Last week Geoff and I headed to Colorado Springs (after being delayed due to a blizzard...in APRIL) with the help of some of our awesome friends who gave us rides, watched the girls, and allowed us to stay with them. The goal was for us to purchase our first home during the time we were there.
We looked at a total of around 14-15 houses within the first two days. We had quite a few favorites on the first day, one of which we knew would be our first choice. As we were putting in an offer on that house on Tuesday evening, we found out that the HOA is super strict, not allowing anything to be done in the backyard without permission (which the answer will always be no) because it backs up to a golf course. We couldn't even have a real fence, only a 3 foot tall rail fence with nothing attached to it to keep kids and dogs in our yard.
The 2nd day we felt very defeated as we liked a few other houses, but we really loved that one, so we agreed to look at a few more houses. We went over the details and we saw one house that stood out because it met all of our qualifications, including a walk out basement for my home studio...all within our normal price range, nowhere near our max of what we would have paid for the first choice house.
Of the 4 houses we looked at on Wednesday we had it down to two houses that we both loved. We finally decided after about 3 hours of back and fourth on the first house we saw that day because overall, it had more things we loved about the neighborhood, school, area, and was in general cheaper.
We put in an offer that evening and heard back late that night with their counter offer, which we then accepted per advice of our agent. Apparently when we where in Colorado in October, it was a total buyers market, but as of January this year, it is now a seller's market and she was surprised they were willing to come down at all on their offer. Also, we haven't had the official appraisal done yet, but the estimated market value of the house is at least $10k more than what they are asking, so most likely, we got a pretty good deal.
Thursday was filled with lots and lots of paperwork, and since then, we have new emails full of paperwork to be read and signed everyday. Overall, the trip, even though super stressful, was an over all success. We ended up getting a house that was exactly what we wanted (or pretty dang close) for the price we were hoping for.
Here is a little bit about the house:
6 bedroom (4 upstairs, 2 in basement), 3.5 bathrooms, approx 3,000 SF.
Gorgeous mountain views from the upper back deck, eat in nook, and kitchen window. The house is set on a hill as a walk out lot, so we can also see a good portion of "city view". The yard is sloped and sectioned into 3 levels, with a few semi-mature trees, perfect for backyard exploring. Not a huge backyard, but probably at least 3-4 times the size we have right now. Originally we were hoping for a little more land, but it turns out, you have to be quite a bit out of the city for that, and it was way out of our price range for our first home. We will be doing different things with each area of the yard, including, a big patio with a built in firepit, a small garden, a large area of grass for the kids to play, and then fruit trees lining the back fence.
The walk out basement is full of amazing natural light, even on super cloudy days, so I am so happy I get to continue with natural light (I was looking into switching to as natural as possible studio lighting when I thought a walkout basement was out of our price range). My studio will have a shooting area, prop closet, office, and a small play area for kids. Eventually we will put some sort of wet bar so I can have a fridge, sink, microwave, etc. The house is fairly new, only about 10 years old, but when they built the house, they didn't really do any upgrades, so everything is your standard builder grade, so we are looking at upgrading some things slowly such as the kitchen, some of the flooring, and the bathrooms. We also need to do some major painting as every single wall in that house is WHITE. I am not okay with that :)
I took quite a few photos for our own planning purposes, but I am only sharing a few, as they owners still reside in the home, so their stuff is everywhere still. I promise we will be posting lots of photos as soon as we move in, which will be June 5th! Please say a prayer that everything continues as planned!
Family room (again, not our crap)
Standing in living room/dining room looking towards family room and kitchen
Kitchen. None of the appliances match (and they are taking the fridge) so we will be replacing them eventually, as well as redoing the floor and re-staining the cabinets)
Standing in family room area looking towards living room and dining room
5 piece master bath and a huge walk in closet in Master
Love our front porch. We will be adding some railing around it eventually.
Outside of the house (It looked really small when I posted a iPhone pic on FB, and for some reason it still does here too. It's like a magic house that is small on the outside, but when you walk in you wonder if you went through a portal, LOL)
Back upper deck. You can not see them at ALL, but normally that entire view is mountains. You can also see a small portion of the yard.