Tuesday, January 6, 2009


We're house hunting again.  It's way more fun watching other people do it on TV.  

So far, our realtor has sent us listings for Queen Creek, and that's pretty much it.  Please don't get me wrong, folks.  I've got nothing against the QC.  But when we specify that we'd like something closer "in town" we don't really expect to see Florence listings.  It's sort of bordering on mind-bogglingly aggravating.  

It's especially a problem for me when I google search 'Gilbert listings under $130,000 walking distance to elementary schools' and come up with a crapload of positive search results.   Do you think it's possible that my realtor has just never heard of Google?  or Gilbert?  

I'm not really sure what it is that would make up The Perfect House, which I'm sure irritates the realtor to no end.  Mostly I just want a place that has high walkability in the neighborhood.  A park, a grocery store, a school, and maybe even a community pool would all be awesome.  Four bedrooms, clean, nobody died in it...  I don't think I'm asking too much.  

But maybe I need to be more specific?  I don't know.  Wood floors in the living room would be nice.  Maybe a window over the kitchen sink?  What did you guys search out for when you were looking for your home?  

(We'll play Dream House another day.  Like, of course a guest house in the back, and a great big sun porch, and an elevator would all be awesome, but I'm sort of pretty much positive we're not getting that in our price range, you know?  REALISTICALLY, what goes into your perfect home?  And if those things are realistic to you, then why have I not hit you up for money yet??  You are so buying lunch next time we're out)


Scarlet said...

Here are a few things that I failed to notice in the layout of my house that I would like to turn back time and press do over on: My house has no storage...none. We have no coat closets and only one linen closet which is downstairs not at all where I need most of my linens. I don't know if it is just me but I feel with kids it is important to be able to put things away because lets face it these children come with a crap load of baggage. I have no place to store a bassinet, car seat and crib while I am deciding if I want any more children. Not to mention in an ideal world I would rotate Brooklyn's toys so that she does not bore of them so quickly. Also and this is totally my husbands fault. I hate having tile in my living room. It is not really the best for babies who are learning how to get about plus it never looks clean no matter how much time I spend mopping it. If you want I could give you the number to my realtor. She is awesome and a real go getter so she paid close attention to the things that we were looking for. Also I highly recommend that you view any neighborhood at night just to make sure that you don't wind up in the ghetto of gilbert like I have. There is all kinds of crazy going on after the sun goes down.

Lindsay said...

omg. i COMPLETELY agree with scarlett. we bought our house when we were in college and had zero idea what we were doing. we have one teeny tiny arizona coat closet when you first walk in and i swear, it is literally 24 inches wide. we can fit 4 coats in it. our luggage also fits. that's it. no towel/linen storage anywhere in the place. and yeah, we have all this huge baby crap that we are currently storing in our shed...which is somewhat frightening. Since it was our first house, we got a 3 bedroom assuming that would be enough space for us for a while. wrong. one tiny little boy added to the mix and we're completely out of space. So...if you are asking i'd say find something that meets your storage needs, has room to grow (not just for kids, but for crap too), and check the landscaping. all 5 trees in our yards drop a ridiculous amount of junk on the ground.

and yeah, it's so crazy that realtors can't just show you what you ask for. we have a 1400sq ft house now and my realtor seriously just sent us the listing for a 1100 sq ft condo. really? really? idiot.

Kristin said...

This is a great topic, I want in! First of all, if your realtor isn't listening to your needs, you need to get a new one. There's no need to waste your time and energy with someone who is hell bent on selling you what you don't want. When I bought my first home, I ran into this with a realtor who for some reason only wanted to show me HUD houses. I had to finally drop her and get a new one who was going to listen. It's the biggest purchase you'll make in your life, and you don't want to waste your time.

Ok - I'll echo everyone's statements about storage; both how much and where it is located in the house. Don't forget about kitchen / pantry storage, too. WORD also to knowing what the neighborhood is like at night. Being within walking distance of schools, parks, etc. shouldn't be too hard to find, it will just limit the houses available for you. But of course, that shouldn't be too much of an issue right now. I would suggest, if you haven't already, making a list of Must Haves and Would Like To Have. Do you want 1 story or 2? If 2 story, where do you want the laundry room, bedrooms, etc.? How many air conditioners does a potential home have? If you think you'd like to use your backyard, is there an adequate patio? I hate this part of my house - the patio is tiny and not really usable in the summer or when it is raining.

Just some of my 2 cents...

Mama's Place said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kristin said...

I forgot to add that there's homes for sale in my neighborhood...the school is just down the street, less than 1/2 mile and there's a huge park about 1/2 mile away, too. I'm sure there will be homes in your price range, if you like the area.

mrsmouthy said...

Holy crap, you can buy a house for$130,000? Around here that would buy you a basement in your parents' house! We really should just MOVE.

Katy said...

Ahh, real estate. I love this topic.

1)Find yourself another realtor. I recommend HIGHLY, Melissa O'Connell with Unique scottsdale homes. Google her and don't be intimated, she's awesome.

2)Storage is HUGE and never underestimate the importance of a garage. Standard on new homes, but if you want to live in, let's say, some parts of mesa, you may not get a garage. Trust-you should get one.

3)4 bedrooms, don't skimp on this. I know it's on your list, but just don't fall in love with a house that's 3 bedrooms. For that matter, once you make your list, try your hardest to only look at houses that meet most of the requirements because if you do fall in love with a house you're more likely to dismiss items on the list and then regret it.

4)Oh oh, tell your realtor to give you access to the MLS listings (her MLS listings.) Search about 5 zip codes you like and let her know your $ range and then you have a lot more controll. When we bought our last home, our realtor just gave me access to all her search capabilities and let me go. This was nice because when I saw something I liked, I'd tell her and then we'd go see it. Less waste of both people's time.

5)Look for houses that are ugly!! So many people are intimated by bad wall paper and pink walls. These houses get passed up simply for cosmetic reasons and you can get a great deal on them. I understand most people hate house work and after my remodel blew up, I understand wanting to avoid that, but seriously, just remember that all that bad furniture and paint and wall paper and dirt will go away once you move in.

if you need any advice let me know. I love this topic and don't find it overwhelming at all.

Renee said...

I love that you guys are all over this. I'm going to be fair and let you know that our realtor really hasn't had the chance to screw anything up yet. I just didn't know how to express what I wanted. But I will keep in mind that there are MANY more recommendations out there for good realtors if this guy doesn't start listening, now that I'm speaking.

Also, the storage thing is SO helpful. I didn't even think about looking for that sort of thing. Good call everyone.

Irene, where did your comment go??