So here is my dilemma. Do I buy a house that is at the lower end of my budget, that has no pop or zing to it but has the potential for me to improve it over the years as I live there? Or, do I go for a house that already has the pop and zing, is move in ready, but is at the top end of my budget?
I’ve been keeping an eye out for something that meets me half way, where it has some of the wow factor while still having room for improvement so it will meet me in the middle of my budget. Sadly, so far, I have not come across anything remotely meeting me half way.
I saw one home today which has potential, although I would be compromising on some things. It has none of the wow factor. Tomorrow, we will be looking at one, possibly two more places which are closer to the higher end of my budget and from the photos appears to have that wow factor.
I know a lot will depend on the feeling we get when we walk into each of the homes. The one today, just did not give me that welcome home feeling which I felt when I had walked into that one house we loved so much.
I keep asking myself, am I looking for something to impress others with, or am I really looking for something which my daughter and I can truly enjoy and make our own? I’ve never been the type of person who tried to impress anyone, especially not using superficial tactics. I am who I am and if that cannot win someone over as a friend then I do not want to falsely represent myself in order to develop friendships. No home can do this no matter how fancifully dressed it might be.
So what is it about these homes with their ‘wow’ factor that is so attractive to me? This is the ultimate question. I think we all like ‘new’ things, whether they are homes, computers, sofas, clothing, etc. Some of us enjoy taking something old, or worn and making it look new again or help it to have an artistic antique flare. These things appeal to my creative artistic mind. They make me feel good.
However, when I consider buying a place which needs my help in creating an environment which is pleasing to my creative mind, it has to contain something in which I feel has the potential to be something special. The house today, did not give me that feeling. There was nothing in which I could look at and visualize it as being anything special in which I could place my stamp upon the place. I could not find a single thing which begged for my attention and creative spirit or had the potential for me to fix up so the next buyer, would think “wow, I have to have this place, look at what this person has done with it.”
I need such a place to be screaming at me every day saying, ‘look at me, see how much more you can do with me” which would fire up my imagination every single day to come up with all the different ways I could make it something special.
The sad thing is I saw laminate flooring poorly installed which would need torn up and replaced, which had obviously been done recently. I saw carpets worn out, kitchen cabinets needing sanded and refinished or replaced, counter tops in kitchen, and bathrooms needing updated, vinyl flooring in bathrooms needing replaced, at least one window needing replaced, old washer and dryer, stove, refrigerator all needing updated, and walls needing painted and nail holes needing filled and AC installed. These are all superficial. Some could be done before moving in, others would have to wait until I had the funds to have it done.
The worst part, is nothing can be done about the bare bones of the place. The bedrooms are small, closets are small, master bathroom is woefully tiny having only a small shower with a small vanity and toilet. If I were to enlarge the master bath it would mean the elimination of at least one closet which would not help much.
The only thing I saw which I felt did not need replaced was the slate floor in the kitchen which somehow did not match the rest of the interior. It looked to be an attempt at first to upgrade a home in which the owner then cut costs when putting in the laminate flooring, which stopped short of being finished at the sliding glass doors leading out into the small fenced yard.
The place was nicely priced at the lower end of my budget but when looking at all the work which would need to be put into the place I could easily see it costing me $50,000 dollars or more. In the end, it would end up costing me just as much as the homes at the higher end of my budget along with a lot of stress and frustration over the many things which could and will go wrong with the age of appliances and the renovations which would have to be done while we lived there.
I often answer my own questions when I begin to write about a situation. This time is no different. It makes sense to me to spend a bit more money, have a little higher mortgage in order to have a place which gives us a lot of pleasure just living in it every day. Than to end up living in a place which gives us nothing but a headache and is not very attractive visually. Though it could get there eventually, would we grow tired of it before it did?
I am not a handyman, nor do I have the skills to do any of the work. Since I cannot change the structure of the building, that means I cannot change the size of the rooms, which are woefully small. I could see this being a place for someone who enjoys working on improvements, in which they come in and make the place ‘pop’ and then turn around and sell it. But this is not what I’m looking for. I want the place we buy to be “it” for us, at least until my daughter is grown and decides what she wants to do with her life. Then we can decide where we go from there.
In time I will find that place which has the structure which is appealing, and if it does not ‘pop’ but has the bones in which to make it do so, then maybe that would be worth the work to bring out its true beauty.
Tomorrow is another day. Another day to open my eyes to the possibilities and opportunities.