After being in contract on 4 other houses in the past year, and not closing on 3 of them...I believe (still holding breath, crossing fingers, etc) that we've found "the one." Just to recap the year in houses:
House #1 - Small cape cod - everything, including carpet, walls, and exterior was a lovely light pea green. Sellers wouldn't make several crucial repairs (like make the water run) so we canceled the contract.
House #2 - Small cape cod - needed total rehab. Were doing a (ridiculous) full 203K FHA loan...and costs got out of hand...by closing, we were paying more for the house than it was worth. Strangely enough, FHA allows that to happen? Yeah, I know. Lender surprised us with $3000 in additional closing costs the night before closing, with no explanation other than that he "thought" it "may" have been an error with a credit that the seller was giving us. Since we decided to cancel the contract, HUD didn't want to give us our $1000 in earnest money back, but after I wrote a letter explaining the horrible experience we had with our lender....they gave it back, which they NEVER do. (supposedly)
House #3 - Small brick ranch without an oven. Water view and .75 acres...but the house was really small - 1426 sq ft (we are big people) and we realized that we would probably grow out of it. We decided were paying too much for a house that needed updating....we'd never be able to sell the house for what we'd need to put into it. The final straw was trying to negotiate the repairs with the seller - we only asked for a couple of things that were required by the lender (treating termites) or maintenance items that should have been completed on a full-price house (not a distressed sale) before it was listed.
AND....Finally...House #4 - The morning we cancelled our offer on #3, I was lying in bed that morning and thought to myself, I wonder if they'd take "X" amount for house #4 - if they did, I'd want it, even though needs lots of updates and has no water view. I went downstairs and B was looking at #4 online - he said, they lowered the price on #4 to "X-$1000" (numbers changed to protect the innocent). I ignored him because he enjoys "pulling my leg" all the time. Once he finally convinced me, I realized that it was a sign we were looking for. We made an appointment with our Realtor to see it again. We canceled offer on #3 because the seller wouldn't make repairs, and made a new offer on #4 which was accepted by the sellers.
So, here are the "before" pictures of the house that should be ours as of 8/31/11 (if everything goes as planned):
One of the things we love about the house is that we can live there and fix it up over time.
One side of our double-sided fireplace.
Sunroom...my favorite room...I have many plans for this one!
Back of the house
Shed (aka - future Mother-In-Law Suite...I kid!)
LOTS of work to do, but not NEARLY as much as our last house.