Posts Tagged ‘househunt’

Though the bunny was cute it wasn’t quite enough to convince us to buy the Mastell house


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Part 4: Huz’s round

We revisited Preston, Delong, Mastell, and Elgin, and then tried one new house let’s call it Woodhaven.

Preston: Huz liked it, but thought the layout was weird and though the master was great, the 2-4th bedrooms were on the small size. Though it has a no-maintenance deck, it needed maintenance. He was worried about what might be built across the street, houses are fine, strip mall would definitely decrease our property values.

Delong: Saw the potential, didn’t like the barking dogs or the amount of work it would need.

Mastell: Huz was very tempted, partially because of the price and possibilities for negotiation. The second time there I liked it less than the first. It’s also in a not as good neighborhood (above ground pools, etc).

Elgin: We kept it on the list because it was a more modest house, in a good neighborhood, with good finishes, including the best basement of all the houses. But it backs on to a lot of other yards and the master bath only has a shower.

Woodhaven: In Gahanna, which is a desirable location. It’s in a pretty subdivision, but is an older house. The owners updated it with granite, repainted the cupboards and downstairs doors, it had a good laundry room and office, and a great built in around the fireplace. It also had a fantastic wooded back yard and screened in porch. There were some weird things about it though, for example the owners didn’t paint the upstairs doors, so after a really attractive (at first glance) main floor, the upstairs was a disappointment. It was very well staged, but overpriced.

By the end of the day we both liked Preston the best, but Huz was disappointed because it wasn’t perfect, and he really wants the perfect house.  Our realtor is *great* though, and was good about not rushing us, giving us practical information, etc. and was willing to look for some more options (I mean, he wants to make a sale to satisfied customers).

Part 5

Yesterday we met with a builder representative from M/I Homes. Our realtor said that they are the most reputable builder in the area, and that they were able to offer better financing than the banks (4.25$ instead of 5+) so we would be able to increase our buying power, while keeping our payments in line. Another positive is that the builder includes a 30 year structural warranty. A negative is that we will have to pay closing costs.

Meeting with the rep was a little confusing, we discussed four different styles of houses in four different communities, some were finished, some were still being built. If we close on a house by April 30 we get a better interest rate, though there is a decent, slightly higher rate, if we closed on a house that is finished in May/June.  The rep was great though, she organized the information well and showed what our payments would be for different priced houses in different communities.

We visited a Bromley (5 level split, 4 bedrooms) that was in the middle of being painted. It’s the same layout as Rocky Springs, but is the most expensive option. It also has a smaller master, and this particular version had the fireplace pushing in to the room, which ate a lot of space.

Next we went to a Brady (4 bedrooms, not as open as the Bromley), I think we liked it better than the Bromley though, it didn’t have wasted space, and that particular lot backed on to trees. It was already sold though, so visiting was more for our information than serious consideration.

Then we went to a Guildford (4 bedrooms, side entry). It’s a smaller house than the other two, but it has a big kitchen, logical eat-in area, 9 foot ceilings, and really enormous bedrooms. There’s an upstairs laundry, an enormous bonus closet, and the bedroom closets are huge. It has some nice updates: beautiful cabinets, fireplace, wrought iron spindles on the stairs, upgraded laminate countertops, whirlpool tub in the bathroom. (more on Guildford’s later)

The fourth plan we visited was the Parkside. It’s a more modern layout, but also more of a straight line through the house. We didn’t really like it, certainly not as much as the Guildford, though it had a pretty awesome island.

Back to the Guildford.  There are two to choose from, in two different developments. And it looks like we are choosing between the two of them! So here are pros and cons.

Guildford 1: Pros: Closer to Huz’s work, in a community with a pretty park and play area, has a walk-out basement with a bathroom rough-in, which means we could finish the basement and add a bathroom and add a lot of value. We could also add a deck off the kitchen and patio from the basement, which is more expensive, but also adds value. Upgrading to ceramic tile on the floors and granite counter tops, adding an island, extending hardwood in the halls in to the dining room and/or kitchen could also be good.

Cons: A LOT of building left to do in the community, so there will be noise and dirt for a while. Pretty close to other houses, looks over several backyards. Plenty of updates available, but that’s rather expensive. This one is more expensive than Guildford 2. Beneath the flight path to Port Columbus Airport.

Guildford 2: Pros: Better counter tops than Guildford 1, way more yard space than Guildford 1, in a community with a workout center and pool (HOA actually pays for something useful!), community surrounds an elementary school and is across from a big park. Can finish basement, upgrade floors/counters, put in a patio/deck and landscape to add value. Less expensive than Guildford 1.

Cons: double the distance to Huz’s work, basement doesn’t have bathroom rough-in or a walk-out basement, probably can’t add quite as much value with updates. Near a power-line… which means extra green space, but there’s a power tower on the opposite side of the cul-de-sac.

This afternoon we’re going to look around in the daylight at the neighborhoods and think it over. Another advantage of both these houses is that they are at the low-end of our price range, our mortgage there will be about $200 less a month than our current rent! For space reasons I prefer Guildford 2, for upgrades, Guildford 1.

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