On Saturday January 23rd I somehow had four viewings scheduled and an open house, all between 11:30 and 3PM. On the one hand, this was convenient because the area I'm looking at is an hour drive each way from where I currently live. On the other hand, this was a lot of showings and after working with my realtor to put in three offers I kinda burned out a bit on thinking about updating this page.
But now I'm hearing back about the offers and it seems important to update this page again.
So first house first, this was the 11:30 showing, a small ~1100 square foot house on a little less than half an acre on a moderately busy road. (Speed limit 25, but it's a straight road that transitions from residential to commercial.)
Let's go inside and see all the renovations the seller has put in!
New vinyl tiles in the back of the house (top of the floor plan) comprised of the rear entryway / mudroom / laundry room, dining room, kitchen, and full bathroom.
South facing windows in the dining room let in plenty of light, combining with the light colors on the floor, walls, and ceiling to make the dining room feel bright and open.
As with the dining room, the light colors make the full bath feel larger and more open.
Nothing stands out as exceptional, which will mostly be the case going forward. Everything is shiny and clean and new and pretty standard.
The kitchen is the first place where the house starts to get quirky. Mostly in regards to the location of the refrigerator.
It's in a little alcove, set back from the rest of the kitchen, with some empty space to the left of the fridge, under the stairs.
The image is a little distorted from the 360 panoramic camera used for the virtual tour, but the space in the very back is only 2 feet high. Could be a good place to store broom, mop, etc.
The living room and first floor bedroom have hardwood floors, making them just slightly darker than the dining room and kitchen, but that's offset by the additional West facing windows in the front of the house.
The change in flooring and the hint of an arch way provide a clear delineation between the living and dining rooms.
One last room on the ground floor before we head upstairs. This bedroom features extra cabinet storage space above the closet. The four cabinet doors all open into the same space.
I'm torn between making this my bedroom or making it my home office. With the computer in the corner where the desk is, the rest of the room would be wide open for VR as well ...
But why would I want my bed in this small room when the master bedroom upstairs is so much larger? Let's head upstairs and see if there might be a reason.
At this point, it may also be useful to scroll back up and see the general shape of the house, specifically the second floor.
From the top of the stairs, looking toward the master bedroom, we begin to see a potential issue. The three height markers there are 6'4", 4'8", and 3'2" at the shortest.
To navigate the hallway I must duck, or at least lean my head toward the center of the house.
Note also the master bedroom does not have an en suite and the upstairs half-bath is on the other side of the angled hallway and stairwell.
For all the trouble to navigate to the room, the bedroom itself is actually very spacious and open.
Starting with the stairs, all of the second floor (excluding the bathroom) is carpeted with new, light colored carpet. The larger closet is deep, but also angles down along the same line as the hallway, making it a little awkward to use. I'm sure I'll figure something out, or I'll get fed up in a few years and begin the house hunting process all over again.
The sloped ceilings of the upstairs bedrooms would make a VR space awkward. To my knowledge the room setup assumes straight walls and a vertical space at least as tall as the player.
The house sits on a little less than half an acre (0.46 according to the listing) and includes a single car garage.
Some final thoughts:
The basement is unfinished and purely utility and storage, accessible only through a bulkhead style door at the rear of the house, with maybe 4 or 5 feet between the floor of the cellar and the ceiling (on the day I viewed the property there were signs warning about wet paint on the basement floor, so I didn't venture much past the basement steps.
The garage is more than enough space for my car and whatever yard tools I decide to keep in there. The back wall also includes a stereotypical wooden work bench.
I've been spoiled by my current apartment being on the ground floor and being able to wheel in a large grocery order from a warehouse club (Costco, BJ's, etc.) on my handcart all at once, instead of making several trips to hand carry items. But on the other hand, I'll be able to park my car very close to the back steps, just outside the kitchen, making the repeated trips very short.
A brick chimney stub is visible on the roof, but from the inside I don't see any evidence of a fireplace or other reason for the chimney. It may just be there for attic ventilation at this point. I could probably ask the home inspector.
And as I've hinted throughout this entry, this is one of the three properties I submitted an offer on. This seller only received three offers total, and mine was accepted.
I'm firmly on the path toward owning my first home.