Thursday, November 25, 2010

Buying A House Online: Part Two

Finally, we are organized enough in our new digs that I can finish the series (all two parts of it) on Buying A House Online.

I can honestly say that the house and neighborhood are pretty much as we expected. The relatives and friends did a good job of assessing both. It didn't hurt that the friends live only a few blocks from our house. The pictures online (there were 30 of them) did a good a job of showing what the various rooms looked like. We were a little fuzzy on the layout of the rooms, but we had guessed at what the layout probably was given what we knew, and were darn close.

We're not crazy about the paint job in the house, although I suspect it would be an interior decorator's dream--3 shades of gold used throughout the upstairs with a dark brown accent wall in the living room, and one very green room upstairs. About half of the basement is painted the same green color, with the rest of the basement being painted tan. Not a white wall in the house. Logically, I understand how some people could find this pretty, but I find it overwhelming. We'll be painting. However, we suspected that would be the case when we looked at the pictures, so seeing it in person only confirmed it. (I had been hoping that once we got here, I wouldn't dislike the paint as much as I thought I would.  No luck.)

(living room)

(basement living room)

The room featured in the two pictures below is what I've begun referring to as the "multi-purpose room".  It is our sewing center, office, and a mini kitchen--sink, fridge, microwave, toaster, and coffee pot.  I considered straightening up the sewing area before I took the picture, but decided I should show it to you in its natural state. And yes! I've begun quilting again. The Juki and I spent some quality time together the last couple of days.

There weren't really any surprises, except one. The home inspector did a lousy job. We've got a phone plug in the basement that doesn't work (the only phone plug in the basement), and the plumbing in the basement bathtub is all screwed up. Water comes from both the tub and shower faucets at the same time, and the one handle that controls hot and cold will only go halfway so the water is lukewarm. I've seen this in another house and it is an installation problem. I think this one was probably installed wrong from day one, but the previous owners never used it and so didn't know. The thing of it is, even if we had come in person to look at the house ourselves, I wouldn't have tested these things out myself. That's what the darn house inspector is supposed to do!

Oh and that home warranty that the sellers paid for doesn't cover the plumbing problem because it is an installation problem; the policy covers only items that wear out.

The other thing is that we were spoiled by the oversized 3-car garage we had in Nevada. This house has the standard two car garage. No place to store the lawn mower we'll eventually need. We didn't ask about the garage in advance, but it would not have been a deal-breaker if we had known.  Storage sheds for items like lawn mowers are the norm here, so eventually we'll need to get one.  Luckily we're going into winter so it's not necessary that we deal with it immediately.

Despite the items I've pointed out as issues--the paint, which we already knew about; the plumbing problem that the house inspector should have caught; and the garage size--the house is proving to be ideal for our combined family.  My mom and I cook the main meal relieving my grandparents of a task that has become difficult for them.  We've somewhat divided the house, giving the main floor to my grandparents, while we reside in the basement.  We're nearby for anything they need, but we each have our space.  Given our specific needs, price range, and time constraints, I highly doubt that we could have done any better if we had made the trip to see houses in person.


  1. I am glad to hear the house is going to work out for you all. Yes, paint is cheap.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Very glad to hear the house turned out ok. I for one love white walls, so I understand your need to paint. At least that's not very expensive and easy to do. Sorry to hear about the plumbing problem I'm hoping that it won't be too difficult and expensive to fix.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  3. Wow - I'm not fond of white walls, but your walls remind me of Harvest Gold and Avocado Green from the 60's!! I think it's the combo more than anything, for me.... Glad to see you are sewing again - how do you like your Juki?

  4. Some of the popular colors now clash very much with quilts I think. I have white walls and all the color I need by throwing quilts all over the place - amazing what a wall hanging will do for a room. Sounds like a big house and what will work for you. Over all buying sight unseen it sounds like it worked out well even though a few things need to be fixed.

  5. I'm glad that overall you're happy with the house! It does look lovely (and will be lovlier when you paint the walls how you like them!). My grandmother lived with us until she passed away 6 years ago - we built an apartment onto the back of the house and it worked out great! We were there for her and she was there for us. It worked out wonderfully!

  6. Um, that house looks like it was painted in the 70's. Blech. I'm totally with you; although painting is not one of my favorite jobs, I would be painting too.

    Glad that things are smoothing out for you. Love your multi-purpose room!

    xo -El

  7. All in all it sounds like the house is just what you were looking for Michelle. Paint is easy enough to fix, makes a huge difference and doesnt cost the earth. The plumbing problem is fixable although annoying.

    Sounds like you're settling into your new house and starting to make it home. Im so happy for you.

  8. This amazes me - it really does. SO glad it has all worked out so well! I'd be painting too, my goodness what were they thinking, lol.

  9. I discovered the best part of that house was the inhabitants. The rest is gravy :)

  10. Looks great! I agree with you on the paint...yellow and gold reminds me too much of my childhood home in the 70s--Harvest Gold. Every room was Harvest Gold and Avocado Green. I'm not even remotely fond of those colors. The rooms look lovely and spacious though. I'm glad things have worked out, for the most part, for you.

  11. I'm glad things are working out well so far, despite the plumbing issue and the not quite big enough garage. Those colors are a little intense, especially the green, although it could be festive during the holidays. :)

  12. You know what, the same thing happened to me when I moved to Atlanta. I only discovered that the apartment's plumbing was faulty after I have already moved in. Fortunately, the land lord agreed to have things fixed by his favorite Atlanta plumbing service. He didn't ask me to pay anything, so it was all good. The problem got solved in just a few hours, so I praised the Atlanta plumber service for doing a great job. I kept their number just in case another problem arises.


Your comments brighten my day. :-)