On, or about, March 2nd (yes, one day after my last post) we noticed that a house in our neighborhood that had been on the market had gone under contract ... in less than 2 weeks. And for significantly more than we'd paid for ours - and ours is larger!! We did the math and decided that we just might benefit financially by bumping up our future plans to downsize a bit once boys started going off to college.
The problem would be, with such low inventory in the housing market, finding a house that would still fit us *now*...and that we could afford. After a quick MLS search, we discovered that, while it would require some sacrifice of space or location, or both, it could be found.
What happened next was a flurry of activity which has only just come to an end.
We were able to get our home on the market within a month, and had a contract in no time...less than 2 weeks.... and for our asking price! Truly amazing in this economy, and nothing short of a miracle. Closing was set for June 14th, so we had some time to continue our search for our next home.
You'd think that was easy, right?
Well, it took about 4 months from the time we listed to the time we finally closed (and our closing only took 30 days). We saw so many houses they began to blur and we had to give them nicknames...party house, 70s house, old house, fancy house, big house. Of those, we attempted to purchase 3.... the first house was a no realtor situation, but fell through due to a very low appraisal. Second house was won away from us by a cash offer (major renovations needed). And the third house is now our home!
All I can say, is that while I loved many of the houses we saw...and especially the ones we placed offers on, I'm so glad that we ended up here. This house suits us so well!
It does need some updating, minor repairs, and exterior work (cleaning and yard work). I'm terrible at taking "before" photos...and already missed the window on some of our projects. So, here are the photos from the MLS listing:
1987, Custom built, all-brick Cape Cod.
Obviously, the front. Yard is pretty compacted...and very mossy. But there are some azaleas in that front bed. Next week those blue shutters come down and will be replaced with charcoal grey. Needs a new roof in the next couple of years. We'll completely pressure wash the entire house...including the walkways and driveway.
Here's the kitchen. Faces the front yard. I LOVE kitchen sink windows....been missing one for years.
Granite is new, but added in order to sell. Dishwasher and stove hood are original to the house. In the next year or so, we are going to have the cabinets repainted and we'll replace the light fixtures. Notice that little kitchen desk to the left? Love!
The breakfast area. Faces the backyard. You can't see the wallpaper. It was pretty unoffensive, just dated....and partially (and poorly) painted over.
Dining room. The wallpaper is original (and when we stripped it, we discovered it was signed by the installer)...a pearlescent, textured paper.
The family room. Despite the brass, I love this fireplace. It has a gas insert, which we will replace with gas-ignition system (wood-burning). The paint throughout the house (other than the wallpaper) is this stark white...and needed refreshing. The white really washed out the wood work. Carpet, while white, is very nice THICK wool carpet. We'll keep it until we destroy it and then put down more hardwoods.
The foyer - all the rooms downstairs have wonderful trim work: chair rail, dentil moldings, and hefty baseboards. All could use a little polish. Nice hardwoods (not laminate!) through foyer, dining, kitchen. The front door was really worn on the outside - with most of the varnish deteriorating. We've already had it sanded and recoated with a nice tinted varnish.
Off the family room and overlooking the backyard is a heated/cooled sun porch. The brick floor has a sealant on it making it easy to sweep clean. Already love this room!
Sadly, no MLS photos of bathrooms and bedrooms - all pretty dated with 25 year-old fixtures, vinyl flooring, oak cabinetry, but all in good shape!
I'll start posting photos as we clear rooms so you can see the paint (pale dove grey - really warms up the wood trim) and other updates.