There has been more neighbor drama. I’m not even going to bore you with the details because it’s too ridiculous. Let me just offer you some words of advice…never buy a house with a shared driveway…you never know who you will end up sharing it with. Anyway, after we had words with the neighbor and then words with each other on Sunday night, J and I decided that we have to step up our house hunting efforts.
I’ve told you that we are looking for a house in Connecticut…a search which has, thus far, been spectacularly unsuccessful. Of course, we have been super picky. You know about my symmetrical house thing, so there’s that. But we also have a long wish list that includes things like a large, flat backyard with no wetlands or conservation easements, a basement with full-sized windows and a walk out, an open floor plan on the main level and, of course, no shared driveway. We’ve seen every single house that fits our criteria that is currently on the market (about 10) and we didn’t like any of them. The two houses we did like sold before we could even put in an offer. It’s been very frustrating.
So on Sunday night, we decided to change our criteria. Up to now, we’ve been looking for newer houses that only needed cosmetic work at most. We didn’t want to deal with the kinds of structural issues we have with our current house and we didn’t want to do a major renovation like adding a second story or putting on an addition. However, desperate times call for desperate measures and we are willing to consider anything.
We still want a nice piece of property in a good neighborhood, so we did a search just for that and took out all our other search parameters and we found a house that we think might be perfect for us. It’s small and old and the front of the house is an ugly mish-mash of architectural styles…but it is in our favorite neighborhood and the yard and property are perfect. The house isn’t even that bad on the inside…it’s about the same as our current house…except with a bigger kitchen. The best part…the price is almost half that of some of the other houses we’ve looked at. Yay!
I emailed the realtor right away. I explained that we were desperate to move due to our neighbor issues, so we decided to take our search in a different direction. I told her how we were now thinking that renovating was a good idea and told her about this house that we liked.
When she finally decided to respond…two days later…her response was less than enthusiastic. In fact it was a list of what was wrong with the house…no master bathroom, no formal dining room, tiny kitchen, no curb appeal. She thought instead we should look at another house that had just come on the market that was larger and already renovated…and was significantly more expensive.
Now, I had seen the listing she was talking about. The house is nice and has been renovated, but it is a short sale, which means the bank has to approve the sale once you have an agreement and it can take months. It just took one of my co-workers a year to complete a short sale. We do not want to wait that long to move.
As for the things she pointed out in the house we like…well, neither the shower nor the toilet in our current master bathroom are usable because they leak, so it’s like we don’t have a master bathroom anyway. We eat dinner in the living room while watching TV and we use our dining room table as a dumping ground for mail and random articles of clothing and our keys, so I’m sure we wouldn’t miss it. And the kitchen? The one that’s tiny? Is twice the size of my current kitchen. She does have me on the curb appeal, because my house is adorable and I would miss that.
But what the realtor seems to be missing is that we would do a major renovation to this house within a few years. All of these things she’s talking about would be fixed. I emailed her back and told her all of this and she still tried to push us into the more expensive house. We went back and forth three times and each time she went back to the other house. I get it…I do. If we buy a cheaper house, she gets less commission. But she was really close to getting no commission. If she hadn’t finally agreed to take me to see the cheaper house I was going to call another realtor.
As it is, I think that if this isn’t the house for us I am going to start working with a different realtor. I feel bad switching because she has really done a lot of work for us, but this a is a house we are talking about. Whichever one we choose, it’s still a lot of money and I don’t like being bullied.
We’re going to see the house on Saturday and I’ll let you know how it goes. Please keep your fingers crossed for us. I don’t know how much longer I can live with my horrible neighbors.