House Hunting: Take One

I know you are all just dying to hear about our house hunting expedition last Saturday.  Just dy.ing!

Okay, no, you’re not; but I’m going to tell you anyway.

Gah!

We looked at about half a dozen houses and there were only two that we could actually see ourselves living in.  We would have looked at more, but it takes a lot of time to drive from one teeny tiny town to the next teeny tiny town, and when you’re only looking at one house per town (because there are only three or four to begin with and not everybody is moving all at once . . .) it takes a while.  I think our time would have been better spent looking at more houses actually within the city limits of Radiator Springs.

Here is the thing we found about Radiator Springs and the schools:  open enrollment.

See, there is the Radiator Springs District, and then there are two other districts within Radiator Springs.  The first is rated A for abysmal and the other two are rated F for fantastic.  Turns out if you live within the Radiator Springs District you have the option to send your kids to one of the other two districts which are rated Fantastic.  That opens up options for us in town.

At least, you’d think it does.  But real estate there?  Well, either the house is too small, or the yard is too small, or the yard floods, or the house floods, or everything is just perfect but out of our price range.  Gah!

So we found a house in town that I love, love, love!  It is a three story plus basement (though really, I think it would be more honest to list it as a 2.5 story).  It has a fragillion square feet.  It was built in 1915.  I love, love, love houses that were built way before I was born, way before my parents were born, even a bit before my grandparents were born.  They just have more character, more woodwork, more French doors, more pocket doors, more cool stuff in general.

Anyway, this house had three full baths, two or three half baths (I honestly don’t remember) big rooms, high ceilings, a veranda off the master bedroom, granite counter tops in the kitchen, the sunniest basement I have ever seen.  It has a river view but is far enough away and high enough that it won’t flood.  It is a five minute drive for McH to go to work and a five minute or less drive to a park with the best playground I have ever seen.  It is also fantastically close to the library and a park right on the edge of the river (which was completely under water when we were there).  The property taxes are less than what we pay right now.

The down side?  The home owner’s insurance would triple.  And the water rates?  Good grief, the water rates!  I didn’t think we’d ever find water rates higher than what we’re currently paying, but guess what?  Why, in a town with two rivers that have a bad habit of flooding, is water so danged expensive?  They have more fricken water than they need!  I know, I know, it probably has something to do with actual useable water and water treatment and blah blah blah.  Also, the yard, though big enough, kinda, slopes.  A lot.  Actually, we’d have to throw up some fencing before we moved in probably, you know, to prevent the dogs and children from falling off the back yard and onto the busy road below.  Yes, below.  Waaaayyyyy below.

Then there was the other house we like.  It actually reminds me a lot of our current home, but it’s a bit bigger than ours and a ton more open than ours.  I really like that whole open feeling.  It is on four acres.  Four! Flat! Acres!  The woman who currently lives there has painted in all the colors I like.  Her master bath is the color of my dining room, and her dining room is the color (and same paint texture effect) as my living room.  It is not as big at the 1915 house, but it big enough and it feels like home.

The down side?  There are only 280 some odd people in that little town.  Only 177 households.  Seriously, my church congregation right now is bigger than that.  And this house?  On the outskirts of that town.  There are six houses across the street.  To see more, you have to go the 8/10 of a mile in to town.  Now, granted, 8/10 of a mile isn’t that far, but when you’re looking for neighbor kids for your own kids to play with, I don’t know . . . call me overprotective or whatever, but 8/10 of a mile seems like a ways to send my kids traipsing through uncharted corn fields to go play with their friends.

Plus, they’d have to cross the creek (which we’d partially own).  Not that the creek is a big deal (it doesn’t flood in this little town) but going up on the road to cross the bridge . . . did I mention I’m overprotective?  I mean, it’s not like there is a lot of traffic on that road, but it is an unmarked country road so the traffic that does come through moves at a fair clip.

Anyway, back to the whole down side thing.  It would be about 20 minutes for McH to go to work (which also means 20 minutes for us to go into “town” to do anything.  Unless of course we wanted to instead drive only 10 minutes into the town of 9,000 people and one grocery store.  Oh wait, and a super wally mart, I think).

And then there is the 1/3 acre pond which is right outside the back door and in which at least one of my children (Tank Boy) would surely attempt to drown.  McH keeps trying to sell the pond as a good thing:  built in food storage in case of some kind of national crisis or natural catastrophe.  The pond is stocked with bass.  Did I mention that he hates fishing?  Did I mention that I hate gutting fish?  Did I mention I’ve never actually gutted (or whatever it is you actually do to) a fish?  Did I mention that I never want to?

So now we have a list of other homes that are in town that we want to see.  They all either have teeny tiny yards or not enough space inside, but I think we need to look anyway, before resigning ourselves to living 20 minutes away from nowhere.  At least the schools are good there.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.

PS — We still don’t have the actual official offer in hand.  McH was talking with the CFO of his current company (said CFO actually being an employee of the Great Mamma Corp. even though he is CFO at Red Headed Step Child, Ltd) and CFO said he didn’t have the actual official offer in hand until 2 days before he was supposed to start.  That doesn’t do much for my stress level.

5 thoughts on “House Hunting: Take One

  1. Good luck with the house hunting! At least you have a couple of reasonably good choices, even if you do have to compromise a bit. The 1915 house sounds beautiful and mysterious.. I’m a fan of old, romantic houses, too.

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  2. Oh my gosh, those are some small towns! There are about 200 houses in my little development, which is just a small part of the big housing development that has eight times that many!!! It’s hard for me to even wrap my mind around a town that small. 🙂 The 1915 house sounds amazing. Three full baths and three half baths? You’ll need a full time house keeper. Where I live, there’s not a lot of options as far as really neat old houses with character goes. I’m a little envious.

    For the record, I have been waiting to hear about the hosue hunting. It’s stressful when you’re doing it, but fun to hear about when someone else is doing it. 🙂

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  3. House hunting is a big fat pain. Those houses sound nice, but I’d have issues with the Giant Slope and the Pond of Death too. (I made hubby put a protective grate on our one foot wide fountain in the last house – I’m that paranoid) I also don’t like any houses that have balconies-inside or outside (I call them “fall off and die” places) – yeah, Hubby just loves looking at houses with me.
    I really like small towns – we live smack dab between two in the middle of nowhere and while I don’t like the long drive everywhere, I love the quiet and solitude.
    Hope you find the Perfect Place soon!!

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  4. oooh I like the sound of the first place too. It would be pretty cool to be in town, as opposed to kinda in the middle of nowhere. And the pond would be an issue for me too…we had to cover ours up with lattice work for our home study – our landlords wouldn’t let us just drain it. I wish we could see pictures! But I am sorry that this is so stressful for y’all.

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  5. I love the show House Hunters, but I realize it’s all glorified and made to look nice. They all get to choose from 3 perfect houses. I do hope that you find a nice house that you like.

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