Wednesday, December 30, 2009

I'm Confused and Obsessed, And I'm Taking You Down With Me

Go on, take it... Everything will be perrrfectly fineeee...

We are officially house hunting. Our big plan, once we sold our house, was to build on some land downtown that Trevor's parents own, that we want to buy from them. But as we plotted our house, we realized that we could do better financially by buying something at these crazy low rates.

How hard could that be? (Cue eye-rolling from any reader who's house-hunted in his or her lifetime.)

Our main request is that the house be in downtown Petoskey. We would like it to be on the northeast side of downtown Petoskey if possible. We would like for it to be incredibly charming. We would like it to cost zero dollars.

We are learning that looking in the winter, specifically around Christmas or New Years, is a poor choice. Apparently most sellers list in the spring (ahem, like we did), and aren't overly concerned about people who need to be out of their rental in May.

We have great Realtors. Our forever Realtor is a family friend, and another friend recently became a Realtor, and they are both actively suggesting and re-suggesting houses for us. Which is helpful, except we aren't loving the houses and that probably doesn't make their day. And they are our friends, and we sometimes feel badly for shooting them down and being picky. But, you know, our house.

We have fallen completely in love with a yellow house on the main drag in downtown Petoskey, surrounded by lots of lovely, large, historic homes that people love and take care of. It needs A LOT OF WORK. But we're oddly excited by this, probably because it means we can make it into something even more fabulous, in our own little nerdy ways. Built-ins! Hidden staircase! Tiled entry reminiscent of 1895 grandeur! It really is calling us, making us absolutely sick with wanting to own it. We are being 16-year-olds about it, and it is being the newest style of Guess jeans.

It's a for sale by owner property, and we've dragged the poor owner over there more times than she'd care to go, we think, but we can't. stop. There are only two things holding us back from making an offer on it tomorrow:

1. It's pretty pricey, considering what needs to be done inside, and since it's FSBO, no Realtor is telling the owner that the price is too high. We are armed with a stack of comparables and bids for what it will take to bring the home up to working order, but each time we visit it we're told how it's such a gem, that nothing needs to be touched, they lived there for 40 years and never lifted a finger because it's perfect.

2. Our Realtors keep telling us there's something better just around the next turn. While the street that the yellow house is on is fine -- the main drag, yes, traffic, yes, PARADE ROUTE, YES -- we don't mind so much. One of our Realtors in particular thinks it's a bad pick, claiming that no one will want to buy it from us if they have a family or a dog, but... we have a family and a dog, and we love it. But now we're wondering, are we just so infatuated with it that we can't see that it's a bad spot?

Also, there are three streets we'd prefer, anyway, and our Realtors believe there are a couple of options coming up on them. Problem is, we need a new home soon, and they're not listed yet. While it's nice to think our Realtors might push these people along just for us, it's not very realistic. And what if, while we're waiting for these mystery houses to pop up, the yellow house sells?

So, what to do? What would you do? I'll tell you what we do. We scour the MLS almost obsessively (which does not change, ever), talk about the yellow house constantly, drive those three gilded streets every other day, wondering if that house could be one going on the market? Eeew, what if it's that house? OMG, it could just as easily be that house!

Tonight I sent an ad over to the local newspaper, with a HOUSE WANTED headline and a DOWNTOWN PETOSKEY address. Will we get anything interesting? I kind of think so. We've already had three people call us with homes they'd like to sell but haven't listed, because they've heard from a friend we're in the market. And we don't even know these people. Small town, indeed.

I think we mostly want a reading of our future. "There will be a house you love on the perfect street. You will be able to afford it. It will make you happy. Just freaking relax."


Kimberly Reed said...

PRAY, PRAY, PRAY about it :)
I continue to pray for you and your family Lisa and that the Lord will lead you to make the right choice or lead the right house to you! :)
Unfortunately, these things don't always happen in the time frame we would like them too!
Be Patient
Love to all of you,
p.s. I don't believe you are being 16 year olds about it.... just human :)

Anonymous said...

The house we wanted to buy in Greenville was NOT on the market either. We had the very same dilemna as you. I just went to the house we wanted, knocked on the door and told them we wanted to buy their home should they ever want to sell. Within three weeks, they called us to say they were interested, and that is how we got the Oak St. house that Kirk now lives in. It is worth a shot and you don't want to regret the things you never tried. Jodie