Friday, July 15, 2011

The House Hunt Continues

Update on the house hunt… we’re still looking. House #4 that was such a hot prospect? We saw it, loved it, were the fist ones to put in our application. We had high hopes. We crossed everything for days. But, just to hedge our bets, we went looking at more houses last weekend…

House #5
Very cute Victorian with a white picket fence and everything. Made an appointment to see it at 11am Saturday. Saturday rolls around, we show up at the house… to find two other families standing in the yard, too. They tell us they’ve been waiting for half an hour for the landlord to show up. Not good. I call him (luckily had his phone umber). He says, “Yeah, I just rented it an hour ago so I figured I didn’t have to show up.” Did I mention it was nearing 100 degree outside at the time? So not cool, dude. Cross #5 off our list.

House #6
This is one that was advertised as a near foreclosure that might consider a lease to own option. It’s vacant, so The Man used his real estate connections to get us in and have a look. 5 bedrooms, which rocked. A tiny living room that was 90% fireplace, which did not rock. And no master bedroom. And steep stairs. That creaked. On every step. And were a little “soft” to stand on. But the best part was the basement downstairs. Or, the beginnings of a basement that someone abandoned working on, left open to the elements, and was now filled with…. raccoons. Lots of raccoons. Cross #6 off our list.

House #7
This one was priced so very high. But we're desperate, so we went to see it anyway. It was okay. Not great, not great enough for me to pay a so very high price. No yard at all. On a hill. The landlord was currently living there, as was his extended family.

Him: “And this is the second master bedroom. There’s a bathroom there, but my mother is in the bathroom, so you can’t see it. But trust me. It’s very nice. Okay, on to the kitchen…”

Then, as I was leaving the owner said, "By the way... did I tell you we raised the rent by $500?" Uh, no. You did not. Turns out he had so many responses that TWO people (yes, TWO) actually offered him $500 a month more than he was asking to rent it to them. So, in order to be fair, he raised it $500 for everyone. Cross #7 off our list.

House #8
We showed up to this one last, exhausted, worn out, still in 100 degree heat. There was an open house from 2-4pm. We get there at 2:15. There’s a line in the front yard. The owner is taking people one at a time through the house on a tour. We wait AN HOUR in the heat with the toddler and are seriously ready to chuck it all and go live in a tent somewhere when we finally get shown in. The place is beautiful. Expensive, but beautiful. And blissfully air-conditioned. (I could get used to that!) We definitely want it! The owner says he doesn’t even need to see an application, he’ just offering it based on who emailed him first and asking if they want it...and we’re 6th in line. Doh!  Really, pal? We just waited an hour in the heat on the off chance that five people in front of us don’t want the house? Sigh.

Needless to say, we did not get House #8. And House #4 that we had such high hopes for? The landlord gave it to someone else. Because they offered four months rent up front. Crafty. I'm totally doing that at the next house.

Cross your fingers there is a next house. I'm starting to stalk homeowners at this point.

~Trigger Happy Halliday


Kima said...

Oh, Gemma, I keep hoping you and your family will find what you are looking for. Your house-hunting experiences are like nothing I've ever heard before. I am so happy (and now I realize luck) to live in a relatively small town in the midwest. The worst part about looking for a house here was finding a good house in our price range then discovering that the previous owners are doing 2-5 in the big house for meth manufacturing in the garage of said house....

Robin Kaye said...

Oh boy, Gemma. What a nightmare! Hopefully things will work out with one of them, after all, you're learning all the tricks now. I'll pray you find the perfect house for your wonderful family.

Kathy Bacus said...

Almost makes me feel fortunate that I live in Podunk, Iowa. Well, except for the frequent flooding...and the 45 minute commute...and the one hundred ten heat index...

Seriously, hope you find the perfect place soon, Gemma!

Gemma Halliday said...

Thanks, ladies!

I've lived in California all my life and honestly never seen anything like this market before. It's insane! I'm trolling for open houses this weekend. Crossing my fingers!


Linda McDonald said...

I can see some of the house hunting nightmares, oh I mean experiences, you are having someday ending up in a book. Once you are all settled happily into your dream home (which will happen soon!), don't forget some of what you have gone through with your house hunting. I know you can fit something into a story down the line.

Lucy said...

The thought that crossed my mind when you said you were going to stalk home owners was the scene from WHEN HARRY MET SALLY when Harry is talking real estate in New York. The gist of the scene is he says they should combine the obituaries with the real estate section so when someone dies you can check out there house and be ready, assuming it will go on the market.

I know, not useful information for you but it is what came to mind. :)

Good luck on the house hunt. I know it may not seem like it now but it all works out in the end and you'll eventually be glad you missed out on these houses because the perfect one is waiting for you! :)