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Here are the listings we visited today.

Winery Way: Pros: er. Nice back yard? Decent curb appeal, close to Huz’s work and shopping, near a winery.

Cons: dark burgundy carpet through living area, master bedroom, up the stairs. Three bedroom, but higher price than many of the four bedroom houses. Small master bath, near a sludge pond and a pretty cruddy neighborhood. It’s a definite no.

Mccarrick: Pros: good front porch, ok square footage, three car garage.

Cons: Teeny master bath, weird layout for master bedroom, horrible, horrible finishes and paint. Low ceilings compared to other houses we visited.

Royal Farm: Pros: pretty back patio, very well finished basement.

Cons: Horrible, horrible finishes. Laminate in kitchen chipped, cheap flimsy doors, tiny family room.

Rocky Springs: Pros: Very spacious, light. Front porch. Transom windows let in light while keeping privacy (you can close blinds below and still have light), whirlpool tub in master, good room to convert in to a man cave. Unfinished, spacious basement for storage, large 2nd, 3rd, 4th bedrooms, big loft area, like the counters/cabinets in kitchen. This one is in our top 3 and combines some features we like in each. (oh noes!! while writing this the realtor called and said that it just went under contract 😦 ).

Cons: backyard nothing special, needs a patio, perhaps fencing and plants, overlooks a LOT of other yards. Master bedroom and bath quite small compared to the rest of the house. Dining room and one bedroom pretty horrible colours.

Old River: Pros: Exactly the same floor plan as Rocky Springs, but they chose lower grade finishes and window treatments. Very light and airy, backs on to the woods.

Cons: Lower finishes, Kitchen doesn’t open directly to dining room, more wear in the carpets. Updated den’s wet bar is in Ohio State colours, which isn’t a big problem at all (Shannan! don’t be mad!) but does limit other decorating options. Inferior to Rocky Springs, but at a higher price and on the market a longer time.

Elgin Trail: Pros: Very well finished, nice cabinets, basement is functional and attractive, pleasing colours, good layout. Kiddie castle in the back yard (could be a con too I guess).

Cons: Smaller, backyard isn’t fenced/defined. Elgin and Rocky Springs have bordering backyards (not really a con, just to note).

Amaranth: Pros: Lovely curb appeal, three car garage. Big office could be a man cave. Mature trees in back yard.

Cons: Same layout as Delong (visited yesterday), but older, smaller great room. Very dated and old. Delong needs less updates to feel like home. Finished basement is badly lit and out of date. Delong’s basement was not finished, which means we could update it and it would be a plus, Amaranth’s is a biggole negative right now, we’d HAVE to update it in order to resell later.

Killen: Pros: Very solid feel to the home, hardwood floors, unique layout with back staircase, loft behind master overlooking the greatroom. Appropriately sized office (not enormous, not too small). Solid built ins, skylights, good size bedrooms.

Cons: Needs so, so many updates (the master bathtub is surrounded with wood!) Unlikely to make your money back if were to later resell.  Owners put in new light fixtures, probably to improve resale, but they definitely don’t match the decor. Instead of hardwood floors throughout the dining room there is a weird patch of inset carpet.

Mastell: Pros: it’s a new build with upgraded finishes (granite, hardwood in entrance and kitchen). Very light and spacious, big master bedroom bath and closet, big other bedrooms. Stone fireplace. Trees already planted in back yard and a fence to define property limit. AND a cute little rabbit was hanging out by the basement window (pic forthcoming). Currently there is an empty lot opposite. Not directly opposite another house in back either, but looks over many backyards. Pretty white doors inside. Much more manageable for us to paint ourselves (no two story entryways). Realtor thinks that we may be able to negotiate better financing, appliances, lower price, later closing date with seller as it is still owned by the builder. (Also in our top three-now top 2 damn you Rocky Springs buyers!!!).

Cons: Grey exterior is pretty, but not very eye-catching. Basement not yet finished. Eat-in area is awkwardly placed. Needs stove and fridge, along with window treatments. Don’t really like the carpet colour, seems too brown, though it probably doesn’t show wear as much as a lighter carpet. No deck or patio (though that and the basement are the only two upgrades available to improve resale value). In a township that’s having trouble with resale values, but shouldn’t be as bad off as others as it is so new and has good upgrades.

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Here are the houses I am going to see tomorrow. If you had to rank them, which would you choose and why? (keep in mind that this is the first day of going inside the houses, we have done drive-bys of several of them). Our realtor seems pretty great, he’s competent, gets the job done.
I’ll update after the visit tomorrow with commentary.

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Spending Spree

Well, house hunting in OH is certainly VERY different from the Philadelphia suburbs where we live. Each weekend last spring we would pick about 6 open houses between 200-350K.  And we were always disappointed. Some were cute, none were more than about 1,900 sq feet, and all had a gaping flaw.

Let’s compare to the list that our realtor in Ohio worked up. 84 4 bed, 2.5 bath houses. With garages, yards, biggole master baths and closets, some with trees or near ponds or with unique exterior… and the most expensive was 224K. It’s going to be tougher to make a decision than I thought! We are definitely spoiled for choice at this point. And that isn’t even counting the 3 bedroom places.

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