so the fish said...
  home links archives about contact

« Mia Monday #72: Belated Beach Edition | Main | No time for a title »

I don't know, you decide

House #1:
Fabulous back yard
On a cul de sac (this is major for us)
Huge deck
Two car garage
Horrible basement, but has potential
Walk-out basement
No wall paper
Smallish kitchen
One eating area
Bizarre floors in kitchen have to go
Front steps need major repairs
Great swing set
Not fabulous from the outside
Redone bathrooms
Huge pantry
Lots of storage
Unfenced yard
Needs lots of landscaping
25k less

House #2:
Slightly bigger, same floor plan
Sun room
Lots of horrible wall paper that would have to be removed immediately
Incredibly nice basement, except for horrible wall paper
Less-nice yard
Less-nice but still huge deck
One car garage
Two eating areas
Gorgeous hardwood floors
Cuter from the outside
Larger bedrooms
Master has little closet space and bathroom smaller than our current closet
Lots of storage
Fenced yard
OK swing set
Great landscaping, if a little much
25k more

They are a few minutes apart in the same neighborhood. Also, it looks like my house goes on the market in a week, god help us.

Comments (62)

I say house #1. Even with the weird floors, fencing, and fixing the front steps, I think you'd still come out ahead. Two-car garage is nice. And no wallpaper to deal with - and everyone knows how horrible that is. Plus if the outside needs a little work, it gives you the opportunity to make the place a little more your own style.

I'm not sure if I've ever commented here, but I think I have. Regardless, I'd say for 25K you can do almost all of those things you like in house #2 to house #1, and that 2 car garage? Worth it. IMO. You can even have those hardwoods when you remove bizarro floors :) Not removing wallpaper? Priceless.

House # 1 sounds A LOT better to me, and I absolutely agree with Becky.

I forgot to add that having a smallish kitchen is a major bonus for me. A large kitchen adds to stress when you're cooking and having to stomp around waaaaay too many steps anytime you want to go from the sink to the stove or the pantry...etc.

Oh house #1. For me, it was no question. I agree that for $25K you can do almost everything and the cul de sac is HUGE, as are the updated bathrooms.

I agree with everyone else. #1 sounds great. Sure there are a few drawbacks, but no house is perfect and you didn't list anything immensely repulsive or that would require a huge amount of immediate work or cash. We live on a cul de sac and it is fabulous!!! Just picture Mia riding her tiny training-wheeled bicycle around and around that circle for the first time. As for getting your house ready to go on the market in 1 week - ugh!

Having been through some serious indoor and outdoor remodeling of our house over the last 3 years, I vote for house #1. Reasons - $25K goes a long way towards remodeling, 2-car garage, cul-de-sac (I wish we'd held out for that), great yard, and one eating area means only having to clean one area for notorious toddler crumbs and spills.....

No. 1 sounds like it has a lot of potential.

House #2. The outside needs to be nice. You can have to bestest, mostest bad-ass inside but if the outside sucks you are never going to invite me over for cream puffs and chap stick.

House #2.

In a week? Jumping Jesus on a pogo stick! You want I should come help you vacuum the baseboards?

Number one sounds like a better deal, esp. because of the wallpaper thing. But...

...which one do you LOVE? Really? Because our house had some issues when we bought it, but when I walked in the front door I was certain it was the one. THE one.

Perhaps one of these homes gives you this feeling?

House #1 for sure. You can always fix up the not so nice exterior, and fence in the yard, and fix up the basement, but you can't make a small yard bigger, and you can't move house #2 to a cul-de-sac.

I completely agree with Becky above. House #1 sounds like the winner to me!

I gotta say #1 also. 25k is enough to make repairs, etc. etc. etc. But it was the cul-de-sac that made it for me.

I say, sell you house first, b/c from what I understand the market sucks and what if it doesn't sell.

And for more helpful advice, go with your gut, your gut never lies.

Are you taking Mia house shopping? How's that working for you?

I say, sell you house first, b/c from what I understand the market sucks and what if it doesn't sell.

And for more helpful advice, go with your gut, your gut never lies.

Are you taking Mia house shopping? How's that working for you?

Sorry for the muliple comments. Internet weirdness.

Option #1, definitely! Never compromise on the 2-car garage.

We are finally done with selling and buying after 8 long months. It's house buying season now and that's the good thing.

We put our house for sale in October, because we had found our dream house. Our dream house sold before ours did, so a couple weeks later when ours finally sold we were out house hunting like crazy. We had 2 other houses swept from under us and then we thought we'd have to rent, but 3 weeks before we were to close on our house we found a house and were able to close and move in. We're in and everything is still pretty messy, but it's done. Good luck!!

House #1. As a child that grew up on a cul-de-sac street, it gives your kids more area to play. And the bigger yard is definitely a plus for Mia. Watching HGTV and DIY network recently has proven that many things can be done for less than you think.

If you buy a house that is $25K less, does that mean you will have access to an extra $25K with which to make repairs? Because it's not like the mortgage company is going to give you $25K extra in your loan. And fences are expensive.
1. How much energy/time/money will you guys have to deal with fixing, after closing on a house?
2. How many cars do you have, and do you tend to use your garage as storage?
3. Which one felt more like "home" when you first walked through the door?
It's a tough one. Wallpaper is relatively easy to correct. Floorplan or extra garage space, not so much. And landscaping...that's just some serious WORK.
Good luck!

#1, definitely - cul de sac and great yard are HUGE and not having to remove fugly wallpaper? priceless

House #1. You can put your own choice of wallpaper.

House #2

We are in the process of remodeling our basement. Why? Because we need more room. Family dinners don't work when you don't have a large enough eating area, and dinner is when we spend the most time together. We have a teeny yard. We've made it just right for us with a small flowerbed around our trees, and a lilac (also, a potted herb garden). It's not the size that counts ;-)
When you think of home, do you think of where you share a bed with your husband, play with your daughter, and eat meals together? Or do you think of the backyard?

I almost forgot! Ask to have it written in that the wallpaper be removed ahead of time. We even had the previous owners paint the house in OUR choice of colors. :D

Is a cul de sac like a court? If so, I vote for that one. The house I grew up on was on a court and it was great - less traffic and nice and quiet. We would ride our bikes around in circles for hours with no cars bothering us. It was wonderful.

What, no pictures?

I think I'd go for house #1. I'm a big fan of lots of storage space. Especially when you have kids and they grow out of their clothes and toys every 6 months.

What can you absolutley NOT live without? If I had to do it all over again I would make sure we had tons of closet/storage space and at least a 2 car garage. Think of winters *shudder*
Wall paper is a bitch to remove and you have no idea what you are getting into and how bad it is....sounds like #1 would be better suited because you would have more money to make the necessary changes. The more expensive house still needs work and you won't have extra $$...

Keep looking...maybe there will be more houses that you like.

Selling a house is always fun, hoping you are pleasantly suprised!

Yes, house #1. Sounds like there is more potential there. Ilike the cul-de-sac

Any house without wallpaper goes directly to the top of my list. I hate taking that stuff down.

house 1
you will change many things anyway.
why not start with the better base and less money.

It doesn't need to be either of them you know... There will be other houses.

Do you want two eating areas ? Do you want a two car garage ? Wall paper isn't that big of a deal, Mia will have a great time playing in all the dust it creates !

i vote house #1...use the extra 25k to fix it up a bit.

A 2 car garage is a must in our next house. We have a tiny garage now, and most of the time can't even park one car in it. But - We also must have a larger kitchen, because you just can't fit 2 people in our kitchen cooking. So, I'd probably look some more. But if you're set on these 2, I'd pick the first one

I dunno... #1 maybe? Although I'm totally one of those types to go for how the house looks on the outside before anything... shallow I know.

Does either come with a helipad and helicopter to fly me to and from playdates? Because that would TOTALLY rock. Especially now that I totally need someone to eat Doritos with so I don't feel like such a cow for eating a bag in one sitting.

House #1, homegirl. Take the $25K you saved and ...

While you're redoing the kitchen floor, expand the kitchen into the pantry to make it bigger.

Pretty-up the basement and the front-steps. Do a little landscaping.

Plant a gnome in front of the house to make it look more inviting. Gnomes scream, "Welcome! Our house is pretty!"

Always buy the cheaper house that needs a little work. Always.

House #1. Simply because House #2 didn't sound nice enough to justify the extra $25,000.

House #1 reeked of potential. If you and Chris are handy or have friends/family that are handy--progress could go quickly. Housing is high enough, you don't want spend more unless the house is EXACTLY what your looking for.

Long-term: Do one project a year or several mini projects. Over time a house easily evolves into a home that you envisioned.

Hubby and I love projects around the house. Working on things is how most of us can afford to remodel and still save money on our mortgages.

Do you have pictures of the front of each house?

#1 25k will make your payment so much more. And over time you can change the things about the house that need to be changed. The one car garage would so annoy you after a while.

You can NEVER have enough room. But if house #2 isn't in a cul-de-sac, then you have to pick #1. With kids, a cul-de-sac is THE ONLY way to go. We picked our current house, b/c it was in a cul-de-sac...we have kids. Cannot rave enough about it! couldn't have made this easy..could you?

i don't know. i choose my house based on the size of the kitchen - i figured everything else was fixable. i wanted a huge kitchen. but...we still haven't gotten around to all the things i want to do...

i would probably say #2...because it's not like you are going to turn around and say, "hey, we're saving 25k so let's go and spend that money fixing up the cheaper house" it doesn't really work that way, usually.

crap...i don't know..

#1. for no specific reason, really, other than the items listed in #1 seemed to grab me more.


If the steps need major repairs, that should come out in the inspection and the HOMEOWNERS should fix that. You could potentially also ask them to fence the yard

(Hey, don't ask? Don't get.)

Landscaping is cheap. Bathroom remodels are not. Cul de sac locations are more valuable usually (depending on the neighborhood). And storage is unbelievably key.

Do you care about not having a lot of room for entertaining dinner guests / holiday meals?

And $25K less? Always a winner! Good luck!!

just one thought - paint and wallpaper stripping supplies are usually a lot cheaper than new floors - unless of course you were planning on changing out all the floors wherever you move into

I pick the one that is closer to my house.

Location, location, location.

Keep looking?

It sounds like both houses have good qualities that you like, but, neither are quite right... buying and selling is something you don't want to have to do TOO often.

I would take some time and find the right house AND a price you can live with. There are a couple of options available to you, should you sell your current house before you're able to move into the new one.

1. Rent your current house from the new owners for a few months if necessary or 2. Set your closing dates a couple months out, so the timing works out nicely.

I'm really excited for you! Can't wait to see what you find.

House #1 sounds like it has a lot more potential. And it has a two-car garage!! I'd give my left foot for another garage space. Not to mention you wouldn't have to remove all that nasty wallpaper.

Oh yeah, and the cul-de-sac!!!!

I would choose house #1. The repairs seem less than the other house, and if you have a good floor plan, you could re-model the kitchen later if you need more space. It sounds great, and the second house seems overpriced for what you are getting. Good luck!

House Number 1!

Make your decision on the things you love about the house that are there to stay. You are not going to create a cul-de-sac with #2. But you can re-model the kitchen of #1. Only ONE eating area? Haha, that is like normal here. Luxury problem :)

Overall #1 sounds great to me. But I don't have to buy it :) What does Mia think?

Without seeing either, House #1 sounds like a slightly better deal (particularly since, as others have noted, with an extra $25K you can do a lot of sprucing up), except for the smallish kitchen part. (But that's just me--my husband and I both cook, plus the family tends to wind up hanging out in the kitchen.)

It might be helpful for you to think about the kinds of things you do now, and see how well those activities map to the two potential houses. If you spend a lot of time outside, maybe the neat landscaping should be given more weight. If you tend to buy in bulk, the big pantry might be nice.

Good luck!

We are also moving so I am STRESSED OUT right beside you babe! Though add pregnancy, a new job, and MOVING 700 miles away to the stress factor and that is where I am. My parents put their house on the market this past Sunday, first person to look at it put a contract on it! They are also moving to the beach in the area in which we are going! I will tell my mom to keep you in her prayers for a speedy sale! I have started blogging; there are 3 posts up so far but make sure you read the first one! And look at the links to hmmm...a hottie "fish" blog at the bottom! Hope to start getting comments and get out into the blog community. I envy all your readers...make me popular! You rock my world girlie! Also...have you decided or thought about the baby verdict? Mia would be awesome with a bro or sis! Hurry up lets be pregnant together!

It is so hard to make big choices like this. I hate it.

(and that's why I can't offer my opinion!)

And man, selling your house. Now that is stressful.


House #1. Everyone prioritizes differently, but here's the advantages that jump out at me, in order:

Cul de sac
2 car garage
Big yard
No wallpaper

It's going to come down to priorities of course, but I hope you can envision how some things are changable and some are not. You can't usually add a garage somewhere, nor can you reduce traffic on your street (but you can get a cul de sac), or add on to your lot for safe back yard play areas. You CAN add (or pay someone to add) landscaping, aesthetics to the outside of the house, and even sometimes expand a kitchen.

Best of luck. It's not easy, but it's very rewarding.

House #1 no question about it, for the location alone. The things you listed as negatives are all easily changed over time. The things you listed about house #2 (only a 1 car garage, not in a cul de sac) are not so easily changed. Also really who needs more than one eatting area, we almost never use our dinning room (or our living room come to think of it).
Good luck, I hope your house sells quickly for more than your asking and you guys find your perfect HOME for way less then you were planning to spend.

House #1. Plan on spending $17K on all the updates and know that everything will come in over-budget and you'll quickly spend that $25K. Even house #2 sounds like it needs some kind of cash infusion. Because trust me, you DO NOT want to remove all that stinkin' wallpaper yourself. You will be left w/ drywall that needs repair. Not fun.

And oh, how I would love to live on a cul-de-sac. I'm in a big city and I live on a one-way street across from a HUGE park. Just moved in on Saturday! Boxes galore, contractors coming to destroy further on Friday, but the park! The trees! The love I feel for the area is enough to make these sacrifices.


You really can't go wrong with either. The cul-de-sac sounds really nice, but so do the hardwood floors. If you can pull $25,000 out and apply it to renos, I agree that you can add all the good features of #2 into house #1, probably for much less than $25,000. For me, I gravitate to great family spaces (kitchen, family room, yard) and I'm not as concerned with the size of bedrooms or bathrooms.

If the kitchen is big enough to be workable... without a doubt, the first house. I have only lived in one apartment where the kitchen was *not* big enough, and that was just hellish. Never again.

House 1
25k less lets you do
its better to do than to undo
Trust me on this one.
LEARN from MY mistakes!

this is totally why i'm dreading the house hunt that we'll have to undertake in the coming months (kind of half-heartedly are already, I guess). totally. pros, cons...all you really want is a house ;)

house no.1 for sure. all the changes that need to be made are mostly minor and cosmetic, and there is just no way to get over the small wardrobe/bathroom space of house no.2!

besides, cul de sacs rock. wurd?

I vote for #2. Kitchen and eating area is important to me!

Oh and for 25K for a house like that? Let me put into perspective that in California, you can't even get into a former crackhouse in Compton for 25K. There's a reason why we probably will never be able to get into a home.

Good luck selling AND buying!

Post a Comment

Remember personal info?

So the Fish Said...

Whoever you are, now I place my hand upon you, that you be my poem, I whisper with my lips close to your ear.

- Walt Whitman

Meet the Fish

I want to get a pet duck and keep it in the bathtub.
I am addicted to chap stick and altoids.
I am freakishly flexible.

World's Most Beautiful Child


World's Most Handsome Child


Other Important Things

Clive Owen

Clive Owen
Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend

RSS Syndicate this site (XML)

Design by Emily

© Copyright 2004
All Rights Reserved.