House Hunt Day 2 – warning: long post ahead

House Hunt Day 1 was a few weeks back, and it was an utter flop.  Well, maybe I’m exaggerating.  It did serve a purpose, which was to show us that the areas we were house hunting were wayyyy too far from work.  After 6 months of an hour long commute each way, I just can’t buy a house that far from somewhere I have to go daily.  Plus, the nearest Publix was MILES away – nope, can’t do that.

So Day 2 – well, Day 2 was much more successful.  While we didn’t end the day high-fiving and mapping out where we’ll put our furniture, I DID wake up this morning thinking about one house in particular and all the projects I could do to it.  What, me?  A project undertaker?  A house renovator?  Whoulda thought.

Unfortunately, though I am Ms. Independent, house hunting is a 2 person adventure, and the hubs (need to figure out a good nickname for him asap) ended the day cranky, overheated, and hungry.  Next time I’ll pack snacks and a change of clothes.  Tromping around 3-5 acre lots investigating foreclosed barns in the Florida heat, in August = continual bug check and swamp ass.  Sexy.  Thank God our realtor is game for the adventure.

Ready for the recap?  Ok, let’s do it.  We’ve looked at 16 houses so far.  We didn’t actually go IN to every house, because some were too disgusti–I mean, not our cup of tea, and we couldn’t figure out how to even get in to a few others.  Yesterday we drove up to 8 different homes.

House 1 – gorgeous.  The fanciest schmanciest house we looked at all day – and at the top of our price range (let’s be real, about $50k higher than we’re comfortable with, but the hubs has champagne tastes, and my mom’s been pushing the neighborhood like nobody’s business), and oh, it’s a short sale with zero negotiation room. However, while it was on over 3 acres, it was all wooded and completely under water.  The entire neighborhood is in a flood zone, and the home requires flood insurance.  No thank you, moving on.

House 2 – our realtor warned us ahead of time that after the first house, this one would be a total let down, but it had a few things going for it – fencing, cleared pasture, under our price range (yay, we can save some $$), decent size.  Unfortunately, we couldn’t figure out how to get IN to the property, so we trespassed the church next door to survey from over the fence.  Champagne Taste said hells no and I even got a look from the realtor that said “nope, don’t even try”, so we bounced and went on to house 3.

House 3 – interesting. It had a small pond in the front yard (pasture? cleared area? the front was about 3 acres) but was cool looking – for some reason, the house reminded me of the homes in Beautiful Creatures (a terrible, stupid movie about witches in the South that I tried to watch w/ my brother for sibling bonding, but I couldn’t sit through it). Anywho, the owners had clearly put a lot of TLC into the home, but to put it tactfully, “it wasn’t for us”.  The driveway was up on a hill that sloped down on both sides about 4 feet (not comfortable driving a horse trailer on that), there was no area to build a barn, no fencing, and the lake creeped me out.  Not a fan of standing water.

House 4 – omgomgomgomgomg this house was amazing.  The owner was there to meet us, and unlike previous owners, who exuded a desperate air of “please oh please like our house, please”, this guy was a trip, and he’s moving his family of 7 to Michigan to open a maple syrup farm. He built the house himself with his bare hands, and prior to that, he built custom kitchens, so needless to say, the house was amazeballs.  I’m still drooling over the kitchen, gah, amazing. Unfortunately, the house is in the middle of nowhere, it’s not cleared for pasture, and we definitely saw an alligator in some standing water. No thanks.  Kinley is a tiny little chiweenie, aka gator food, and I want to be comfortable letting her outside and not being eaten by our yard friends. Moving on. <side note – seriously, the owner was hilarious.  By the end of the tour, he was giving us parenting tips and helping me convince the hubs/Champagne Taste/Terrified of Monsters known as Babies that babies were actually awesome and we needed at least 10 of them. no joke. Hubs just stood there awkwardly – way to give me hope that we’ll have kids one day, sir, well played>

House 5 – ooooh.  ooohhhh.  yeahhhhhh.  This is the house that woke me up dreaming of projects this morning.  Absolutely adorable, recently built, brought to shambles by the last owner who is currently squatting w/ his dog and his lazy boy after what looked like a nasty break up (I shit you not, he was living in his garage on a couch and a suitcase). Upsides – well below the top of our price range, on 4+ FENCED acres, has the skeleton of a barn already built (concrete is already laid and has a roof, but roof needs repair and walls need to be put in), did I mention how adorable the house looked from the outside, and had overall “good bones” (whatever that means, but I kept repeating it as I walked into each room).  Downsides – short sale, so cheaper price may not be accepted by the bank.  It’s in a city I never thought I’d live in, one neighbor looks icky (aka mobile home, random crap all over the yard, etc – you know, “those neighbors”), the house needs a LOT of work, and oh, the previous owners smoked in the house, so the house stinks. However, Hubs was actually excited about this house too.  The fencing needs some work, but it’s functional, and we can make do with a string of electric fence around the top to keep the ponies off of it until we get around to replacing the whole thing.  Whoa…see?  I’m already thinking about it like I…ahem, we, own it.  I need to investigate how to remove cigarette smell from a home, yank out all the carpeting (and pls pls pls let’s get rid of the awful tile), repaint, demo the kitchen a little (who needs that 4th wall), clear out the a/c and heat ducts to remove ciggie smell, and roof/screen in the patio…oh, and fix the roof on the barn.  and mow…a LOT (note – price out riding lawn mowers).  Ooooh, and the driveway could use a load of gravel too.  Omg, I want to do before/after pictures so bad, I can barely stand it!

Homes 6-8 were let downs after #’s 4 and 5.  Hubs got attacked by a flying frog in the barn of House 6 and RAN out of the house itself b/c it’s a foreclosure and hasn’t had a/c. Plus, they had a wierd mother-in-law suite built in the backyard where a pool should have been and a mobile trailer (hitch still attached) behind that, so he was just too icked out to look at the place with an impartial eye. Also, super wierd but there was barbed wire all along the top of the fence line between us and ONE neighbor, and they didn’t appear to have livestock.  Who puts barbed wire up on top of decent fencing in a residential neighborhood? creeeeeepy. House 7 was actually pretty awesome but the owners are firm on the price (about $30k more than we’d EVER pay), and since it’s been on the market for 3 years, I don’t think they’ll ever move. Plus they shared their loooong driveway with a neighbor, which bothered the hubs – “Well, the neighbors are nice NOW but what if they move and crappy people move in who throw like, big parties and drive in our yard? No, no no”. Okeydoke, moving on to the last house of the day, which was my “get me the hells outta here” house – super cute barn that we never even went into because the house was just ick.  They were calling it a 4 bedroom/2.5 bath, but the half bath was in the garage (in case you just can’t make it inside?), the master bath was the main potty room of the first floor, and 2 of the 4 bedrooms were not actually bedrooms. One was a slanty closet (think Harry Potter’s hellhole underneath the stairwell) and the other was a loft.  Our realtor told us that to be considered a bedroom, a room needed 4 walls, a window, and a closet. Major fail.

Apologies for the ridiculously long post, but whatever, I don’t think people actually read this blog, so no big deal.  I’m off to research “cigarette odor removal in homes”, “riding lawn mowers”, and “how to demo a kitchen – do we need permits to destroy our own home?”.  YAY house hunting!

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