WWII) and obviously decorated in the 1970s. Bright green shag carpeting, old paint on the walls, bad wallpaper, the whole package. haha

But the living room was spacious, the master bedroom bigger than many of the ones we've seen, and a large kitchen with plenty of counter space. It met just about all of our requirements. Because of the great neighborhood, we knew it wouldn't be on the market long. We circled around a few times, talked through where the furniture would go, planned out future projects like putting sliding glass doors in and a deck out back ...

We headed home to get lunch and talk things over. About an hour later ... we put in an offer on the house! We drove over to the office last night to sign the papers, and Bob was going to try to track down the seller's agent right after we left. So now we wait. (I've come full circle and am back to playing the waiting game. haha) We're hoping to hear something soon, and I'll be sure to post the news right away. Fingers crossed that we'll get it ... and that I'll be able to tear out those awful carpets easily if we do. :-P