Friday, September 27, 2013

Part 3: Making A Choice

After looking at almost every home within a 20 mile radius that was in our budget, we FINALLY had it narrowed down to our top two. To the average person, both of the homes would appear almost identical at a glance. But there were some big differences that made the decision extremely difficult for us.

Here is a comparison and some of the differences between the homes.

House #1:
-Located in Syracuse in cul-de-sac
-Nice neighborhood
-House was almost 2100 sq ft
-Large bedrooms
-0.33 acre yard
-No sprinklers in the front yard
-Nice big windows in front room
-No garage
-Lots of giant trees
-Odd basement layout - storage room connects to bedroom instead of hall or living room
-Updated kitchen and bathrooms
-Newer furnace, water heater, air condioning
-Solid half wall in living room instead of railing
-Going downstairs opens up into living room instead of full wall
-No sliding glass door to deck - only solid wood door
-Tile in kitchen
-Pantry in kitchen

House #2:
-Located in Clearfield near city park
-Nice neighborhood
-House was less than 2000 sq ft
-0.19 acre yard
-Rooms painted fun colors
-No garage
-Nice raised garden beds
-Updated windows
-Little to no shade in the back yard
-Nice window/cut out opening the space between living room and kitchen
-Hardwood floors in kitchen
-Nice shed
-Wood stove downstairs
-4th "bedroom" has no closet
-Downstairs bathroom in process of being remodeled - would be finished before moving in so it would be brand new and very nice
-About $10,000 cheaper than house #1

Each house had things that we liked, but each house also had 1-2 major things that we didn't like. But overall, the houses really were very similar. And Lance and I were both leaning opposite directions. I was going more for House #2 while Lance liked the one in Syracuse a lot better. Because I liked the homes almost equally, I figured we should just go with the cheaper house. Plus I felt like there was a little more room for us to make improvements and increase the value. But just when I thought I had decided, I would think of the other home and change my mind.

After thinking long and hard, we were pretty sure that we were going to go for House #2 in Clearfield. What seemed like moments after making that decision, we began talking to our neighbors who were also in the process of buying a house. We started talking to them about our little dilemma and how we couldn't decide which house to go for. Her parents were there helping them pack and jumped into the conversation. Oddly enough, House #1 was in her parents ward! So she started talking to us about how much she absolutely loved Syracuse and how they had the best ward, etc. She said that the elementary school nearby was great and was so positive about everything. She told us to make sure that the other house wasn't in Antelope Elementary boundaries. She described it more as a ghetto school and recommended if possible not to send our kids there. We looked up the boundaries for House #2, and sure enough, it was in those boundaries.

There was another neighbor that was participating in the conversation and said something to me that really just stuck with me. She could tell that I was a little worried about whether we could afford the more expensive house. She simply said, "Don't make your decision based on money. Things will work out. There may be times when you aren't sure how you will make your house payment, but the Lord will take care of you and somehow, things will just work out." I had never met that person, but I had such an overwhelming confirmation that what she was telling me was true.

It's funny how quickly you can change your mind. Just being able to talk to someone who knew a lot about the area and ward really made me reconsider the house in Syracuse. Because I really trusted my Realtor's opinion, I also asked him which house he thought would be better in terms of resale. He thought both homes were good options, but he felt like the home in Syracuse was worth the extra $10k because of the location, larger home, and size of the yard. He said that Syracuse was a more desirable city to live in and felt like we would have an easier time selling that house because of the city and because it had so much land.

We thought about it. We prayed about it. And we thought about it some more. In the end, we both just felt better about House #1 in Syracuse. We backed out of our offer on the house in Clearfield, put a $500 security deposit on the home in Syracuse,and we were on our way towards owning our first home.

Unfortunately it wasn't smooth sailing from there. Very quickly we ran into some major issues that suddenly had us questioning whether we could afford to buy a house at all.

*Up Next - Part 4: Major Doubts

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