Yesterday we viewed 3 1/2 other houses. Yes, there was a half. When we view a home we roam around the first floor, then go to the backyard to take a good look at siding, roof, soffits, gutters and AC units before heading to other floors. This house was cute, and a great location. After walking around the first floor we were pretty happy; good floor plan, kitchen open to two story family room, needed a few updates, but nothing was offensive (ie: hot pink paint or red carpet). Then we stepped out onto the screened-in porch (which I was super excited about having)...I knew this house backed up to another road rather than a neighborhood, but on Google maps it seemed to have a decent set back. Not so much. We actually had to raise our voices in order to talk to each other over the sound of cars going by on the road. The fence wasliterallyfive feet from the back of the porch, and I could see the yellow lines on the road through the gaps in the fence posts. Not because the fence was bad, but because the road was right there. "I think we can just move on to the next one," I said. "Deal breaker."
We continued onto house number four, or three depending on how you count that half-a-house tour. This one is not in our ideal school district. It's Centennial High School, which is decent, but has a rather high percentage of kids on free and reduced lunch. Let's be honest about what that means: more apartments, more foreclosures, more crime. This neighborhood is wonderful though. The houses are spread apart with a great set back from the road. Since it was established in the early-mid 80's the trees are large and mature and the roads are wider than some of those cookie-cutter neighborhoods as of late. The home is a John Wieland, so there are some nice details as well as a well thought-out floor plan. While the home has been well maintained compared to a lot of the disasters we have seen, there are a few things that will need updating. Linoleum floors and plastic laminate counters in the kitchen, original AC units are teetering on calling it quits, gutters have seen better days, siding around the chimney is a bit concerning, all the bathroom faucets are original so they are corroding around the flanges. However, the space is fantastic. These rooms are HUGIGANTIC, as my seven year old self would say. There is a tremendous amount of potential, but the listing price is higher than it should be, and the siding, gutters and AC units are things we would need repaired immediately (so about $10K in upfront repairs). Oh, and that school district thing is just hard to ignore. I'm basically committing to working full time so I can pay $20K a year per kid for private school. Quite frankly I was becoming excited about working half-time and playing a lot of tennis...oh, and raising kids and stuff.
So...I think we are going to continue to look. Maybe we should just start knocking on doors to see if people want to sell...know anyone in Ocee Elementary district looking to sell a 4 bed 2.5 bath?