So many houses, so little time

Choices, choices, choices. How do you really find the right house for you? There are so many types of houses, so many sizes … and of course, so many prices. Luckily, we’d done our homework so we were prepared with a “what can we afford” range. (BTW, it pays to be fully prepared before you even view a house. Know what you can spend … it saves a lot of heartache later on, if you find the PERFECT house and then find out you can’t afford it.)

We told Tim what our “wontz-n-needz” were (garage=YES, nice kitchen=yes, level driveway=definite yes), and from there picked 6 houses that we could go see that day. Four of the houses were in Blue Lake Springs and two were in Meadowmont. We started with the two Meadowmont houses.

The first house was extremely nice. Lots of windows, well maintained, big rooms, level driveway, huge garage. Really a beautiful place. The next house was big, but had some oddities about it. Big rooms, but weird heating outlets. Also, there was a living room and a great room and the way things were situated, we didn’t think the living room would ever be used. Kind of waste of space, hmm?

Off to Blue Lake Springs! The first house had some lovely features, but one really odd thing, the kind of thing that makes you go “hmmm”: In the basement room, there was a door leading to storage space under the house. The space wasn’t built out, but it was being used by the owner as there were boxes and bits of furniture stored there. Also included in the mix were HUGE mushrooms. Well, well, well. What do mushrooms need to grow? Soil, dark and MOISTURE. Can you say “red flag”? No, thank you, we’ll let someone other lucky buyer take this house!

The next house was lovely. I personally had to get past all the frilly country kitschy stuff in the house (it was packed!), but Craig has a great eye for seeing the bones of a house, and it was really nice. The one thing about this house (and isn’t there always “one thing”?) is that there was an easement issue with the house next door. First off, the house next door was right.next.door. Seemed more suburban than mountain getaway, but we could live with that. Beyond that, though, the neighbors had used the driveway of the house we were looking at to access an RV carport (RV-port?) that they had built. A) The carport was ugly and right in our line of sight. B) They’d always need to use our (potential) driveway to drive their RV into the carport. That’s an issue. Apparently these problems were what made the last attempted sale fall through. We talked it over and decided we did not want to get into an easement issue with the neighbor, so that house was checked off the list.

At this point, you may be wondering why I’m writing all this about the houses we didn’t like. Mainly because I like to refresh my memory, but I also know I have a lot of friends who like reading about real estate adventures, so … I’m feeding both our addictions! On to the next viewing …

I had to laugh about the next house. It was listed a 3-bedroom home. When we looked at it, we could not find the 3rd bedroom. There was a tiny room that had no closet and wouldn’t even fit a baby crib and I wondered if that was the fabled 3rd bedroom. If so, it was completely useless. The room was even too narrow to comfortably be an office. So … another “no, thank you”.

The last house we looked at had a very sloped driveway, a deal breaker for us. Could you imagine me trying to drive my Metropolitan up or down a steep driveway? After see that driveway, we decided to not even go see the house. We knew that no matter what we saw inside, the answer was already “no” because of the driveway.

Hmmm … we’d seen all 6 houses and I really, really liked the first one, so I asked if we could go back and view it again. We went back, checked out everything again and just fell in love with it. Perhaps even fell in love with it MORE. It was a beautiful place.

On our drive back to the Bay Area, we discussed the whole thing, called Shelly for advice and by the time we got home, decided to put an offer on the house. We put an offer in on Monday and by Tuesday evening, it was accepted, no counter offer, nothing. We were stunned and thrilled!

The whole escrow process was painless. The seller was amazing, being incredibly forthcoming with any issue she saw at the house, even if it was something we didn’t think was critical. All minor repairs were done to the house based on inspections, all done without any argument. Additionally, the seller left nearly all her furniture in the house, meaning we didn’t have to spend a fortune on furnishing the house.

So, 54 days after we made our offer, escrow closed and we were the proud owners of a lovely, 2300+ square foot home on Placer Way in Arnold, CA!

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