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Archive for April, 2011

Reasons we hate our house...

April 11th, 2011 at 01:25 pm

Some of you have asked so here is the scoop...

House #1
Purchased in 1997
Ranch style, (no basement or upstairs)
approx 1000 sq ft
Small but corner lot in a tight subdivision

House #2
Purchased in 2001
Ranch style, (no basement or upstairs)
approx 1600 sq ft
Large (to us) 1/3 acre lot in a nice subdivision, backed up to farmland so was nice and private

House #3 CURRENT HOUSE
Purchased in 2006
3 story house, main living space on first floor, all bedrooms are upstairs, finished full basement
approx 2600 sq ft
.67 acre lot

So, our current house #3 might look to be a great step up for us, right? Well, not quite...

House #1 was our starter home when we just got married. It was a great little house but we got tired of the really, really tight subdivision. All the houses were so close together --- no privacy at all. So, we sold it and moved across town to House #2. This house was the smallest in the neighborhood. Most of the other houses were 2 story homes that looked really big compared to our house. But, we loved the flat lot of our house, the floorplan really worked for us, and it was a really good fit for our growing family.

Then, we moved 4 hours away, from the flat lands to the mountains, for a new job opportunity. We realized quickly that housing prices in the mountains were quite higher than they were in the big city that we came from. Also, the houses here were mainly multi-level homes since they were built alongside hill banks. We had only 2 main criteria when looking for this home: 1) I wanted a garage with main level access. I didn't want to haul groceries from a basement entry garage up stairs to the kitchen. I'd say 75% of homes here all have their garage in the basement. 2) I wanted a large lot with trees. Having lived in the city, we didn't have a lot of natural wooded areas. I thought that was what I wanted. So, we bought House #3 because these 2 main criteria were met and now 5 years later, we just hate the house. We had never lived in a multi-level home before so we didn't realize how much we would hate having to go up and down stairs all the time. We had never lived on a wooded lot before so we didn't realize how much we would hate having to pick up fallen limbs all the time. Ugh, ugh, and ugh. I guess it's one of those situations where the grass really isn't greener on the other side... all along we thought those bigger 2 story houses in our neighborhoods were so nice and roomy. Blah! We so miss our little ranch style homes!!!

So, a summary of all the things we hate about our current house:

1) Stairs, stairs, and more stairs!
2) All the trees! It gets windy here alot and those fallen branches are a pain to deal with
3) Hillsides! No flat place for the kids to play
4) Open floor plan of living space! Our 'great room' consists of the living room, kitchen, and dining spaces... all in one big open area. Now, I know this is all the rage in today's real estate market, but now that we actually live in this kind of living space, we just don't like it. It's really noisy!!
5) No air conditioning! As a mountain home, it is not common to have A/C here... or so one would think! The houses here just aren't built with A/C as standard. It gets pretty hot for just about one month out of the year but gosh, that one month nearly kills us each year!

So, those are the top 5 reasons why we hate our house. All these reasons were things that we just didn't realize would bother us until we actually bought the house and started living in it. We learn what we like and dislike from each home we live in and we certainly know what to look for in our House #4... we just need to sell this one first!

Should we sell or not?

April 4th, 2011 at 03:13 pm

Ack, what to do?? Ok, some back history. We tried selling our house for 2 years and had no offers. We took the house off the market for 6 months to take a break. We started asking for $349k and ended up our last listing price at $299k... Granted, we did start too high on the price for the market that we were in but settled on a price that is very fair -- but still no offers, so we pulled it off the market. Now that it is Spring, we are thinking about putting it on again.

Our past realtors were without a better term popping into my head right now, sucky. They just listed the house and didn't do much of anything else. We found another realtor that has come highly recommended... we met with him last week and he did a market analysis (CMA) on our house. If you've been following my blog, you know that we just installed granite in our kitchen... so, with that improvement, we really think we have an edge over the competition in our price range. DH and I thought we would stay at the $299k price as our listing price. After the CMA, the new realtor suggested listing it at $289k.... BUT in all honesty, the houses he compared to ours are nowhere near what ours has to offer. There just aren't too many sold houses he can compare ours to. So, he's comfortable in putting it on at $299k if that is what we still want to do. The bottom line that we are willing to sell for is $290k.

So, should we or shouldn't we try to sell the house again? DH and I just don't like it --- there is no other reason to sell. We both have stable jobs and we don't need to move anywhere. We've just HATEd our house since the day we moved in 5 years ago. If we end up at our bottom of $290k, we'd make zippo, and actually lose money really. We bought the house for $288k in 2006 (brand new) and put in $20k in improvements (granite and driveway/retaining wall work), so we've got $308k in the house. However, DH and I don't really consider the $20k we put into the house as additional cost for the house because those things were done to make the house more "liveable" for us. We wouldn't have to come to the table with any cash as our mortgage balance is low enough to where we will still have a bit of cash from the sale after the mortgage is paid.

So, what would you do? Would you go with the financially correct decision and just stay put? Or, would you do what would make you and the family happy and take a slight loss on the house?