In the middle of last week Barb noticed a new house on the realty company’s website matching our criteria. It’s a nice service – they include houses from other realty companies (I think no For Sale By Owner, though) and email you any changes at periodic intervals. So we asked to see it the next day since we were already going to see some places. Luckily the appointment was okay with the owner so we got to see it along with another house that just came on the market.
Both were very similar in terms of layout and space, but the first house had all kinds of much nicer features: lots of very sharp wood ("I'm an oak man myself..."), 2.5 bathrooms instead of one (and one of those with separate shower and bath rather than combined), gigantic newer windows everywhere, built-ins in both the living and dining room, and just that nice feeling you get when you're in a house that people have obviously cared for. It was also 30K more than the other house, so decision time. (We also saw another house on Thursday that was awesome but needed too much work for us to do. Water scares me.)
So we asked if we could see both houses again and our agent was able to squeeze us in Saturday morning. We dragged along a couple of adults (experienced homeowners, the wife works with Barb) to see if we were missing anything or letting our guard down because of the polish. Nothing doing -- they loved the place too, although they noticed a retaining wall in front that was leaning a bit (not that big a deal, I think).
We put an offer on the place later Saturday evening and found out this morning (Sunday) that the offer was accepted! They wanted a little more money but we figured that would happen. So now we just need to line up the inspections (home plus pest plus radon, although you can usually find one person or group that does all three) and the mortgage in the next two weeks or so. Fortunately Barb all next week off for Spring break so she can TCB. (Hooray for me.)
One other benefit: it's only a block away from where we live now (blue star us, red star new place); it's also a block away from the park (which is good, because we have almost no yard) and right down the street from the elementary school: