So Randy and I returned to that home in Arlington again last night (our third visit in two days). We were surprised that after the crowds attending Sunday’s open house nobody made an offer. We looked at a property last week that went under agreement just hours after we toured it.
Anyway, we both still love the space. All three bedrooms on the top floor are huge (bigger than any bedroom I’ve ever had). The main living floor also has decent sized rooms (huge kitchen). The remodel was done very nicely, maintaining nearly all of the original detail and charm, yet the kitchen was completely gutted and the bathrooms (particularly the lower level one) were stunning.
However, our leisurely stroll this time around also allowed us to notice flaws that we either didn’t pick up on during our rushed initial trips, or flaws that became more pronounced the second time around. For example:
- one exterior wall has different colored siding than the rest (not drastically different, but noticeable).
- the wood on some of the kitchen cabinets is darker on a few doors (and the cabinets in the pantry are completely different altogether).
- the floors squeak and footsteps are loud. That means we’d have to worry about our downstairs neighbors hearing every step we take in the kitchen, dining room, living room, and guest room.
- The enclosed back deck is completely useless space. Opening it up would again would be pricey, and without the deck, Randy is unable to grill easily (since he uses the BBQ at least 2-3 nights/week year round.
Still, all of those things aren’t deal breakers. Hell, they could ultimately beal deal makers since it could help us negotiate a lower price.
What could be a dealbreaker, however, is that it doesn’t technically meet the three main requirements I’m wanting to move in the first place:
- Location. Though it’s no further from the subway than we are currently, it’s also no closer. However there are bus routes at either end of the street that get to subway stations within 5-15 minutes (one of the bus routes even goes right to my office door). There are also shops and restaurants (and a movie theatre) at the end of the block. So, I guess we achieved this goal by 50%.
- Central air. For some reason, the developer idn’t convert the system to include central air (which is odd since he put in a whole new furnace). We could add it on our own…but again, pricey.
- Two bathrooms. This is the one goal this property reached 100%.
Randy had his own set of necessities, too: parking (preferably garage) and grill space. This place has the former and lacks the latter.
Anyway, everything is about compromise. And I know that it’s damn near impossible to find a place that offers everything you want (particularly in your price range). But, basically, this property only provides each of us with half of our requirements. Talking with our broker (and from looking online over the past few years) we’ve found that identical quality properties within a few blocks of a subway station will cost us $100,000 or more.
In the end, Randy has said that this was the nicest property he’d ever viewed while looking to buy and that he’d take it (though, perhaps lowballing an offer). Then he said the decision is ultimately up to me! (oh, the pressure)!
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