A House That’s SO Close!

We know we’re never going to find the perfect house!  Today we looked at one that’s probably as close to perfect as we’ve seen .  . in some ways, and as far from perfect as we’ve seen in other ways.

The less than perfect issues are all issues we can live with but if we ever have to sell it and that day may come, we believe it would be a real hard house to sell.  First, the bedrooms are tiny.  The master is about 12′ x 12′ and the other two are about 9′ x 10′.  We sleep in the bedrooms . . we stay up til time to go to sleep, we go to bed, and get up.  We don’t need huge bedrooms and in some of the houses with huge bedrooms, we’ve commented on what a waste of square feet that is.

The second issue is that with the bedrooms being so small, the closets are small and there are no other closets in the house.  No coat closet, no closet for the vacuum cleaner or the Christmas decorations.

The third issue is there’s no bath tub in the house.  There are two bathrooms and both have nice, big showers.  We don’t care about a tub but selling a house without a tub might be difficult.

I loved the kitchen!

This area has a place for the computer and a printer and some cookbooks.  The large pantry — the top opens up like cabinets but the bottom 2/3rds, when you open those doors, there are large, deep drawers in there.

The microwave would have to be moved but to the right of the oven is an area where a microwave could sit and be out of the way.  The stove top could easily be replaced with a gas cooktop.  There’s natural gas in the area or I could get propane and it would be easy to add the line into the house and to where the stove sits.

This is absolutely the most hideous looking huge rock wall with the tiniest little wood burning insert in there.  Not only are the stones big and massive looking, there are brown wall plugs, black switch plates and white vents and half of them are installed crooked . . the boxes they fit into are crooked so it would be impossible to straighten them out.  I like the family room and the windows but we talked about completely tearing out the rock wall and putting in built in book cases and an entertainment center there and forgetting about the fireplace.

This room is about a 20′ x 28′ room right off the kitchen and laundry room and it would be a great sewing room.

There’s almost 6 acres and there’s a pond, though it’s dry now.  Everyone else in the area has a well and they pump water from their well into their ponds but the well for this house has collapsed so a new well would have to be drilled.  They don’t have any problems in this area hitting water and the yards and gardens are green and lush and no one so far has had any problems with running out of water.

Vince had already looked at this house and this is what he really likes!

A 40′ x 60′ insulated building with three large roll up doors.  We talked about closing off part of  the building and making a quilting room for me so I could store a lot of the canned goods and canning supplies, as well as the longarm out there.  I don’t use it every day and it takes up so much room but if I had an air conditioned nice building inside this building, I wouldn’t mind that at all.

Another thing I like is that there are other very nice houses around.  None are right on top of you . . most everyone has 5 – 8 acres, so I wouldn’t feel like I was completely isolated but I’d have my own space.  There’s a very nice covered porch in the back and from there, I think you can see only one other house, a creek (also dry now) and some woods.  The location is ideal!

Will we buy it?  I don’t know . . we need to talk about it some more.  There’s enough about it that concerns me (bedroom/closet sizes, no tubs, no hall or coat closet) that I feel like we should maybe not get it but there’s enough I like about it (gorgeous view, could have chickens, seems to be well built, everything is brand new, and we couldn’t build it for the asking price) that I kinda hate to let it get away.  It’s in an area where houses don’t come up for sale often so . . we’ll just have to think about it.  It seems like forever that we’ve bought houses based on whether they’d be easy to sell and we said we weren’t going to do that again but now we are.  We thought our house in MO would be so easy to sell because we loved it so much.  It’s been on the market over 4 months, price dropped considerably and as far as I know, no offers yet.  So . . we sit and stew and try to decide what we should do!

Comments

  1. 1

    says

    judy, i’ve been following your house hunting saga and i get the impression from your post that if you took this house you would be ‘settling’. can you really see yourself quilting in the detached building? and storing canned goods out there? if you decide to make something for dinner the next day and need to go out to the building to get it at night, will you? i hope you don’t think i’m being a wet blanket here. i really want to see you get something you are going to be happy and feel good about. keep in mind, i’m the big chicken who doesn’t like to go down into her own basement, so my opinion really isn’t worth a hill of beans! hahaha.

    • 1.1

      says

      Yes, the main sewing room would be inside the house and I don’t quilt but once or twice a week. The longarm takes up so much room, I’d really rather have it outside. And, with the foundation issues in this area, I don’t want to store all the canned goods, buckets of wheat, flour, etc. inside the house. I’ll keep lots of stuff inside the house but I don’t need 150 quarts of tomatoes or 1,000 pounds of wheat inside the house. I’ll probably still have way more inside my kitchen than most folks ever have. I’m pretty organized with my grocery shopping/supplies and don’t see myself having to go out to the shop more than once a week but it’s not but a little ways from the house. I do appreciate your opinions!

  2. 2

    says

    Not sure what it costs in Texas, but it’s about $25,000 – $30,000 to drill a new well here in my part of Arizona. Also, it’s been years since I had such a tiny bedroom, (and it had 2 large closets in it) that would really depress me, esp. if I had a hubby to share that room with. I agree that you most of us don’t use a bedroom for much else than sleeping, but the closet issue would be bad and if you were both getting ready to go somewhere at the same time, it could get dicey in that small room! I suppose you could add on to that room?
    I agree, that rock wall is something else, with all the vents and outlets etc. but the fireplace probably looks smaller than it is due to the insert. But who would put vents in a fireplace wall? Odd. Bathrooms without tubs don’t bother me in the least, but probably would if I had children. And yeah, that kitchen is to die for!
    Good luck!

    • 2.1

      says

      We can drill a well for less than $10K here and it would be about another 10K for a new windmill or to rebuild the one that’s already there. Vince and I have never shared a bathroom or a closet and really, after this last move, the excess is over for us. We don’t need more clothes than we can fit in one closet.

      We’ve always had vents in fireplace walls. The blowers blow the heat out the vents and it helps heat the house. In Louisiana, we mostly used the fireplace for heat and had the entire house vented from the fireplace.

  3. 3

    Marge says

    Hi Judy and Vince,
    I was wondering if you could turn of the the smaller bedrooms into a huge closet, you would have lots of room for clothes and other items that need to be kept in the house. Maybe a bedroom that is right next to the master then you could put a door from one room to the other.
    Looks like there are a lot of good things about the property. I am sure that you guys will make the decision that is best for you right now.

    • 3.1

      says

      I’m more concerned about the closet space when we go to sell the house. Vince and I neither need more clothes than we could fit in the closets. But, when we go to sell the house, most others are going to want at least three bedrooms and the closet size might be an issue for them.

  4. 4

    says

    Oooo – yea, that rock wall would have to go. What were they thinking when they put that in? I do like that kitchen though. — very nice. Chickens, a pond if it ever rains again? Sounds really good. That out building is great too. Workable! It’s workable! Good luck.

    • 4.1

      says

      I figure I spend WAY more time in the kitchen than I spend in the bedroom so if I have to choose between a great kitchen or a great bedroom, the kitchen wins out hands down. The original house burned and I think they wanted to incorporate some of the old house in the new house and that’s where the rock wall came from. They built the house back and the owner had some medical issues and ended up not ever moving in. It’s such a hard decision. One we may not want to miss but one we don’t want to be sorry we bought.

  5. 5

    Becky R says

    Not having a bathtub wouldn’t bother me either as we use a shower all the time. The kitchen looks very nice. That grand room makes the fireplace look kind of miniscule and I can definitely see the bookcase and cabinets that you mentioned. How nice to have all that land around you and yet you know you have neighbors! I do like the idea about turning one of the other bedrooms into a closet. Could you add another bedroom and make it the master and have the walk-in closets for both you and Vince? Or maybe add on to the existing master enough room for big closets so you could keep your spare rooms. I think you need to figure out would work the best for you and go that route.

    • 5.1

      says

      We’re not willing to spend any additional $$ on the house. That would put it way over what would be easy to sell. It’s already way over what most houses in the area would sell for. The closets and small bedrooms are fine for us . . it’s just an issue with trying to sell the house and I think adding another $30 or $40K to the price would make it harder to sell than if we just left it alone.

      The closet in all the bedrooms are walk-in closets, just much smaller than you normally find in a master bedroom.

      We both think it would be a good house for us but after having the house in MO not even get an offer, we’re kinda scared right now I guess . . though we know you can never guess what someone else might want or not want.

  6. 6

    Roberta says

    With today’s housing market I would not worry about selling a house when I purchased. Get one that will work for you NOW and if you decide to leave TX then you can worry about it selling. Best of luck in finding a good house. AND do you think you hubby might take another job in another area in the very near future??? Some place cooler??? Hugs!!!!!

    • 6.1

      says

      We always have to think about resale since we never seem to stay anywhere very long. No, we don’t see a move any time soon . . we’re here for at least 2 years . . maybe longer.

  7. 7

    says

    Judy, that kitchen is to die for! You are right, you will spend a lot more time in the kitchen than the bedroom. My 2 cents…you home could be nice and uncluttered and Christmas decorations etc you could store in the barn/shop. If you store things in plastic tubs your things should be fine. Buy a good sturdy garden wagon and you can load it up with canned goods or whatever when you are out there to quilt. I love my garden wagon and use it for everything…especially to get all the groceries in the house in one trip. But back to the house…I would suggest NOT buying a house based on what the next family will want. If you can see YOU in that house then get it. The view looks beautiful, your own pond, porch—awesome. The rock wall?? Uh, maybe it looks better with furniture and things in the room?? Those white vents just …well, I like your idea for that wall much better. Have you ever had propane? My sister did and her kitchen always smelled like cabbage. Does it have a working and efficient A/C? All of us just want you to be happy and I know you are anxious to have your own home that you can get settled in. Good luck! Wishing you the best.

    • 7.1

      says

      We have had propane and if her stove is working properly, you shouldn’t smell anything. The A/C should work perfectly. It’s all brand new and under warranty. There were enough return air vents . . we now know to check that!

      We move enough that we really have to think about resale as much as we think about our own wants/needs. Houses that are hard to sell or have to be sold for a loss . . that just doesn’t help with the retirement funding! 🙂

  8. 8

    barbara says

    how long do yo think you’d be there? a long time? a little time?
    if you’re there for a long haul, then forget about a resale for now. you’re the only one who has to love it. that’s LOVE it. you’re already in a house that you don’t love. if you’re already thinking about selling, then it’s a very hard sell. no bathtubs? no way. tiny (by today’s standards) bedrooms. and no closet space. that is a definite no-no. people own stuff today. true they don’t need it, but they won’t throw it out to buy a house that has no tub, and little rooms. the ugly wall, well, that’s a matter of taste, right? someone liked it and someone else will, too. it looks like the things they’re selling are the kitchen and a large outdoor closet. you’ll end up storing everything, but everything out there and so will Vince, inveterate collector the he his. ( he can’t help himself. he’s a man.)

    desperate though you are, i vote no on this one. how do you vote?

    • 8.1

      says

      We never know. 2 years for sure and we’re 4 months into that 2 years so by the time we close, we could be here 1-1/2 years or, we could stay here forever and never move again. We just don’t know and that’s part of what makes it harder to decide on a house. We think the 40′ x 60′ shop offsets the small rooms for most country folks. Anyone wanting to live out in the country with acreage is going to fall in love with the shop.

      I vote yes because I love the kitchen, I love the sewing room, I love the view. We’ve decided we will only buy something that has a well or is in an area where it’s pretty certain a well can be drilled and hit water. This one is in a place we can have a well. There are so many positives with this house. And, it’s brand new — everything is under warranty and has never been used. That makes a difference too.

    • 9.1

      says

      We can’t. Moving is something that happens too often for us to not think about it . . almost as much as we think about what we really want.

  9. 10

    says

    The kitchen is great! And I love that building! If you do buy it, make sure you buy a gator or something to haul your canned goods back and forth from the house. I have been meaning to ask… since it is so dry there, will you be able to have a decent garden? Just wondering… My garden update: Most of my tomatoes are green, I don’t know what the heck is going on with them! My zucchini plants all died and I have only got two green peppers. In my area, I am not the only one with this problem, so it isn’t my fault!!! Ha!

    • 10.1

      says

      We can only have a garden if we have a well or have a waterfront lot and can pump water out of the lake (IF there’s water in the lake). Right now we’re in Stage 2 or 3 (can’t remember) of the drought contingency plans and I think stage 2 lets you water on certain days at certain times but stage 3 doesn’t allow any watering but . . I haven’t paid much attention to the rules since I’m not watering. The areas where wells are prevalent, the grass is so green and pretty. Everywhere else, it’s crunchy and brown. We have decided we only want to buy in an area where we can have a well.

      About your garden, last year my tomatoes were beautiful but the centers were green and hard. Even the Amish had the same issue with theirs. Sometimes it must be just a combination of soil temp and other weather conditions. I surely don’t have an answer for you.

  10. 11

    Hilary McDaniel says

    Don’t do it. If I looked at it, it would absolutely be a deal breaker to have no closets. No tub would also be a deal breaker. You have to remember Brownwood is small and it will take a while to sell a “difficult house”. You won’t be there long enough. You sure don’t want to be stuck w/two houses that aren’t moving. There’s something else that will come on the market. People are changing houses frequently and you will find something that has all the right things. You’d flip if another came on the market and you were stuck w/the house that didn’t have so much it needed.

    • 11.1

      says

      People don’t change houses frequently here. That’s the problem — so few houses have come on the market in the 7 months we’ve been looking.

      But . . what if we stay here forever and we missed out on a house we really like? We don’t mind not having a tub. The closets are fine for us. I think most people who want acreage and that huge out building aren’t as picking about huge closets as are those who live in the city and aren’t as much into farming and having goats and chickens.

      It’s really a good house for us and it’s so hard to know what others would buy. We’re probably going to wait at least a few months before making a decision but I think we’ve definitely decided to buy in Comanche County instead of Brown County.

  11. 12

    Patty says

    Doesn’t sound like the right house to me. The bedrooms might not seem like a big deal now but wait till you get furniture in it and nothing fits and there is no room and small closets. I just couldnt do it.

  12. 13

    says

    Can you take a wall down to make 2 bedrooms into one? Or, can you make one bedroom a closet? We’ve done both and it works great. But no tub? Personally, I like showers but sometimes I have to launder an old quilt and need a tub–LOL!

  13. 14

    says

    A mantel for the fireplace would make a big difference in the way that wall looks. I wonder if this was built to be the entertainment center, but never finished. If the vents were grey or buff they would blend into the rock. The electric outlets, etc could be changed to a different color and if they were behind the TV and book case etc they would not be seen.
    If you want to take down the wall make sure it isn’t a structural part of the house.

    Small bedrooms don’t bother me, but lack of closets is an issue that others have given you suggestions. No bath tub doesn’t bother me.

    So many plusses. I would not hesitate to give a low bid pointing out the reasons for the low bid. You can always give a higher bid, but it may be a situation where they need to get rid of the house.

    Resale may not be as difficult as you think. It is just the ecomony right now. Love the view, love the outbuilding, like the idea of a pond and neighbors near, but not on top of you.
    Hope if you decide this is the house…….things go well so you get this house. Who knows, in two years maybe the perfect house is a house just like this one.

    • 14.1

      says

      There is a mantle that hasn’t been put up yet. It’s all new construction so if we decided to make a few minor changes, everything could be matched. Removing the rock face from the wall wouldn’t be a structural problem. There’s a real wall there, with rock as a face. I really don’t care about having a fireplace so just taking it out and adding built ins there would give us more storage and I think it would look a whole lot better. We’ll see . .

  14. 15

    Angie says

    I read about the house, and looked at the pictures you’ve uploaded, and the comments, and your responses Judy. I think buying this house is more about if you and Vince really are going to stay Brownwood for many years. That would be the most important and deciding factor before I purchased anything. Otherwise I would lease or continue to rent until you can make that decision. I guess I didn’t realize until this posting that whatever you purchased would/could possibly be short term (2-3 yrs.). In terms of such a major purchase for that amount of time, I probably wouldn’t buy.

  15. 16

    says

    You sound so smart! Weighing up all the options. I think storage is an issue and thinking about who would buy the house is a good idea. It you can add more storage that would be good. My mum doesn’t have a bath either but big showers are a good compensation – as a mother of small children I would want a bath in a house I was buying but that’s my preference. The kitchen is lovely! I think that might swing it for me. Would it be best to just keep looking while you dwell on in?
    Best of luck xx

  16. 17

    says

    You sound so smart! Weighing up all the options. I think storage is an issue and thinking about who would buy the house is a good idea. It you can add more storage that would be good. My mum doesn’t have a bath either but big showers are a good compensation – as a mother of small children I would want a bath in a house I was buying but that’s my preference. The kitchen is lovely! I think that might swing it for me. Would it be best to just keep looking while you dwell on it?
    Best of luck xx

    • 17.1

      says

      We never know if it’s best to keep looking. Though real estate isn’t moving here, you never know when the next person who comes along will buy it and then it’s gone. I like it enough that I don’t think the bedrooms and closets are an issue.

  17. 20

    says

    Offer a much lower price than asked. If houses aren’t selling in the area, they might consider it. Any chance of pushing out a bedroom and making a larger closet–somewhat expensive (everything is relative), but when resale came up, it might just be a deal breaker. So wish you and Vince find something soon. I’m amazed that you continue to be “up”; I would be way down by now.

    • 20.1

      says

      It just wouldn’t be cost effective for what we would be getting. It would change the roof line no matter which direction we went and it’s a metal roof and the house is stone so not the easiest to add onto, plus even though the price per square foot is less than it would cost us to build from scratch, with the land and the big building, it’s already at the top of our price range.

      Being down only makes us all more miserable. We’re so lucky to have the rental . . especially now that the weather is cooler and honestly, we might just try to make a deal with the guy to let us stay here a year or two and see what happens then. With the lake so dry, no one is buying lake property right now anyway. We have options and that’s good.

      • says

        i’m glad to see you mention staying where you are for a while as one of your options. if you may only be there for two years, why buy? i really don’t want to be a downer, but for some reason it just seems that this house is not the right fit for you guys and you’re grasping at straws to make it fit. and again, please don’t be upset with my comments, because i mean them in a nice way, no malice intended!

  18. 21

    Linda in NE says

    The thing to remember is that NO house is perfect. Even if you designed it yourself, in a few years you would see things you might have done different.

    • 21.1

      says

      Yep, any time we’ve designed our own home and built it, we usually saw things we wish we had done differently even before we moved in.

  19. 22

    says

    As hard as it has been for you to find a house that you like, I can’t imagine that you would have trouble selling anything in the future..seems like there isn’t anything decent there…

    I too dislike all the space some of the new homes use for master bedrooms. Our new house bedroom is 14×14 but has two master closets..and only one shower in the whole house. No tubs at all. Of course we won’t move again after this next time and so the kids will have to worry about selling it, although one daughter has already spoken up saying she will take the house! lol