House hunt update: I’m moonie

Sunday, my husband and I went to look at a few more houses. Even though we have formally put in a backup offer, that’s just in case the current deal goes bad. The advice given to us has been to continue to search and if we find something, we can call off the backup offer. This is smart I am told, because if we find another, better house, we need to act quickly.

That’s easier said than done. It’s hard not to hope something will go wrong for someone. Ewww, I can’t believe I just typed that notion out! The better way to think, and the way I really DO think, is that our bid gives some comfort to the seller since she is moving to relocate for a job and is on a timeline. She need not worry if something goes wrong with her house sale, we’ll step right up, and we’ll be ready and willing to take the house! If all goes well and our bid isn’t needed, I won’t be surprised and I will have been busy with the search for our new happy home. That’s win-win-ish. In the mean time, I’ve mentally added window boxes to the windows, a picket fence and garden in front, some trees and shrubs dividing the big lot into garden rooms, and of course left a spot for Bob’s new workshop.

Resale value verses house style
I’ve been struggling with the idea of resale value, and what is that? How is it defined in the areas we are looking? And, can I really fall in love with the kind of house that best retains resale value, or even increases in value? Every region of the country has a sort of common style that is popular. In Texas it’s the ranch style house, or plantation style with big entryways, or anything rock and metal roofed. In California it was the California ranch, or Mediterranean, or California Bungalow. Here in Virginia, I’m seeing Ramblers, Colonial, Saltbox, Cape Cod, Split Foyer, and what they call a Rancher which seems to be a bigger Rambler, but not as big as a Ranch. Most houses are averaging well under 1500 square feet, which was on the smallish side of average in Texas, or California. Of course I am talking homes in the lower price range we are looking in, because there are more than the fair share of what people lovingly call McMansions–they are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e- here.

But, I’m very trying to like one of those normal styles I mentioned. It’s hard though. I seem to be drawn to the odd and the arty, and, the more a house looks like Frank Lloyd Wright even winked at it, the more I am drawn to the style. If you look back at the houses we have looked at, there really isn’t a lot that is common. I thought I wanted one of those red brick ramblers you see everywhere. But, they are very small, small closets, small everything. So, I’ve more started with the space needed, like worshop for Bob, garden space, not too many stairs to carry groceries up to the kitchen, etc. I like storage and closets so that’s important, but I can usually see potential that others might miss.

So, here’s our Sunday list of houses we viewed, and remember the numbers are the order in which we have viewed them from the beginning of our search several weeks ago:

#18 Lakeview Court in Stephens City, VA – No picture because the picture posted on this house was taken 10 years ago. That’s a tip-off for you.  The house looked nothing like the picture, nor did the landscaping which had mostly died or been pulled out. Again we found many more beds in a 3 bedroom house and furniture was oddly stacked here and there. Status: Nope

Then we took Bob to view house #16 from the other day. He definitely saw possibilities, and frankly my second view wasn’t nearly as bad as the first. I think this might be a good house for us so I moved it to a higher level of consideration.

Status upgrade: Possible

#19 Barn House – Next we drove to a late entry on the viewing list. I confess it was curiosity more than anything. The house seemed huge yet listed 1 bedroom. I checked multiple sources and they all said it was just 1 bedroom. Then I read further, the house was built into a barn that was built in 1900. It was in a geographically desireable area. Our realtor was curious too, since it has been on the market for more than a year. Awesomeness! This house is calling to me. On so many levels.

Status: Calls to me

#20 & 21 – Over the river, through the woods, up the mountain – Next we visited several houses that were not built on paved roads. I don’t get it. They were nice houses, just not for us. And any time your ears pop on the way to a house, it’s trouble. Status: Nope & Nope

#22 Brown house on creek – This very strange house was long and low looking from the outside but once inside, it was all wonky, up steps, down steps, little rooms, littlier rooms, then it dawned on us, it’s a mobile home with additions built around it! It wins a prize for the ugliest house ever, more for being super duper brown. The garage shop and the creek was nice though. Status: Nope

So, it’s been two days since I got to see Barn House and I’m still all moonie. We’ll see. We’ve decided to sit tight. Poe house would still be the smartest choice. I do still have a house list, even some new ones today to look at. I’m trying to talk myself out of the Barn house. Think resale value, our realtor says. It’s just not that sensible. But is that what’s right for us?

It’s time to pray. Your prayers are welcome!



About Robin Arnold

Reader, writer, gardener, geek, maker of homes in several states, now settled in Virginia with husband Bob, and Hazel and Wilson the tabby cats.
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One Response to House hunt update: I’m moonie

  1. Maureen says:

    I think there was a problem when I tried to post a few minutes ago.I like the barn house. It looks intriguing, and I can visualize it as a really wonderful place.I'll be thinking of you as you continue your rounds. House-hunting is not one of my favorite things to do, though I do enjoy going to decorator showhouses. Should we ever leave the place we have now, we will be looking for a place that takes care of itself–and us.Wishing you luck.

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