Wednesday, August 10, 2011

House hunting, Round 1

Sunday at noon, B and I bravely ventured forth, with all the kids in tow, to look at houses. We need to get going with finding a place to live – the neighbors whose house we are borrowing return Friday night, and I think they’d like to have their beds to themselves.

I packed a ton of snacks for the kids, and they rounded up DVDs to watch, and we hit the road. Considering that they spent four hours being loaded in and out of the car and in and out of houses where they weren’t allowed to touch anything and it was 100+ degrees, they all did amazingly well. We got barbecue for dinner as a reward.

B will kill me if I give out any specifics on the houses we saw. But here’s a very general rundown.

House 1

Perfect house! It has everything we want. It even has a media room. And look at the view from the back windows. Awesome.

But the location isn’t the best. And the yard is small.

If we buy this house, I want the green room.

No! I get the green room. I’m oldest.

OK, moving on.

House 2

Who designed this place? The layout is terrible.

Back in the car.

House 3

Yes, Campbell, I know it has a pool, but you may not go swimming. Because I said so.

Get back in the car now, we aren’t going swimming.

House 4

Well, it’s definitely not on the main road.

There’s no office or second living space, I don’t care what the listing says.

Get off the swing and into the car, NOW!

House 5

This could work, especially with the garage. But, the lot across the way is zoned multi-family. And do we want to be on the main road?

Maybe not after all.

House 6

I love, love, love the location. The kids could ride on the cul-de-sac without worrying about cars. You can’t really see the neighbors.

But the house doesn’t work. There’s no office and no second living space.

Yes, but did you see the master closet?????

It’s not going to work. Everyone back in the car.

House 7

I don’t like it. I’m not even getting out of the car.

You have to at least go in. I have to register my key in the lock.

I don’t care. I don’t like it.

At least look so you have an idea of what houses are like on the inside around here.

Fine, but I’m not going upstairs.


I must say, it was interesting seeing people’s taste in home decorations. We saw some houses that looked like a design store exploded and others that looked barely a step above frat house living. One place was fully furnished by a stager, down to fake popcorn on the poker table and plastic cheerios on the kitchen counter. Ella and Lily thought the fake foods were particularly funny.

In all seriousness, the first house had everything we wanted, and then some. But the tax rate and the location worry B a bit. I still covet the one cul-de-sac lot, but the house really wasn’t what we need, especially at the price.

So we’re back to square one, pulling more possibilities each day, hoping the one perfect place will come on the market soon.

In the meantime, all our possessions are in storage we’re looking at renting a furnished house in our current neighborhood to make it easy for the girls to start the school year with their friends.

The kids are handling all the transition and uncertainty about as well as can be expected. The big girls alternate between excited about having their own rooms and distraught at moving away from their friends. Campbell thinks the whole thing is a great adventure, especially visiting all the houses. He explored every cupboard and closet in the empty houses. Elizabeth is just confused.

I, on the other hand, am having a nervous breakdown in slow motion.


Becky said...

Oh sweetie... what a crazy time. Hopefully you'll look back and say "God, remember when we went through that? That was insane but look at our AWESOME HOUSE!"

Ann in NJ said...

Just wanted to add that house hunting is crazy even without 4 children along. But I remember it being wonderfully fun when I was about Ella's age!

FranceRants said...

Good luck, I do not envy house hunting. Such a big decision...

Susan said...

I remember having the same issue during one of our moves - put the kids in school with the chance they might have to change schools. No fun. I always liked house hunting, but only when there was time without all those issues.

Baino said...

After having just been 'flat' hunting with my son, I can't imagine what it's like traipsing around with kids in tow. It's very interesting to see how the other half live. Still, I think when you find it, you'll know. Houses have a way of picking their owners rather than the other way round. Stay calm, it'll be alright on the night.

shrink on the couch said...

Fake popcorn? Plastic cheerios? And this works? I thought uncluttered minimalism was the way to selling a house?