Christopher and I went and looked at our very first crop of houses today! We looked at six total, across a wide range of ages, locations, and price ranges. These were all located in Shawnee, our second-choice city, but still one that is a fine choice for house-buying. I think this worked well, particularly in terms of letting us see what is available close to our preferred locations and price range. Somewhat predicably, we liked the more expensive houses more than the cheaper ones.
A bit of general information about our house hunt: In addition to looking at houses for the normal things like whether we like the location, the lot, the layout, and all the other things that may or may not start with L, we also have two things in mind that have a lot to do with price. Because I have pretty bad allergies, we’re going to want hard floors in our house. We are planning on making this happen before we move in, because it will much easier to do with no furniture to move. The second issue is Ember, who has an impressive vertical leap and can scale fences with amazing grace. So: a house with hard floors and tall fences is worth much more to us than a house without these things, because they are both things we will have to fix quickly if they are not already part of the house in question.
Anyway. Of the ones we saw today, this one was our favorite (click the link for more info/pictures):
It was very well cared for, and it has absolutely stunning hardwood floors. Which our dogs would, of course, ruin in a heartbeat. But they are very pretty at the moment. The whole house is in pretty good shape and the yard is very nice. An odd thing about it is that the basement flooring looks to be brand-new linoleum, which also looks like it came fresh from the early 90s. It’s not exactly a flooring that meshes well with my decorative tastes, but it’s in fantastic shape, so I’d feel odd about replacing it. It’s priced very close to the top of our price range, and would need a good amount of reflooring and some upgraded fencing. At a slightly lower price point, though, we’d jump on it. So it’s a definite possibility.
This house was our second favorite:
Chris liked this one more than I did, but we both liked it. It has a nice front porch area, and the fence, while a bit worse for wear, is probably tall enough to keep our airborne dog contained. The floor plan was very nice; the kitchen was well-shaped and the living room had some very nice built-in shelves around the fireplace. The downstairs basement area was pretty much ready to move in, with some nice tile flooring. The master bedroom was also quite nice, with some nice additional bedrooms as well.
Our third-place candidate was this house:
I was a bit confused at first because this house is no longer blue; it’s now a tan color where the blue used to be. This house had a very interesting layout! It was definitely unlike any other houses we’ve seen, and interesting just in the way it’s put together. The master bedroom is on the main (entry) level with the kitchen, living room, and laundry, with the garage down a half level from that, and the basement/family room area down half a level from the garage. The basement had a lot of nice space, and a walkout door to the backyard. The garage is positioned a little oddly in that, coming in from it, you are deposited halfway up a flight of stairs with not much space to maneuver. You must go up the stairs immediately from there. Up half a level from the main were more bedrooms, and up half a level from that is a nice loft of undetermined purpose. Perhaps just a reading nook or some such? We did like this house, but were not huge fans of the backyard, and it would require a lot of reflooring.
Tomorrow evening we will go to visit a few more houses down here in Lenexa, which is our first-choice city to live in. One of those houses is our current favorite according to the pictures we’ve seen, so stay tuned to find out if we like it just as much in person.