Adventures in House Hunting – Round 1

by Lindsey on October 5, 2011

in J&L Make a House a Home

Last night we looked at a house for the first time! (Two actually!)

House #1

3 bedroom, 1 & 1/2 bath. It is listed way under our price point, and we assumed it would be a piece of crap for the price, but it exceeded our expectations.


  • Way under budget
  • Move-in Ready
  • Decent curb appeal
  • Lots of potential – there are hardwoods under the carpet!
  • Located on a dead-end street = no through traffic!
  • Friendly neighborhood
  • Attached garage
  • Finished basement
  • Deck off the kitchen


  • Teeny tiny backyard (The owners paved their entire backyard! But they said they’d rip it up and plant grass if we want…which we definitely would!)
  • Needs a lot of updates. We’d definitely change the kitchen, both bathrooms, and the basement at some point.
  • Location of garage. You have to drive down behind the house and do a 3-point turn to get in and out of the garage.
  • We’re not crazy about the school district

House #2

4 bedroom, 1 & 1/2 bath. It is listed a little above our price point, but we want a lot of options to compare.


  • Move-in Ready
  • Recently updated – New kitchen w/ appliances, bathroom, foyer, laminate hardwood floors, etc
  • 4th bedroom
  • Friendly neighborhood
  • Attached garage
  • Okay sized yard
  • Landscape potential – Justin would love to landscape the front yard!


  • Over budget without room to negotiate
  • Unfinished basement without any potential
  • Location of garage. You have to drive down behind the house and do a 3-point turn to get in and out of the garage.
  • We’re not crazy about the school district

Our Thoughts:

  • House Hunting is awesome, and we’re excited to keep looking! We had so much fun!
  • Lori, our realtor, is amazing and we really think she’s going to find us the perfect home!
  • We don’t love either one of these, but both could work for us
  • They are very similar in layout, except the second is bigger and has the extra bedroom.
  • If we had to choose one of these two, we’d pick the first because we didn’t see a $50,000 difference in the second

So, what do you think?


Susan October 5, 2011 at 1:09 pm

My only suggestion on the school district is this… It’s your first house, which *usually* means 5-6 years (obviously that could be different for anyone). So you get married, get pregnant and need to enroll your child in a school beyond K or 1st grade, you’d likely be ready to move.

With the market the way it is, I’d totally go with a lower budget house, and do the upgrades as you see fit once you live there. And a dead end street is so amazing to have, that’s on my ‘please please’ list for our next place for sure!

Lindsey October 5, 2011 at 1:23 pm

Yea, we go back and forth on the school district thing. I think our feeling is that if we buy a house with the idea of putting a lot of work into it, and making it exactly what we want, than there’s a good chance we would still be there when we have kids in school. I guess it depends more on the house!

The only way we would pick the more expensive of any options would be if it’s only a little more money for a LOT more house. In this case, it would be a LOT more money for only a little more house, and we both agreed it wouldn’t be worth it.

Thanks for your opinion, it really does help to get an outsider’s view! And yes, that dead-end street was awesome :)

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