House hunting Day 2

Will I see something pleasing today? After the Day 1 viewing, admittedly I was a bit dampened to see nothing that gives me something more positive than negative vibes but I insist that Day 2 will be better as I had 6 houses to go about and there must be at least 1 I can pinpoint and KIV till I work down the list of 15 to 20 houses on the recommended Listings. With Bento lunches all packed for three of us, my kids and I set out with agent K again for our quest of our next home.

Last minute email from Agent K that one of the owners was sick and not showing…bad sign? So, the list went down to 5 houses. This time, we really utilised 3 hours completely to view all the houses and I learned something new everyday.

The first one was a Cape style. I always love a wide stretching one floor plan with split levels to define the perimeters of all different rooms and sections of the house. And today, I finally seen something that has always appealed to me… seriously, this Cape was exactly the floor plan that I will really love living in! I never expected the living area is so Big, seriously, I can play hide and my kids can seek me and will never find me! After living in a boxy townhouse, I think it is time for me to live independently from my kids, far away tucked in one corner while they go about with their activities and noises at some other part of the house :). This Cape house is exactly the same age as me and although a bit grey from the outside, the overnight snow somehow brings out its charm. For once, I went into the house not bothered about the kitchen, but the overall plan of the house. Now, that really  is what I called “got Feel“! Despite being empty and cold without any occupants at the meantime, my kids were excited checking out every corners. In my mind, I can only think why is there no one living in here?

The kitchen had wallpaper and old cabinets but overall in good condition. Nothing new paint, appliances and hardware cannot do and if I would to re-do this kitchen, I will tear down the walls and cabinets to open up and join the dining room. There was another big window in the dining room and you can imagine how bright it can be with an open concept!  I have seen alot of beautiful bathrooms in magazines but always thought why people would want to splurge money to make a bathroom like they will ever stay there forever? But after seeing a beautiful master bedroom bathroom with a nice soaking bath tub, I understood why! Absolutely beautiful with natural lights beaming from every corner and that! Only the Master Bedroom and this Bath sits at the corner of the elevated 2nd floor of this house and the other 3 bedrooms with extra bathrooms were on the main floor with the rest of the living spaces.

And of course, this Cape continued to surprise me as we walked down the basement stairs, accessible from the Main floor. Recessed lighting and color scheme and all the moldings, done and exactly what I will go for! Most of all another access door to the backyard. Oh my, this house just kept going and my kids shouted from the other corner “hey Mom, we found another room here!” Why doesn’t anyone live in this amazing house? And so I opened that white door to the right of the ceiling light and there it was… I saw a Sump Pump. Only when I started looking for houses in this area, I learned about Sump Pump which are put in to check the water level during heavy rain or snow season. Once the water running through the grounds of a property reaches a level, the Sump Pump is automatically triggered to pump the water away from the house area to avoid flooding. There was nothing musty nor foul smelling in the basement and fair to say, the Sump Pump was put there as a precautionary step only and I can only imagine the Owner must have put in a lot of thought when he lived here. But of course, I still have another half in my life to share this property and I already know, it is not his type of house and no way he will do any DIY and I admit, the sump pump did shaken my confidence of going through this. Buying a house is not about See, Like and Take but See, Check, Check it Out Again, Think of all the Negative and Decide. This is exactly the house that I Like for the right price and layout but cannot have it for more sensible reasons. For that, we moved on.

The second House is also a Cape. This one was occupied and situated on a more busy street with a more updated exterior. I think grey is a very nice exterior color and from the outside, this house looked perfect with white and black window treatments. As I looked up to the roof, the chimney caught my attention and it looked pretty top against the red bricks! Oh-oh… not a good sign..must be working hard to heat the house. The only thing I like about this house were the exterior colors and the entrance Mud room. Nothing else, and when I stood at a corner of the kitchen visualizing myself in there, I see nothing… in fact I cannot even put my Imaginary self there!! And the interior still looked very 80s with dark wood here and there which gives me a very claustrophobic feel, there and then I knew this was not the house. Moving on…

Next one is a Colonial. The type which typically sits in a Cul-de-Sac, with similar neighboring houses adorned differently in color and the type that says “you have to Really keep up with the Jones or Smiths”. There is simply no way to slack on the upkeep of the exterior of these houses and to own a house like this means alot of curb appeal to think about!

From the listing photos, my Hubby was not impressed by the color of this house but I was more open minded and having taken thousands of photos, I do understand you have to see the real thing to judge further. And so Hubby joined us at mid-day to view this one and sure enough, everything he thought of negatively was wiped off his mind, at the meantime at least.. till we decide to get it and let the house inspection goes and dig deeper!

I love the Entrance door already. White and extra natural light piercing through the side panel windows. Very bright and inviting entry to the house itself with a bronze yellow wall paint and moldings everywhere. As with most colonials, walk straight in will be the kitchen. Indeed this is the kitchen size I wanted but now with an island in front of me, I felt the kitchen is cramp and an L shape kitchen with a working countertop space/bar stool area might work better for me, as I can be clumsy at times when I start rolling baking and in a hurry!  It might be the colors of the cabinets that gives me this inhibit feeling or the misplacement of that pendant light above the sink, I just felt the energy of this kitchen is not flowing right. But like I said, perhaps a little update in terms of colors, hardwares and lighting will do the trick. This kitchen is literally the heart of the house. Tucked exactly in the middle and being the meeting section to all the house’s entrance and exit points,  I anticipate alot of action going in or through this area. I always wanted a kitchen situated at a corner, so the rest of the family don’t bother me when I am in my therapeutic session of cooking and baking, but this kitchen is exactly the opposite. Can I adapt to this floor plan? I don’t know at the moment. The family room was the most spacious room on the main floor, with cathedral ceilings but definitely not the wall color that I will keep. I like the Beams here and probably a beige or white wall color can bring out the brightness of the room and adapt to our more contemporary taste. Maybe 6 years ago, I was ignorant of style and any designs or colors of a house that doesn’t please my eyes can deter my decision but now I am very open minded and in fact can visualize better in my mind. Oh ya… I have to note this, in case someone is reading and wanting to learn to on how and what to ask for :). I found out that there is a thing called central Vacumn system, it works exactly like a central heating system, with a vacumn tank located in the basement and openings like a vent to every room of the house and you just have to plug in a hose to the vent and vacumn up a room. That will save you lugging and carrying the much hated vacumn cleaner to every floor of the house. And also, the funniest regulation I have heard about the selling of houses in this particular area I am looking at…. the house must be sold with a cooking stove! Isn’t that funny? Everyone knows most American households use the Microwave, Oven and telephone for take-outs more than cooking on a stove! Just saying… :). The rest of the house is nothing dramatic to talk about… unless and until I move in of course! :). Again, keeping this one on the list.

House number 4 next. Kids are still upbeat after 2 hours and Hubby drove off after just viewing House No.3!. Seriously, I think I work too hard in this house hunting compared to my spouse, and I hope I don’t lose steam or else I might make irrational choices and just pinpoint to any house and call it a day.

This one is an updated Ranch cum Colonial. I find this one very charming with a very neat delineated backyard, complete with a horse barn and plenty of space to run around and have summer parties. Again, the exterior is a nice blueish gray with a Crimson Red door leading to the Mud room and then the rest of the house floors. Built in the 1950s but completely updated in and out, the house feels and smells very new and this shows that the current Owner does care about upkeeping of the house. The only thing I don’t really like about the interior of this house is the wainscoting in one of its rooms, other than that a galley kitchen that gave an ‘Unsure’ feel in me but it was bright. Very spacious bedrooms and updated bathrooms upstairs but unfortunately, basement was unfurnished and the property runs on well water. Some frustration here when you see everything is nice and suddenly something you think will be an issue comes up! Keeping this one in my list too as it is really a very neat place to have, not too big to handle and not too small to cringe about it.

The last house of the day. Ah…I was sure Agent K and my kids were ready to call it a day! This one was a Ranch style and because of its location near a power grid station, it was already a No before I stepped in. In listings photos, not everything is mentioned and this is why I always have to see everything with my eyes. The exterior of the house is empty and there was not much curb appeal and the interior was modeled like an apartment or condo townhouse. The feeling I had was that the rooms in this house were like misplaced, kitchen and dining were upstairs while the family room, laundry and office were downstairs. My kids felt the same and that sums it all, out of the list.

Phew… that was it, 5 houses in 3 hours and plenty seen and still learning. Able to at least see 2 out of the group and to KIV them. I am tired and will be back hunting again next week. Good week to all!

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One Response to House hunting Day 2

  1. Tania Tan says:

    i giggled when i read your reaction to the sump pumps. actually that’s one of the first things i’d ask the realtors before viewing the houses – whether there’s a sump pump in the basement. any homes with sump pumps…i’d be particularly careful to check for moisture. but it’s quite common over my area where the water table is really high. the first house we rented had a wet basement due to the high water table and the sump pump was almost always activated…it drove me crazy!

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