Househunting part 2

Here's something else we did over the weekend...

For a couple months we've been seriously househunting.  And by that I mean, a couple months ago we looked at six places (pics here!), loved one of them, made an offer, and have been waiting to hear back (it's a short sale).  We've been watching for other possibilities, but nothing nearly as good has come up.  It's a bummer.

But, we did take a look at these places over the weekend.  Kinda liked this first one, but it's a little too far from work.  It would have to be really great in other ways for it to be a winner... not sure yet.


We also checked out this one, very new, super nice, but again, not nearly as cool as the one we made the offer on!

We've seen a couple others that aren't even worth posting pics of.  Grrr.  Since we hadn't found anything else perfect, we expanded our search criteria, then realized, nope, we're still sure of what we want!

So, it's been pretty discouraging.  We are SO ready to move!  Tired of our little apartment/townhouse thing.

The good news is that they're still building in the neighborhood we love most, so if we decide to shell out the extra for a brand new townhouse (and wait until they're done in July, boo...), we could get exactly what we want!  Here's what the new lots look like now...


We could live in this cute neighborhood!  Here I am loving the stainless steel appliances, real granite, and hardwood floors that come standard in this builder's construction...


I can't believe we might get a brand new house!!  There are a lot of pros and cons to weigh, a lot of factors to think about, etc. etc.  And it all depends what happens with this short sale... hopefully we'll find out this week.

Have you ever designed or had built a house?  Is it worth it, versus a six- or seven-year old house?  I know that's a complex question, but if you have any wisdom, pass it on!

17 comments

  1. When my husband and I were looking for a house right before we got married, we looked at a few older homes and every time we'd leave a house, we'd make a list of things that needed to be done. Neither of us have experience with renovating so it scared us to tackle it ourselves, but we didn't know if contracting out was in our budget. We also didn't want to live in a house for a while before making it into our home.

    Then an opportunity to buy new came up and after looking at the neighborhood and sitting down with our realtor to crunch numbers, we were sold. We got to pick out our lot, choose which house layout we wanted, pick out our exterior & interior colors, and, what I think is the best part, watch our home get built! It took them a little over 2 months from foundation to turn key and it was SO worth it.

    Our builders were amazing & did a "walk through" every 2 months for the entire first year to make sure everything was still working right. Grout line cracked from the house settling? No problem, they fixed it. Carpet bulling away from tile? They fixed it. It was amazing. Now, I know not every builder is like that, but the fact that we knew the work was brand new and insured made us feel better about our decision.

    We'll be in this house for a good 5 or 6 years, but after that, I can't say I'll buy a "used" home.. Not having to worry about underlying problems is amazing. I would definitely say that if the short sale falls through, buying new is an amazing process. Especially if stainless steal and hard wood floors comes stock! And since it looks like the same builder has done the entire neighborhood, you might even get upgrades added in as a selling feature.. We asked for gas lines added in for the dryer & stove when we put in our offer and they gave it to us! Good luck!!

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    1. Wow, great to hear your story! I will look forward to getting to know the builders better as we meet with them... definitely some things to think about!

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  2. We went with old (straight out of 1969) and did a lot of updating for very little cost. Pulling up the carpets to reveal the hardwood, paint, de-wallpapering, etc... It was a lot of work, but now we know for sure that we have improved it and can sell it if we have to move and make a chunk of money on it. Plus, it was the largest and the least expensive house we looked at, in an awesome neighborhood with mature trees and big lots. We have several friends who went the brand new route and after having a family, every last one of them was totally stuck with their houses. They are all worth much less than they paid, a few of them had to foreclose and on one of them, the workmanship is so shoddy, they have a lot of work to do just to get it ready to sell! I would say, if you're planning to stay there for at least 7-10 years, new might be worth it. At least you could turn a profit by then! But, if this is a 3 year plan, steer clear of brand new.

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    1. That sounds like a lot of fun! But I'm not sure I have time right now... and we do want to be in there for 5-10 years, I think... thanks for the food for thought!

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  3. I swore I'd never buy a new house again. It was a horrible experience. Full of pitfalls and changes and everyone one needing an extra $5K that we didn't have. Never never never

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    1. Eeek! Scary, but good to hear! I would hate if that happened... maybe we need to be able to just walk away if they start doing that to us!

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  4. Loving those cabinets. I'm still a renter, so I don't have any advice to offer. But good luck!

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  5. My husband and I are in the same short sale boat! it is not fun but i love our (hopefully) and i think that with such a long term-commitment its worth the wait to get a. something perfect and b. something that is less expensive. I know for sure i wont regret not spending an extra $20,000. But we are living with my parents and its not exactly easy or fun. I just hope our banks get a move on!!!

    Best of luck :)
    Linda

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  6. We bought an old 1931 australian cal bungalow and are doing it up slowly, she's going to be a beauty when were finished. But its a LOT of work. By the way do you not get a backyard?

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    1. That sounds amazing! But yeah, a lot of work. I love old houses, but not at this point in my life.

      The townhouses we like don't have backyards but each set of 8 has a central park area between them, so the doors open onto it. I don't want a yard--I am terrible at maintaining them!

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  7. Anonymous2/07/2012

    First, second and third rules of house buying. Location, location, location. The age of the house is way less important than where it is. Homes with two or even better three bedrooms, located near good schools always sell quickly which is always good as you never know what your future may hold. Good luck :)

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  8. My parents bought new twice, and it worked out both times! Good developers and a lot of DIY savvy on both sides of the family.
    I'm currently living with roommates/homeowners in a house from the '60s, and here's the biggest thing I've learned: GET A HOME INSPECTION.
    The home inspector came over to our house in the end of December at about 8 in the morning and stayed until noon or 1 and walked through the entire house with a camera and a list, and then walked through it with myself and one of the home owners. I learned a lot - he ended up laying out how old the furnace was, how much it'd cost to replace it and when it would need it, etc.
    Really, the trick is knowing that if something doesn't look right, it's okay to ask!

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  9. More great tips and thoughts, thanks, readers!

    Oh, I can't wait till we at least figure out what we're going to do...

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  10. I think buying new/ building new would be nice. I'm speaking from a place where I'm tired of home improvements, just maintenance is enough work. My question is... Where is the guest parking? We had friends who lived in a similar community and parking was kind of a nightmare because even the owners couldn't fit their cars in those garages and so street parking was crazy.

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  11. Anonymous2/11/2012

    Hi, When my husband and I were first married (over 27 years ago-yes, we did marry young), we purchased our first new construction townhome. It was wonderful, it was brand new so there wasn't any older paint to cover up, re-decorating to do, or floors to be replaced, etc. Being a Realtor for 20 years, the most important aspect, is location. If you can manage purchasing a new home, I highly recommend it, you will not be disappointed. Plus "new" construction homes sometimes come with a short "builder's" warranty, so if something is wrong with the unit, sometimes the builder might be able to fix it at little to no cost to the owner. Wishing you the best in your house hunting and purchasing (it really is a wonderful blessing and feeling to own your "own" house and make it a loving home!) Charlotte.

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  12. The townhouses you're looking at look like they're in the same development that my best friend's mom lives in! (In the Sellwood/Westmoreland area.) If that's the case, I still don't know what owning the house is like, but the craftsmanship and flow of the townhouse is quite nice.

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    1. These are actually in Beaverton, but I think I may know the ones you're talking about! My friend lived in one very similar and T love the 3-story layout!

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