House Hunting, Part Two
January 30th, 2010 by Mike

When I first started thinking about buying a house, I made the decision to use a realtor who knows and lives in the neighborhood where I want to buy. That may have been one of the smartest decisions I’ve made recently.

My friend Ulli and I went house hunting again today. This time was a lot more fun because I knew what I was approved to spend and actually knew what was in my budget. Yes, I sat down and figured out what I spend monthly and figured out just what I could spend.

We met up with Ryan, my buyer’s broker, at the big park near Ulli’s house. It’s close to where he lives and close to one of the properties he wanted me to see today.

Our first stop was a block from the Maverick T station. It hadn’t originally been on my list of places to see, but the seller dropped the price and it was worth seeing. It’s a two bedroom condo on the first floor with a great kitchen. The living room is decently sized and has a pretty big bathroom. The larger bedroom has a door that leads out to the back “patio” and a small yard. It’s new construction in the past three years. The price is in my sweet spot and remains a possibility.

Our second and third stops were lofts in the same building, an old bra factory. Seriously. We’ll call them 104 and 147. Having seen the pictures and drempt of the places, I have to say that I was incredibly disappointed. 147 had a private deck, but the mezzanine had terrible steps and couldn’t really be used because the ceiling was too low. 104 was better, but the kitchen needed a lot of work. Both of these have been eliminated as possibilities. They’re too much money for too little space.

Next came a unit in the building where I met Ryan and Ulli. It was a HUGE one bedroom with lots of storage and a ton of light. The kitchen had high end fixtures but terrible cabinetry. It was nice, but the asking price was too high. The location is great, but I would end up being “house poor.”

The fifth unit isn’t actually listed on the market. This was really neat because I saw it pretty much how the guy lives, including where his two dogs occasionally pee on the floor. I can’t fault anybody here because Reggie has been known to pee once in a while. 🙂 It had fantastic bedrooms but not enough living space downstairs. The back yard and deck were selling points, but the kitchen didn’t call to me.

The sixth unit was one we saw last week. It’s the one that’s open concept with kitchen at one and and the fireplace at the other. LOVE LOVE LOVE this unit. As much as I’d love to buy it, it’s at the upper end of my price range.

When we were done, we left Ryan and talked over lunch. And we did pros and cons. And we crunched numbers. When Ryan called me back a couple of hours later, I told him what I’m thinking. Stay tuned for details.

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