After taking off our 'beer goggles' and seeing that the house we remembered wasn't the house we had remembered, we saw a few other houses that we had been intrigued with from the online listings. All three of these houses were in the same price range which was towards the upper end of what we were willing to spend towards a house. But all three houses had the same problems. They all had the main bedroom upstairs and the rest of the bedrooms downstairs. Now I suppose this it okay when your kids are teenagers but when you are dealing with a five year old, it just seemed like it wasn't the best situation. The other problem with all three houses is that they had very very dated interiors that needed a lot of work. They weren't as bad as the first house but never-the-less, I didn't want to blow my budget on a house that looked nice from the street but sucked inside because there was no money left to fix it up.
The last house of the day caught us by surprise. It was immaculate inside and every detail met our requirements. Our only problems was that it was clear on the other side of town and five miles outside of town from where we wished to relocate and it was much smaller than all the other houses we had been looking at. Since we hope to grow our family and maybe take in some relatives from the Philippines in the future, it didn't seem like a wise move to go smaller.
Never-the-less, we talked about it and really liked the house and thought that if it could be obtained at a reasonable price, we would make do. Although it was recently reduced in price by 9%, it still was pretty high for the market especially since the same money would get you a house twice as big but not as updated inside. It was the old price/quality/space dilemma. In the end, we figured out what the price should be and made an offer about 20% less than asking. The next morning it was countered with the owner lowering the price by 3%. It was obvious that the owner wasn't in a hurry to sell so we told him thanks but no thanks and crossed that house off our list.
I immediately felt relief, along with my wife, so that tells me we did the right thing. Had we met the owner of that house somewhere in between, we would be in a small house on the opposite side of town where we wanted to be and all for having a house that had a good layout and updated interior. I decided that I needed to re-evaluate things and start fresh. So that's what we did.
My new plan is to start looking at houses that are well maintained now but perhaps don't meet all our requirements. They are in the right locations with the right lot size but are lacking some features that we want in the future with a larger family. The only thing wrong with them is that they are much cheaper because the don't have all those features. Then with the money we save by buying less of a house, we can then 'fix' those problems and do them exactly the way we would like them done. After filtering through the listings again, I found nearly a dozen such possibilities and narrowed that list down to a handful or so of the most likely. So this weekend perhaps we will give it another go from a different angle and see what we find.