Okay, so at the moment we are seriously considering two houses. We're actually not married to either one, but we probably would be happy with either one. They're very different houses, but are coincidentally only about 3 streets away, and are about $5,000 different in terms of prices. Coincidentally, they're the same two that I posted pictures of earlier. But, this time I'm giving more details and looking for which one YOU would pick if you were in our shoes. With no further adieu, here they are:
House One (The house-house): 3 bed, 2 bath. 1220 sq. feet, built in 2002. Two car finished garage. Vinyl Siding, Comp. Roof. In a cul-de-sac. Bank owned (been on the market 80 days), and at least one other home in the cul-de-sac is in the process of being foreclosed. Very open floor plan, tile throughout kitchen, dining, and living room; ugly navy blue carpet in the bedrooms. No appliances included. Big back yard and concrete patio area, but it's all brown and dead. Eggshell white walls throughout. The picture was taken from just left of the doorway. I was probably standing in the middle of the living room. You can also see the bizarre-o built-in arch--no, it doesn't go through, they've just got a mirror hanging there. I have no idea what the purpose of that space is! Here's another picture that shows the backyard. Out of the picture to the left is a big tree and a concrete slab for a patio set and BBQ.
The house-house is the more expensive of the two, by about $5,000. REA doesn't think the bank will be willing to budge much in terms of the price. If we bought house 1 (house-house), immediate to do's would be painting, purchasing appliances, tearing out and replacing the carpet, and replacing all the doorhandles and light fixtures.
House Two (duplex-house): 3 bed, 2 bath. 1240 sq. feet. Brand new construction, technically a zero-lot-line. Wood siding. Located on a dead end street that will probably be punched through in the next 5 years. All other houses in the neighborhood are occupied, and everyone has freaking nice cars. This house has a two car garage that isn't totally finished, and the standard 1 year builder's warranty. House is owned by builder, so there may be some negotiating room there. Pretty open split floor plan, but the kitchen is pretty closed off. On the upside, I LOVE the cherry solid-wood cabinets (see pic from previous post). All appliances but a fridge are included. Justin didn't like that you could see the joints in the drywall. Has a good sized yard (top pic) but, it's all dirt. If we bought this house, we probably wouldn't have to do anything initially. But, I'm also not sure there's much we could do to increase the value of the house. And it is a duplex...we have no idea who we'd be sharing a wall with.
Duplex-house is listed $5000, less than house-house, but REA is going to check into what the other houses in the area have sold for. Because it is builder owned and a lot of builders in the area are being foreclosed on, he might be willing to give a bit more on the price. BUT, it's a freaking duplex and what if we HATE the people we're living next to?!