Well, we’re back on (or still on? — not sure we ever really fell off) the house hunting horse, though conditions are questionable: inventory is really low right now, good properties are moving fast, it’s a seller’s market, etc., etc. Not to mention that interest rates (on loans) are rising. (What really gets me is that interest rates on borrowed money are going up, while rates on savings, like C.D.s and money market accounts, are still pitiful –grr!)
Anyhow, a new property of interest (let’s call is a POI) popped up on Monday. What with properties moving fast, I was more than a little anxious, and we got in to see it by Wednesday afternoon.
I planned to meet Matthew there after work, and since I’d been a bit under the weather, my initial plan was to take the car. However, Wednesday was rather nice, weather-wise, the destination was just over 3 miles away, and biking worked, timing-wise. In fact, in making my plans to bike, I rather forgot that I was feeling sick. I readied my bike, picked Sir up from childcare early, and we headed over.
- Almost a third of an acre (12200 sq ft lot) with good sun for gardening
- A decent kitchen rehab
- A crazy master suite that took up the entire 2nd floor, and included a wall of windows looking out onto the huge front yard (i.e., the garden)
- Decent location for bikeability
- Closet space
- The 100+ year-old house had some additions over the years, which seemed rather random/haphazard
- There was a small basement under part of the house; the rest was some weird combination of crawl-space, subbasement, and slab
- In one of the crawl-spaces, they were using jacks and bricks to support part of the house.
- The entrance to the basement was through one of the first floor bedrooms
- The kitchen, living, and dining areas had been refinished with laminate flooring, which is known for off-gassing some nasty stuff
- The paint (or other?) fumes — both my lungs and head were unhappy; I had to keep stepping outside to get fresh air
- Potential plumbing issues
- Pretty dismal for public transit
- Not particularly walkable
- On the very edge of StL city limits, meaning we would have to deal with “the school” question
The basement issues made it a no-go, a decision we arrived at rather quickly. As our realtor pointed out, lifting a house and adding a basement is neither an easy nor a cheap fix.
We biked home together, and on the way, I pointed out a house with a huge lot (assuming that it was, in fact, a single property) that I’d noticed earlier. After dinner, a bit of house-stalking turned up that it was, in fact, a house on half an acre.
A-freaking-mazing. And, distinctly NOT for sale. Bummer.
Due to various timing and logistical issues, we’ve driven to most of the properties we’ve looked at over the past few years, which always feels wrong, since bikeability is one of our big criteria. I have to admit that part of my motive in biking to this house on Wednesday was hoping to create some good house hunting karma. Despite it not being “the one,” I really enjoyed seeing the house, and I think biking there helped my mood and improved the whole experience.
**Satellite images of POIs courtesy of Google maps.**