How do you decide a house is "the one" or if it's good enough?--update with link
Post ReplyPost New TopicPosted 1/4/2013 by Sparehead3 in NSBR Board

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PeaNut 109,127
September 2003
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Posted: 1/4/2013 12:13:10 AM
What is going to work for you right now? If it is this house, then I'd get this house since you haven't been able to find anything else in your price range and you need more space. You can always try to sell it later.

What about renting for a while? Are rentals available in your area?

We rented in this small town because we weren't sure if we were going to like living here. We still go back and forth so we haven't bitten the bullet to by. Yes we are throwing what could be equity down the drain, but if it means we are portable I like that.

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PeaNut 473,695
July 2010
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Posted: 1/4/2013 12:22:51 AM

My first impression was ick, no way. Now I'm thinking I should just deal with it... I'm never going to find another 4 bedroom house in our price range that isn't a dump.
When I'm house hunting, I have a list of have-to-haves, a list of do-not-wants and a list of would-like-to haves. None of the lists are particularly long (they each only have 5 or 6 things on them) but they help to sort things out in my head after the intial shock or excitement of the house wears off.

If looking at the kitchen everytime you walk into your home drives you crazy, you need to keep looking - new cupboards, etc are not going to change the view from the front door. I'd have to keep looking for something else and find something else I could settle on, something that wasn't on my no way list.

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PeaNut 451,123
January 2010
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Posted: 1/4/2013 1:05:33 AM
I think you just know, i always have the minute i have walked in the door.

If that kitchen is annoying you now then it will be even worse day in day out. Also remember that if this is something annoying you right now think of the re sale options down the road, this could be why it is so cheap, and it may also keep you from selling it down the road..
Good luck with the decision

Happy Scrapping


PeaNut 226,155
October 2005
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Posted: 1/4/2013 1:30:53 AM
I wouldn't go thru the trauma of a move for only 200 sq ft. No matter how well the house is laid out, or how large the property itself is, it's only 200 sq ft more.

Our previous home was only 1200 sq ft. Our new home is almost 4000 sq ft. I would not have bought anything smaller because I was very sure of the amount of space we needed.

In your case, I would consider renting a larger home while renting out my smaller one.


Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 497,090
January 2011
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Posted: 1/4/2013 1:51:32 AM
If you are in Seattle wait a bit the market is starting to pick up.

If you are the other side of the mountains...or the eastside (as I call it) you might be surprised at what you are able to sell for. The market has really held here.

I have heard in certain parts of Portland the houses are still doing well because of the limited building thing.

I would try listing your place to see if you get any real offers, and then rent for a bit until you find a place you love.


PeaNut 169,795
September 2004
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Loc: Adelaide, Australia

Posted: 1/4/2013 5:59:46 AM

If in doubt - don't.

Every time you walked into the house you would be annoyed. Not worth the aggravation imho.

I know nothing about the real estate climate there but personally I would wait. Buying and/or selling houses is not a spur of the moment decision so it has to be right.

Is renting something bigger an option so you can keep searching at your leisure?

We have bought and sold 6-7 times and we always have a list of what we require/need/want. Not necessarily a big list but there are somethings not negotiable. An example being that there has to be at least a two car lock up garage.

When you find what you are looking for you will know.

Good luck house hunting.

Just Tricia

PeaNut 72,877
March 2003
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Posted: 1/4/2013 6:24:48 AM
Lone voice of dissent, I guess.

First, with a two car garage, how often are you *actually* going to be walking in the front door? If you have lots of visitor that may be a moot point, though.

Is it the only way in and out of the kitchen? If there's another entrance, can you build a wall?

Only 200 square foot difference for now, but do you love the rest of it? Sounds like you have a huge lot, could you eventually build on and build an entire new kitchen, making that one a hallway?

If you absolutely LOVE the rest of it, think about what you could do to disguise it. Heck, even a large house plant there in the hallway may block the view enough for now! Or an entry table with lamps or something with height!

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 257,022
April 2006
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Posted: 1/4/2013 6:26:03 AM
You just know when you walk in the front door if it is THE house. I would never, ever buy a house that my first impression of was negative. That is just to big of an investment.

If I were you, I would check and see if the market has changed in your area. Maybe sales have started picking up and you could sale your current house, allowing you to buy a home you love in an area that will be good for the kids. A baby will not take up much room for his/her first year. Maybe you could give it a little linger. Like another pea said, 200 square feet is really not enough difference to go in debt for a whole new mortgage. Maybe rent for a while if you feel that you can't wait to get into a bigger house.

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PeaNut 134,084
March 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 6:42:39 AM
i agree you just know right away
our last 2 houses i knew right away
theres just an automatic feeling that this is the one

Thrift Whisperer

PeaNut 114,407
November 2003
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Posted: 1/4/2013 6:48:24 AM
I think you know.

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PeaNut 41,743
July 2002
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Posted: 1/4/2013 7:03:54 AM
I think you just know.

Personally, if there was one major feature that I didn't like and I ended up buying the house, that feature would annoy the heck out of me more and more each day. Especially if I knew that it would be some time before I was able to change it.

For the amount of money a house costs, I want to love the house, not just think it's OK.

Edited for typo

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PeaNut 220,209
August 2005
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Posted: 1/4/2013 7:20:44 AM
I would keep looking because if you hate the view from your front door then I'm sure other people would too. Then you would have 2 houses you couldn't sell.

Also, IMO 200 more sq feet is not worth it to me. I would keep looking. Good luck!

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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 7:59:36 AM
Meh. Interior walls are easy to add and even take out if they are non load bearing. Having essentially gutted our house, one of the only hard and fast requirements I have are location. It's pretty much all you CAN'T change.

But since I hate to move, I certainly wouldn't do it for a measly 200 sf.

I'd keep looking.

Mom to the Wild Things.

PeaNut 96,783
July 2003
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Loc: Altoona, Alabama

Posted: 1/4/2013 8:10:32 AM
Is it possible to draw a little diagram, or better yet, link to the MLS web site, so we can see what you are up against?

If the kitchen has 2 doors, would it be possible to wall over the door that faces the front door? Or if the door is close to a corner, to make a short hall that would obscure it.

Another question - is it possible to add onto the prospective house?


PeaNut 446,722
November 2009
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Posted: 1/4/2013 8:37:29 AM
Update and link in the original post.


PeaNut 522,402
October 2011
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Posted: 1/4/2013 8:45:34 AM
Would you be able to put a sliding screen-type thing on it to "mask" the view into the kitchen? And, like another poster said, if you have a garage, how often will you walk through the front door?

When we were looking for our first/only house together, DH and I had very specific requirements (mostly that we wanted to be outside the city limits, at least 2000 square feet, and some acreage) that REALLY limited our options in our price range. There are things about this house that I really don't like, and things that I absolutely love. Unless you build it yourself, it's very hard to find a house that is 100% perfect for you. (And even then, you run the risk of something not ending up the way you expected it to be.)

But if it's going to drive you completely nuts, then I'd say just keep looking.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 142,870
April 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 8:57:31 AM
We bought out house 4 years ago, when my 3rd DS was a newborn. I really wanted a bigger kitchen and a nice entryway. We weren't finding anything in our budget that was big enough and had the other features wanted so we settled on this one. I figured that you can't get everything you want, especially in a first house. Now, after having our 4th child, I often wish we had held out a little longer or gone slightly over budget and used the money that we spent on other updates to pay for the difference in cost. The two things that I dislike most about this house are the kitchen and entryway. We could possibly add in to the kitchen and make a separate dining are, but that would most likely cost more than it is worth. Our entryway is like yours--right off the kitchen and tiny. It is always overflowing with coats, shoes, books and backpacks no matter what info to try to organize. When people come to the door they see the messiest spot in the house which drives me crazy.

Anyway, I would say to keep things in perspective (what would you gain by moving into this house and what are the odds that you find something better ) but also be realistic about whether or not those negatives are going to drive you crazy or if you can live with them).

EtA: I can't see the pic, but our garage leads to the same entryway as the front door so there is no separate space for shoes and stuff.

I also disagree with the person who said babies take up little space. Yes, you can have them sleep in your room if that works, but they do have a lot of stuff (clothes, blankets, swing, bouncer, exersaucer, changing station, etc). I feel like the amount of stuff I shuffle around to find a better way of organizing is amazing. Seems like way more than adding just one more person.

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PeaNut 142,904
April 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:00:45 AM
I tried out the link but it just went to a map or something?

I think if this kitchen thing is a dealbreaker and not fixable, and you are able to wait, you might want to do that.

When I went to edit my signature, the "Edit Signature" title was spelled wrong. So that was distracting and I forgot what I wanted my new signature to be.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 1/4/2013 9:12:16 AM
See I'd wall off that doorway into the entry and make the kitchen a u-shape. You add a lot of counter space and even tall cabinets like a pantry.

I think that could work nicely but the bedrooms seem really small....

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PeaNut 26,297
December 2001
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:22:23 AM
My #1 requirement for a house is that you not be able to see the kitchen sink from the front door!

Even if you wash dishes constantly, there will always be dirty dishes in the sink and I don't want that to be what people see when they come to my house.

Wife to him, mom to them

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PeaNut 144,412
April 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:28:37 AM
I couldn't find the link but googled the MLS #. Is it the HUD home on 102nd St? If so & the market in this price range is good like you mentioned it's VERY likely that they will have multiple bids on this home. Do you have an agent that can advise you on purchasing a HUD home?

I don't think I would buy a 2nd home, have 2 mortgages, deal with the hassle of moving, etc. for an extra 200 square feet if I wasn't thrilled with the house. What will you do with your townhouse, rent it? How much are you upside down on your townhouse? Good luck!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 408,684
January 2009
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Loc: Georgia girl

Posted: 1/4/2013 9:35:26 AM

See I'd wall off that doorway into the entry and make the kitchen a u-shape. You add a lot of counter space and even tall cabinets like a pantry.

I agree. Close that kitchen doorway, and make the entryway a hallway. You could make it a photo wall, or depending on the width, even build a bench/storage basket thing near the front door to keep all the kids stuff organized. When you walk in the front door, what is to the left? is that where the bedrooms are? Then you just enter the kitchen through the living / dining room.

I don't see the downside of it. You could gain more space, including a tall cabinet 'pantry' or more countertops. You don't lose a window or any light, your kids couldn't use it as a racetrack , and you wouldn't see your sink when you walk in the front door.


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Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 26,836
January 2002
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:36:22 AM
Your link brought me to a list of 251 houses, but even without seeing it, I think you know, too.

And I think that if you are gaining such a small amount of space, then the space better work really really well for you, and it doesn't sound like you think the space will work well for you at all.

Best of luck finding a place that fits your needs


PeaNut 140,176
April 2004
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:40:20 AM
I'd pass. There is nothing about that house that I would make a move for. And, I'm not even picky. If you are buying at your budget and you'll still own the other house, you won't get around to any of the changes that others are suggesting.

FWIW, My front door opens into hallway with a view straight into my kitchen, and its a pain, since my house is small and you can see right in from the sidewalk, and I love to have the door open.


PeaNut 131,952
February 2004
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Loc: central Texas

Posted: 1/4/2013 9:45:16 AM
Is there a way to add/move a wall so that the kitchen isn't on display when you walk in
the front door?

Sorry, but for me, the kitchen on display as soon as someone walks in the house is a deal
breaker. Realistically, with your young family, you will have a somewhat messy kitchen
at all times. I've been there!

I read your update and it sounds like you're passing on the house.

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 134,808
March 2004
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Loc: East Coast

Posted: 1/4/2013 9:46:08 AM
Sugarcoated, you're right. My DH is super handy and built most of our house so I tend to think of things in that respect. DH could close off that doorway for the cost of a few studs and sheets of sheetrock. 3 day job allowing the spackle to dry between coats and paint.

If you have to pay someone to do it, it gets spendy quickly.


PeaNut 286,882
December 2006
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:48:59 AM
I agree with sugarcoated.....I would pass on this house and keep looking. The bedrooms are very small, one has a slider door to outside, and it is just weird that the front door opens into the kitchen. I cannot see four kids and especially a baby tooling around in there.


PeaNut 446,722
November 2009
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Posted: 1/4/2013 9:55:33 AM
Yes it is the HUD house. When you walk in the front door to the right is the living room to the left is a door which I didn't open (it was dark we were using a flashlight and the house was 34 degrees I forgot to open it on the way out) but I think it might be a coat closet. There is about 3 feet of space between the front door and the kitchen doorway.

I told DH I wanted to keep looking, he thinks I'm crazy since the house fits all my requirements (at least 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, nice neighborhood/schools and a yard).

Back to the house hunting...


PeaNut 4
February 1999
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Posted: 1/4/2013 10:50:21 AM
Good decision.

We did not end up with the house of my dreams. But, I did not compromise on size.

The first house we fell in love with was only 200 sq feet larger than the one we were in at the time. The new home was in an incredibly gorgeous location, in a neighborhood of older homes, built to loook like it was from the same period. Truly a work of art. It was also adjacent to state parkland (our current home is as well, but that one had access to a lake). We nearly put a down payment on it. We went back to look one more time, with check in hand. I had a tape measure to take measurements. Suddenly, we realized that while it had more rooms and the sq footage was larger, most of those 200 extra sq feet were in wasted space. Our furniture would not have fit in the living room.. in fact, it would have been difficult to fit more than a love seat and a chair in there. Other rooms were also smaller, though I did love the kitchen. So, we passed on it. Found this house accidentally while taking a scenic route home one day. Decided to buy it almost right away... MUCH larger house, larger lot, etc. Oh.. and a better price!

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