We put an offer on another house this week. We like this one better than the first one. We have decided to go with the house in the city. We found the perfect house. It is 2.8 miles from my work, which is a little disappointing because I was hoping for a slightly longer commute. I can live with it though because I can commute year around without any issue. The house is on a quite street, it's just off a somewhat busy street that is the main feeder for a subdivision, but the street that it sits on is a dead end street with only a dozen houses on it. The house is .4 miles from the nearest grocery store and there are sidewalks the entire way and you never have to cross a major road. It has a fairly small yard, but it backs up against a park with a creek running through it so the boys will have a place to play. I've been warned about the neighborhood, but am not concerned. It is not far from some rougher parts of town, but the night we looked at the house there were young families and single women walking on the streets well after dark. The concern that people have expressed has to do with cultural diversity, and based on what we saw at the local grocery store, it was more culturally diverse than other parts of town, but I don't see that as a bad thing. In fact, I want my kids to associate with various ethnic groups and know that we are all the same.
The house itself is bigger than we really need, but I like what it has. It has four bedrooms, but only one bathroom (my wife says that is OK because she's the only girl, the rest of us can go outside if it really becomes urgent). Most of the home has nice hardwood floors, but the upstairs bedrooms are carpeted and quite spacious.
The basement is enormous. It has a perfect mix of finished and usable for storage. It has an 'unfinished' laundry area that could also serve as a mud room (it has an outside entrance). The finished portion of the basement is far from the nicest basement you've ever seen, but it will make an incredible playroom for the boys. The basement may also serve as a makeshift bedroom on special occasions and when the attic rooms get too hot during the summer.
The kitchen is OK at best. It needs a new refrigerator and dishwasher. The cabinets are not great but all is functional. With a remodel it could be really nice. The bathroom is similar, it needs work but it's currently functional and it could be made quite nice with a little work.
Best of all, Lexington allows chickens in the city as long as you aren't breaking any of the nuisance laws.
It's at the edge of our price range, but it's the perfect house for us. Had someone else done the fixing up, we wouldn't have been able to afford it.
If everything goes as planned, we should end up with this house. We have come to an agreement with the seller and now we just have to go through the purchasing process (and our house in Utah has to successfully continue going through the process).
This buying process was enlightening. We avoided the 'bad parts of town' because we wanted to feel safe. While on the one hand, that is logical, if every good family avoids the 'bad part of town', that part of town will never get better. (I'm assuming that we are a 'good family', when in fact many may consider us the crazy people with 3 wild kids and chickens in the back yard). Why don't people buy houses with hopes of improving the neighborhood through their presence? If people made a serious effort in that regard and cooperated with other families in the effort, it could make for an extremely good investment.
The sociology of neighborhoods fascinates me. I really wish that racial diversity did not make people think an area was 'bad', because I don't believe that at all. On the other hand, I have to consider the racial diversity when I buy a house because of what other will think and how it will influence the resale value of my house. It's unfortunate.
So we have started the process of buying a house, and we're excited to be closer to everything.
Here's a video I found that is completely unrelated, but I thought it was funny. And we need a microwave, that's the connection to my post on a new house, it doesn't come with a microwave, so we need one and this video is about microwaves.