Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Lower-Priced House

This one's a bungalow, as you can see. It's a little smaller than the others, with only two small bedrooms, although it has some extra spaces that could make it equivalent to the others. It has a finished attic that would make an adorable room for the girls to share, but it needs to be heated first. You can do that cheaply with electric baseboard heaters, then spend a ton of money on electric bills. The house has radiator heat, which we love, but I have no idea what the feasibility and expense of extending that system to the attic would be.

Also, I hate the kitchen:

It has like, a square inch of counter space over the dishwasher, then this other inch or two on the opposite wall:

On the upside, that doorway leads to a back porch that would be great for an eating area, freeing up the dining room to be a playroom. Here's another view of that porch:

Ideally, you'd want to knock down any intervening walls and combine it with the kitchen, which has already been done in the two other houses I've posted about here. But I don't think you could do that with this one. To the right of the kitchen, I believe there is a hallway and then one of the bedrooms. I guess you could knock out the little section of wall next to the fridge, though.

The basement is also partially finished, and it has a full bath, which we like because we'd like to use a finished basement as a guest room. Or maybe a guest/family room or guestroom/office. Out of the three, this one actually has the best bathroom configuration. However, I don't know if the lower price -- it's listed at $309k -- is enough to compensate for all the things we'd want to do to it: expand kitchen if possible, heat attic and basement, complete finishing of basement. Oh, and it has cracks in the basement concrete floor. Also, I don't know if the slightly smaller floorplan is something we could live with long term.

I think the gray house I wrote about last time is still the best bet for us, so far. It has the best location, and that's the one thing you cannot change. But it's nice to have other choices in case we don't get that one.

In other news, our agent found out that the seller of the gray house is ready to take offers below the asking price, which is good news. We knew they already bought another house. Both the houses I wrote about previously have been on the market since last July, so I'm thinking we could get either one for below asking. How much below, I have no idea. A lot below would be nice, wouldn't it?

Then again, we were in Evanston yesterday visiting friends. The sun was shining, the lake was just down the street, the trees were beautiful. And my friend pointed out that living in Evanston, the entire north side of Chicago is conveniently close for going out. Most of our friends here live on the north side. In Oak Park, on the other hand, we'd be surrounded by sketchy west-side neighborhoods where we don't know a soul and where there are no restaurants or shopping you'd want to visit. But this is a whole other post.


Anonymous said...

remember that a stay at home mom spends much time in the kitchen.. in most homes it is a gathering place for families. so a large convient kitchen is important. much luck on house hunting.

Carrie said...

Grandma -- That's just what I am thinking.