Monday, May 11, 2009


As I said (oh, months ago), splorp! and I signed our new lease.

Then we started house hunting.

Hmm, maybe we went about that backwards. Maybe we should have started the house hunting before deciding if we were staying or leaving.

We did a lot of deep thinking about what kind of home we want to buy: Single family detached, 3+ bedrooms, 2 baths, with at least a small yard (we would like to get a dog), no pool, low or no HOA fees, a slab foundation, and an attached garage. In theory we would find a home exactly in between our places of work, but really we're hoping to settle for something that will shorten splorp!'s commute without making mine completely ridiculous.

Not a lot of success to report so far. We did find a house we liked, with a good listing price. It had a smaller square footage than we expected to like, but it made up for somewhat small bedrooms with a layout that was very open, and a kitchen that was very nice.

So, we brilliantly thought, before we put an offer on it, we'll take my parents to see it. Hey, they're local, they've owned a home, they've done home repairs, they know what to look for, right? Dad was the only one available, so he and splorp! took a trip.

Turns out tapping into my dad's experience was an excellent decision, as he saw a number of things we never would have seen. Between the visibly cracked and slumping slab foundation in the garage (probably damage left over from the 1994 Northridge earthquake), the electrical wiring that was not updated (still two-prong, with no grounded outlets, though it had what were probably "faked" grounded outlets in the kitchen remodel), the 60 amp electrical panel (my parents' 4-bedroom uses 160 amps), and the water and mold damage where the bathroom wall butted up to the kitchen wall (and the resulting 10 feet of soggy wall), we decided to pass.

Right now we are waiting for more to come on the market. We have been on tours with our Realtor, and been to a couple open houses on our own, and we have come to the realization that we have more or less tapped everything in our price range in our market right now. Our realtor is being very good, though a little pushy on the "can you stretch to $xxx" over what we told her was our final budget (no, no, and NO). We're realizing we just have to be patient.

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