Sort of. Kind of. I’m still scanning property listings, but alongside properties with horse potential we’ve been looking at just houses for less $$$ and within walking distance of a downtown.
On Sunday, we went back for a third viewing at a house that we’ve both fallen a little bit in love with. We’re still cautiously investigating all of our options, but this is feeling really good.
So that, for the first time, is the actual house we’re looking at.
The basics: 4 bed, 2 bath 1928 Dutch Colonial. 2700 square feet on 0.5 acres (double lot). City water, city septic. Primarily oil heat powering a steam radiator system, but confusingly also has baseboard electric and a gas stove (the heating kind) in one room. Attached 2 car garage.
The budget (1 being bottom, 5 being top): Let’s say a 2.5. The house by itself is a 2, but when we run the numbers on necessary renovations it moves to a 2.5.
The pros: Exceptionally well-maintained, large kitchen, tons of space, huge living room, office space for me, man-cave space for the fiance, sun-room (on the right), sleeping porch. Gorgeous exposed original custom maple throughout – including hardwood floors in perfect condition under the current carpet. Nice but not spectacular neighborhood with an excellent location for both commutes, and 8 minutes from the barn (not that I timed it…). School system is somewhat meh but that is not really a concern for me.
Overall, the biggest pro is how right it felt the first time we walked into it. Fiance and I haven’t agreed wholeheartedly on a house yet, and after 45 minutes in this space we were in love.
The cons: Taxes are the highest of any property we’ve looked at. The city it’s in is on a definite upswing but it’s too early to tell how far that will go: will it become a trendy young professional city, or will it level off as the half-industrial city it currently is? Will property values really rebound?
The size will make it expensive to heat through the winter, though it has a ton of room for energy audit improvements.
Biggest cons: it needs a not-inconsiderable amount of rewiring to remove old knob & tube, and two new bathrooms. They are livable, but not terribly functional. Both are 75% gut jobs. It needs a few thousand dollars in energy audit improvements as well, though I would probably do that on any house we buy.
The intangibles: It just feels right. I can’t explain it more than that.
Stay tuned, I guess!