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Monday, May 12, 2008

Adventures in House Hunting!

Well, we went to Michigan last week to try to find a house worth calling home for the next few years. Sounds like a lot of fun, wouldn't you say?!? Not so much!
I had researched the areas around Detroit for the past couple of months and had settled on a town called Canton, just 20 miles or so from Dearborn (location of Ford.) So when we got there, that is where we concentrated our hunt.
Day one (Thursday)...We started out pretty good. Saw a few homes and then went to a house that had been a favorite of mine from the internet. It was great and was an early contender...until we found out that it was "subject to a short sale" (one other benefit of house hunting-all the cool real estate terminology!) Now, I had seen this on the listing online and had just assumed that it meant they wanted to sell it in a "short" amount of time...which seemed ideal for us! Nope. it means that the owners are selling it for less than what they owe on it...which translates to a lot of red tape...which means it could take a long while to get into the house...Bummer! Oh well, there were plenty of other fish in the sea and it was only our first day.
Day two...no luck. We did find one house that we really liked, but for some reason, when it was built in 1995 (notice, not 1975!) The builder adorned the ceilings with "popcorn!" And for some other unknown reason, in the laundry room they placed the washer and dryer hookups on opposite sides of the room. Definitley not a woman. I was actually more furious about the "popcorn" than the laundry room...I mean what were they thinking???!!!
Day three (yes, we are really tired of looking at houses by this point!) we find "it!" It was an obscure listing that I came across online (it didn't look that great in the pictures, but hey it's listed for $209,000, so let's take a look) It was perfect, a foreclosure (that has less red tape than a short sale) and besides being a little beat up, it was great. Great kitchen, large bedrooms, awesome back yard that backs up to forest land and a great neighborhood. We loved it. We spent an hour going through it, taking pictures and talking about the fix ups that needed to be done. We rushed right to our hotel to make an offer. When our agent called their agent, she was informed that they had just accepted an offer on the property the night before...AAAAHHHH! I was devastated! I was done, I didn't want to look anymore!
We let our agent have Sunday off, but we decided to drive around a different town and attend church a couple of towns over to see if that would be a good fit. I hadn't done much research on the area, so we figured we'd ask around the ward. It turned out to be a really nice area. We drove around to look at a few houses and found some amazing deals on houses. When we returned to our hotel that afternoon and looked up the houses online, we found out that the property taxes were outrageous, and as we drove back into Canton, we decided that that was the place for us. So back to the drawing board...and only one more day to get things taken care of. (side not: we also found out that we could not get funding on a loan until Danny receives his first paycheck, so we won't be able to close on a house until 3 weeks after he starts. His start date is June 9th, so that puts us at the end of June before we could move in.)
Monday-we decide to make an offer on the "short sale" house...we hadn't found anything else and at this point, we would have to move into temporary housing until we could get funded anyway. We put in a real "low ball" offer and decided to wait and see what would happen. If it didn't go through, we would just look for something else when we get there next month and if it did go through, hey we got a great house for cheap. However, as the days went by and we returned to Cali, we kept feeling uneasy about the house and over the past weekend, we decided to withdraw the offer. So, that is where we are at.
We are going to live in an apartment for a month or two until we find the right place for us. Now we will have more time to check things out. Moral of the story...5 days is not long enough to find a house in an area that you have never been to nor have any connection to in any way, shape or form. Danny started feeling like it was a wasted trip, but I think it was very helpful in that we found the area that we want to live, just not the house. It will all turn out well in the end.
In other news...
Dylan went with us on the trip and was a trooper (although he had his moments, all in all, he was super!) Thanks to Rose, Danny's sister, and Jamie, my sister, for keeping Grace and Jesse...it made the trip a whole lot smoother and they had a blast.
When we got back to Cali, we spent 2 days at Disneyland and California adventure and had an awesomely exhausting time. I will post more about that along with pictures when we get back to Utah.
We will be heading back to Utah on Wednesday driving a moving truck filled with all the wonderful furniture donations from my family...We will arrive Thursday afternoon and would be glad to have anyone around help us to unload!!!
See y'all soon.
PS...Sorry for the long post...I'm glad you stayed with me through it all!


Jen Lynn said...

Sounds fun! Is Canton were the Ikea is? It's pretty up there. And close to the airport too. Well, I guess everything in the Detroit area is close to the airport. I'm just used to having to drive an hour from BG.

Wow, that's exciting. I wish you luck in finding a good home. (I love those houses that back up to the forests. Q had a couple of professors with land like that. It was so pretty)

We'll have to get together soon. We'll be in Cali for the whole month of June.

Melissa and Kevin said...

I can totally relate. I thought house hunting was going to be fun too but it was like the most stressful thing ever! Best of luck when you get there.

Jill Hunt said...

Oh that must be so frustrating! Sorry it didn't go as well as you would of liked with the house hunting. We have missed you and will be sad when you are gone for good.

C.G. said...

Sorry to hear about the house hunting but it really is great to know the area you want to be. Plus, maybe that "perfect" house will come up just when you are ready.

I sure miss you and Katie and Rachel would like to know if Grace can come visit us up here in Oregon. I tried to explain about the distance but they won't give up. :) See you next week

Debbie said...

Way to look at the bright side of the trip. Hey I have some friends who graduated from BYU and work at Ford and live in Canton now. I can pass her email along to you if you'd like. They've lived there for a couple of years and really like it. Good luck!

Dilgers said...

I was wondering what you were up to because you haven't posted in awhile. I hope it all falls into place for you and you find an even better house!!

Alan and Jeni said...

We feel your pain! That house we love (on 5 acres) is available AGAIN, but now we have found out that due to a clause in Alan's contract we will have to wait until the end of Sept./beginning of Oct. to get funding. It is so frustrating. On the brighter side, we are definitely looking forward to having you guys around again. We'll be there to help on Thursday. See you then! :)

Joanne said...

How frustrating! I hate the decisions involved in house-hunting. Good luck with everything - I hope you end up finding the perfect place.

Emily and Kyle said...

still no pictures? What is wrong with you!:)