Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Adventures in Homebuying: Third Time's a Charm

Sort of at the last minute, I decided to go on another showing with my realtor. She said she had some other properties to show me in the Raytown/Independence area.

In what could very well be a record for me, I managed to get up on time. Showered, dressed, fluffed the hair, stopped by Starbucks for a beverage, made it to the agent's office with 10 minutes to spare. I think she was shocked.

House #1
Apparently, the seller had bought this house, totally remodeled it, then put it back on the market. I suppose you would call this "flipping". I must say, I was impressed with the improvements. Nice, quiet little neighborhood by a golf course. I don't play golf, but I have always considered learning. I could get a sun visor like the ones I see all those soccer mom's wearing when they are at the Hoity-Toity Golf Club of Kansas City.

This house immediately went to the top of my list.

Houses #2, 3, 4

All these were what I call "Grandma Homes". Lived in by old people since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the senior crowd. I'd rather live in a neighborhood of rocking seniors than a neighborhood of young families with screaming children. However, the houses were in need of some serious updating. There were quite a few things I saw that made me think of the 70's. At one point, I started humming the theme song from The Brady Bunch.

House #5
A corporate relocation, my agent says. I have no idea what this means. The house is pretty good. All the things I require in a home. A fun thing was the family room had that foam-type flooring you see at daycare centers and such. Block colors of red, yellow, blue. Apparently, this room was designed as a child's playroom. The primary colors might detract from me making it into an S&M den...but it would be a fun place to set up surround sound and a Playstation. There's only a few things I would have to do to make this house more Heather-friendly, but they are just cosmetic. It's been on the market for over 200 days...this could work to my advantage.

This house goes to the number two slot on my list.

House #6
The garage door was practically falling off the house. We didn't even go inside.

House #7
A tip for would-be sellers: clean the house before you let realtors show it. I don't think we made it past the kitchen before we decided to leave.

House #8
Another neighborhood for the AARP crowd. The seller was an older couple. The inside colors were awful (but a can of paint can fix that right up), but the house was obviously well-maintained. Big rooms, big yard with deck AND a recreation room of the best kind in the basement, complete with fireplace, a bar complete with a little sink and area for a small fridge, AND a hot tub on the patio. A boom-boom room to be certain. All that was missing was the stripper pole and the Scarface poster.

This house is in the top five.

So, among the three I liked today, plus the two I liked from last week, we have a solid list of 5 houses that could very well be my next dwelling. I'm just waiting on some more disclosures, then I will begin the whittling process. I will probably return to these houses again next week. If all goes well, I could close by the end of November, and move in beginning of December.

Moving in the cold is not going to be fun. However, I will reward anyone willing to help with hot pizza and your beverage of choice.


emawkc said...

We had a lot of luck with the "grandma home" we bought in Roeland Park. Did some upadating -- new bathroom and masterbed, took out the carpet and refinished the hardwoods, new paint throughout -- and made a tidy five-figure profit after living there for six years.

I guess my point is, if you're at all handy you can do a little fixing-up and make a great return on your investment. Don't overlook the grandma houses.

Anonymous said...

I live in a neighborhood full of people my age and up (way up). It's great. No loud parties, no yelling in the streets, no sirens. Nice and quiet.

When it snows, there is a Mystery Samaritan that comes around and plows everyones driveways. If the other neighbors know who it is, they aren't saying.

If it's really windy on trashday, the little old lady (must be in her eighties) from down the street moves everyone's empty trash cans from the curb up closer to the house so they don't blow all over the street. She also picks up papers in the drive and throws them up on the porch. She does all of this on her daily walk. Just because.

I love my neighborhood.

Annie said...

Always question a house that's been on the market for 200 days. Be sure to have an inspector that YOU hire (not your agent) and follow them around asking all sorts of annoying questions. You will be better off for it.

My 2 cents.