Hi, Readers! (all 2 of you!)
Mad props to my Mother-in-Law (wow, that’s a lot of hyphens) for trekking to Portland today to help me clean out the old house! It’s as good as, if not better than, it was when J and I moved in a year ago! How time flies! The house was full of great memories and I really will miss it! Even though it was just a rental, it really felt like “home”.
Now that we’ve closed up shop on the old house, some people have started to ask about the new house and how it compares to the old and why we chose the particular house we did. So here’s our mini house hunting story…cue music!
When J and I started looking for homes a few months back, we had created a “grocery list” of things that we wanted. We specifically categorized (of course, me, Miss Organized!) our list into two categories: Neighborhood Wants and House Wants. Those lists were further subdivided into “Need to haves”, “Want to haves”, and “Nice to haves”. The “Need to haves” were absolutely non-negotiable. Those included things like a 2-car garage, a quiet street (this was a *huge* issue in our rental home), closer to downtown and yet still not murder on J’s commute, 2-4 bedrooms, a large functional kitchen, and enough yard space for Maggie (our Mascot dog) to roam free without too much space for it to be a maintenance nightmare! Of course, we dreamed of other things in our home, but those were the most essential.
Our house search included bigger and smaller homes, older and newer, cheaper and more expensive, smaller and larger yards, bad neighborhoods and good ones, you get the idea. We probably went to around 30-40 viewings of homes just to get a “taste” of what Portland had to offer (not including the 200 or so we checked out online – God Bless the Internet and Google StreetView!). We seriously considered putting offers in on about 3-4 of those homes and the reason we didn’t on those are as varied as the homes themselves. Some houses were too far out, too much hassle (short sales being some of the worst hassles we could have dealt with), and/or too much money for how much renovation we were going to have to eventually put into it. Another consideration for most of these homes were the neighborhoods. After having spent the better part of two years devouring every home show imaginable on HGTV, I started to realize that you should never *ever* buy the best house on the block, nor the biggest, nor the weirdest, etc, etc. If you can live with a little bit of a bad paint job, ugly fixtures, etc, then the best bang for your buck is a house that needs just a little bit of TLC. You can change a paint job or a light fixture but you can never change a neighborhood or location. What are the three most important rules to real estate? Location, location, location!!!
Another consideration for us was a promise that J and I made to each other when we got married, which was our love of travel and our serious desire to see far and away places before kids essentially end our traveling days. We realized that the cute little 1920s bungalows we fell in love with were going to eat up a lot of our time (and money) such that we wouldn’t be able to travel as much as we would care. We had to think not just of what we wanted in a house, but what we wanted out of life. This was a consideration that took us awhile to realize was a “Need to have”.
So that got us thinking back to this newer-build foreclosure we saw in the cute neighborhood with the school just behind it and a park just in front… It was definitely the worst house on the block and it needed a lot of work, love, and paint, but J and I were confident that it was something we could handle! And we have many ambitious (and bold) plans for our space and we plan to do it all on our own. And so after a whirlwind weekend of “Come to Jesus” moments, we took the plunge and made an offer! More on that story another time!
It’s an adventure! We hope you’ll stay tuned for the journey!
PS I really do plan to upload more pics to this site once we get the house a little more “finished”. Stay tuned!