Go Big AND Go Home!

So recently we began the search for a new home. Like less than 2 weeks ago, recently. We figured it could take a while, since there really aren't all that many properties on the market where we are looking to move.  The fall of the local real estate market has had a LOT of folks simply give up trying to sell or gunshy to put their homes on the market in the first place.  5 days ago in the middle of a snowstorm we went through a home that was a bit above our budget and a few hundred sq. ft. larger (1972 sq. ft...same year DH was born!) than what we really feel we need, mostly for shits-n-giggles.  But it pretty much nailed ALL of our must-have criteria (3 stall garage or some other space for bikes, central air, basement, good insulation, 3 bdrm, 2+ bath, laundry near bedrooms, minimal work needed).

Needless to say we spent the weekend completely paranoid and petrified that someone would put an offer on it before we'd have the chance to (even though it has literally been on the market for a year to the day--not sure how this is possible). DH even went to an open house there on Sat. to stalk the house some more and was told that they'd had 4 showings in as many days. Neither of us has had a good night's sleep ever since seeing this place.

.39 acre and a simply stunning and private piece of property in a small family-friendly subdivision with only 23 lots, including a few that will likely not sell because of small size (the one to the right of ours is maybe .25 acre) or vicinity to busy road.  There are tentative plans for a 2nd phase of about the same # of lots, from the look of things.

Can you blame us for being so tense? And the interior is just as beautiful. It's a brand new model home for a small development not far from DH's work. Asking price was only about $10k above several smaller 10 year old homes in need of updating or with floor plans and features that we didn't care for.

Our realtor in the background chillin'.  Wish we could keep the giraffe...
Yesterday we put in an offer for $10k below asking price AND requested that the carpet on the main living floor be removed and more of the high-end laminate be subbed in its place, to make the downstairs almost entirely uniform flooring (nice with cats and messy kid to not have to deal with too much carpeting). We also asked that the exterior basement walls be drywalled, washer/dryer upstairs, and garage door opener for main large door.

Today (my 40th birthday and Mardi Gras, incidentally!) they agreed to our requests ($6k+) and $5k off of asking price. What a steal!!!

A window for each cat.
As a model home this place has nearly every structural upgrade...extra garage stall, decorative windows, flooring, etc. We couldn't build this house for what we will be paying. It would likely cost at least $10-20k more!

Because we are doing a land contract (short-term financing through the seller, rather than a bank), closing is in less than 2 weeks, rather than the usual 4 weeks. None of the projects we're having done will start until after closing, though, so we likely won't do an official move until closer to April--which is fine, since it's too much of an icy/snowy/slushy mess now to try to drag everything from one household into a new one.

Once we are out of this fixer-upper we'll have the space to do some basic renovations before selling it to someone who really will make good on vows to fix it up.

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