Saturday, March 10, 2007

I am back... FINALLY...

I realize I have not blogged in almost 2 weeks! I felt like I was really missing something, but I just could not get it together to blog the week before we left to visit South Carolina. I was dealing with the end of Girl Scout cookies and shopping and cleaning and I don't even know what else. It was just so busy and I was so tired. We left for SC on Sunday evening after my mom got off of work. We drove halfway and got a hotel in GA. Miraculously, Sebastian was super quiet for the entire 4.5 hour drive. He was slightly terrified of the hotel room though. He didn't know what to make of it. I asked him if he wanted to get his jammies on and I got a very firm, "NO!". Then I put my jammies on and he sorta got the idea that we were staying there. He went to sleep pretty quickly too. The next morning we headed out with a short stop and Cracker Barrel. I even had them sing Happy Birthday to my mom and Timmy (it was their birthday that day). We got to SC around 4pm and I took the kids by the model house we are/were thinking about building. I thought they would really want to see the house - I was WRONG! They really didn't care. They just wanted to get to their cousins' house. I showed it to my mom anyway and she thought it was very nice. I chatted for a little while with the realtor. She gave me directions to the new subdivision and we were on our way to see our family. Now, my brother-in-law's family has 8 children living their with them (others live away from home now). There are kids and kids and more kids. My kids love this place. We spent the evening visiting and got up early the next morning. My mom, Sebastian and I headed out to look around. First we headed to the new subdivision. We didn't find it, so we headed back to the model. She took us out. The new subdivision is just land. No houses or models yet. I don't know what I expected to see. I live in Florida - on a peninsula - with NO buildable land. It is something very foreign to me. She said most of the lots were half acre, but there were three 3/4 acre lots going for the same price for the first buyers. It was interesting, but somehow just didn't feel right. It wasn't way out in the boonies, but it was a little ways out. Probably a little more than I was comfortable with and I am not really sure why. It was probably only 15 minutes from where the rest of our family is living. Why that 15 minutes seemed like a huge thing - I have no idea. We left there and went to look for a place my mom had saw as a possibility for her. When we found it, it was not what she wanted at all. That was another strike against building in that new neighborhood. Over the next 2 days, we drove and drove and drove and did I say drove? All over the place! Everywhere! They have lots and lots of manufactured or modular homes there. My mom was looking for something like that. We just weren't finding anything that screamed her name. During this time, I decided to look at the house right next door to my brother-in-law's house. It is in foreclosure. My sister-in-law had looked at it for me a few weeks back. She took a ton of great pictures for me. I didn't think it was what I wanted. First of all it is a bi-level. I don't ordinarily like bi-levels. Second - it needs work. Let's just say that there was not a paint can or color the previous owners did not like! Third - it has lots of unfinished things. Fourth - it is lacking all the beloved walk-in closets the new home has. There were lots of reasons for me to not like this house. I looked at all the pictures and told my sister-in-law thanks, but I didn't think it was for us. Then, all of a sudden, I was there and it was next door. It just made sense to look at it. What could it hurt? I walked in and you know what? I didn't hate it! Don't get me wrong... the colors are awful and the basement needs to be rearranged and redrywalled, etc. But, honestly, I didn't hate it. I loved the realtor and it is a lot for me to say that because I have never really liked realtors. He is young and very nice. My mom says I like him because he reminds me of Timmy. I walked around and found the very same problems I listed above, but I still didn't hate this house. Then I asked THE QUESTION... Just how much wiggle room is there on this price? The answer - quite a bit of wiggle room. Hmmm... very interesting. This house is 2400 square feet or so. It has an acre of land either touching the lake at the back end or at least very close. Not sure exactly. It needs work. Lots of work, but not like old work. It was build in 2000. It has good bones, just very bad decorating. The new model home has 24o0 square feet and either a 1/4 acre lot or a 1/2 acre depending on where you build. The 1/2 acre is the one that is farther out than I liked. The 1/4 acre lot is a couple minutes away. This foreclosure house could potentially be $40,000 cheaper than the new model home. You can do a lot with $40,000. Things like build the garage with the lift Tim would love to have, add a screen porch, redo the floors, paint, new kitchen and add the bath downstairs. Oh and furniture! I needed to talk to Tim, but he was working. I hated waiting. I thought he would think I was crazy. He didn't. I still thought and thought and thought. I went to bed with all this running around in my head. Have you ever seen the House Hunters show on HGTV? The girl on there will say something like, "Did our couple choose House #1 - the brand new home with walk-in closets, island in the kitchen, no work, smaller lot closer to family or House #2 same new home on larger lot farther from family or House #3 the fixer upper with great potential, huge yard, great price, next door to family? I wanted to see what the answer was in my dream, but of course I didn't get it. What do you think? Leave me a comment with your thoughts! Some people think we would be crazy to live so close to family. My brother-in-law next door and my 2 sister-in-laws across the street. I sorta think it would be nice. Savannah is the same age as her cousin and they both are homeschooled. They could play all the time. Actually, I think we have made our decision to bid on this house. I just need to deal with the financial side of it. We could not put a bid in contingent on the sale of our house because it is a foreclosure. Tim thinks it is worth it to try to buy this house before we sell our current one. That scares the HECK out of me, but I do think it is what we should probably do. Tomorrow, I will make some calls and see what I come up with for financing. Then I will pray and pray and pray that my house sells quickly - well first that we finish the projects in the next 3 weeks and then it sells quickly. So, below are pictures. The first are of the new model home. The others are of the eccentric foreclosure home. Remember... the previous owners liked color - A LOT! I sure hope you all come back to find out what happens next! I am really sorry it took so long for an update. I have other "fascinating" things to share too.

New home

Foreclosure home front


Small deck

Part of backyard - looking towards lake

Master bath

Master Bedroom

Possibly Sebastian's room

Hall bath

Possibly Savannah's room

Dining room

Living room



Basement - sort of an odd mudroom - like I said... some of the walls would be moved.

Playroom in basement

Possibly Timmy's room in the basement

Sort of a laundry room

Unfinished family room in basement


Amy @ the foil hat said...

I love Househunters and I vote for the bi-level house that is $40K cheaper. Like you said, most of the issues are cosmetic. Good luck.

Dy said...

Oh, I would SO take the foreclosure home. It's wonderful, and paint's nothing, in comparison. The land, the location, the KITCHEN! Yep, that'd be my pick.

If you do go w/ the foreclosure, be sure to as about Right of Redemption, and reimbursement for repairs connected with that. I don't know what SC laws are, so I won't advise other than to be sure to ask about it. :-)

How exciting for you guys!

Jennifer said...

I vote for the foreclosure too. I would love the land and I would love living near family (especially with them having a homeschooled child). But WOW, when you said they liked lots of color, you weren't joking! Part of it looks so fun! But, I'm the kind that will eventually repaint anyway, so I wouldn't let that deter you. I would love to get a great deal!
We bought a 70's fixer upper in July. It's been a lot of work, but it is rewarding and we were able to get a much bigger yard with an ingroud pool for a great price! So, for us, the extra elbow grease has been worth it!
Good luck!

SnowWhite said...

We have a bi-level... I never would think to pick that, but that is what the Lord gave us. It is very healthy, LOL, running up and down the stairs to our bedroom. Painting a house to suit your own taste is something most people do long-term anyway, I believe.

Anna said...

You'll think I'm hilarious - I love the colors :) But I would look at layout and lot size. We live right next to my IL's and it can be a blessing to have family next door (read: instant babysitters :), share lawnmowers and yard equipment, etc)
It's just up to you if you want to do some remodeling or have a 'move in ready' home. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I vote for the old house! It has character. When I look at the new house all I see is that huge garage. I don't care for the room layout either. It just looks like you have more room to spread out in the old house. Does the 2400 sq ft include any of the basement? I love the back yard of the old house. Your kids will love the extra space to play and run around.

- Bev from WP families