In case you're not familiar that is the sound that starts every episode of House Hunters on HGTV. I'm such an obsessive dork I've been watching that channel almost non-stop since we listed our house for sale.
We finally finished all the inspection negotiations and the Accepted Offer sign is firmly in place on top of the For Sale sign outside... which is just peachy, wonderful. No more cleaning for showings at a moments notice, no more open houses, no more angst about the backyard, etc. etc.
Until.... OMG! I have to move by May 22nd! How the H-E-double hockey sticks is all this gonna work out?? I need to somehow get another place even though we cannot close on the next place before we close on this one. I know we can put everything in a pod and close same day or next day and stay in a hotel for a day or two during the move, or we can rent back from our buyer, or we can rent ahead with the seller of the new place - but lordy I wish that was all worked out already. AND since both kids start new schools next year and we have a definite agenda for where we want Alex to go and the deadline has passed for him to go to apply for school choice, that limits our choices... sigh.
As promised, here are our current top picks - no promises that we will actually buy one of these mind you as none of them are really screaming "this is the one" very loudly... but they are the best (to us) of what is currently available.
Cheap but dated
This house was an early favorite and I posted about it before. We like the bones of the house and the neighborhood is pretty good too. The inside is pretty dated though - nothing that has to be fixed really, but there are tons of projects we'd want to do over time to update. It is not in Alex's high school district though. We might be able to get him in to his high school of choice anyway, but we don't know that for sure yet.
This house has the newer look we like AND it has a private wooded backyard. This combination is exactly what we are looking for and seems pretty hard to find. Also the price is very attractive for a house this new. It is 2 blocks from Alex's high school and 3 blocks from one of the acceptable grade schools for Katie. The negatives are that it has a small kitchen (we are babied with a rather large kitchen at the moment, the current owner has a dog that has pooped all over the backyard (I know temporary problem, but still ewww!), the basement is unfinished, which we'd have to do and would be a major expense. The biggest problem though is that it is a short sale. We aren't sure that after being on the market for 6 months ourselves that we have the fortitude to pursue a short sale. We've heard stories of it taking months to negotiate an acceptable offer with the bank and we really need something we can move into on or near our closing date on this house.
Hot tub heaven
This house has many of our wants and all of our needs. It is in the same neighborhood as house #1 and is probably a bit overpriced. The agent selling this house is the same agent that sold our house and is functioning as our buyer's agent, so might be a conflict of interest. It has a hot tub that we know we'd enjoy for the first few weeks or so until it came time to clean and maintain the thing. The yard is okay, but not as nice as the other two houses. Biggest concern here is the same issue as house #1 - not in the right neighborhood for Alex's high school. It is a small thing, but it has a perfect craftroom with a built in craft desk under a window overlooking the backyard.
House #4 (yeah, I know HH only does 3 - so sue me!)
Pricey but perfect (maybe)
This house is the most expensive on our list, but it is listed about 20k above where it should be in my opinion. Of course even if we get it for a more acceptable amount, it is still the most expensive option. We haven't actually been inside yet because the owner put it on the market with one of those "do-it-yourself" type realtors that doesnt' have an agent for the property and then went on a trip to Europe. WTF? Who does that? Sooo they are probably not that motivated to sell. The house is newer, has a wooded lot, is close to Alex's desired high school, has a man cave complete with sound system (DH is totally drooling over that one!) and has a big soaker tub (my drool) and a large upgraded kitchen.
So which one will we choose?