As promised

Like I mentioned before falling asleep last night, the house hunt went much better this week. I don't know whether it was because we were much more optimistic after visiting the bank, or because Brian's dad Dan came with us, but this whole lot of listings were a HUGE improvement over last time. Of course there were a few exceptions!

This house was actually on our list last time, but we couldn't get in. We may have stayed in there all of five minutes before the stench of cat urine made us leave. Note the convenient placement of the washer in the corner next to the sink. I could way too easily see me coming home from a night out with the girls and throwing my dishes in for a quick spin cycle... probably not the best idea!

We REALLY wanted to love this house. From the Brookfield charm to the awesome interior accents, it had our personalities written all over it. But also written all over it was severe water damage and a previous owner who had a lot of ambition but not a lot of time. Half of the house was tied up with unfinished projects, from a tiled shower sans grout to partially completed kitchen renovations, this place would have required way more time and money than we have to spend.

This was the first place on the list of the eight we saw and even though it was tiny, it started our day off on the right foot. It was relatively clean, minus some water damage in the basement. The biggest concern was that the house seemed to be settling forward- you could see cracks on the foundation out front. The last thing we need is a house that slides down into the street. Plus, there was no garage. If we had put one in, there would be absolutely no yard left. So we kept looking.

This little place needed some help in the curb appeal department (think a front porch and maybe a nice awning) but it definitely landed in our top two places for the day. It needed minimal work compared to the rest of what we had seen, plus it had some pretty nice bonuses.

Bonus #1- Large, bright living room. Not to mention easily accessible hardwood floors in good condition right under the carpet. So far, we seem to have a thing for homes in Villa Park.

Bonus #2- Awesome three season room right off of what would be our office. It looked fairly new, and was in great shape. The only problem here is whether we would turn it into a pool table room or a space to read and sit with guests. I'll let you decide which one of us wants what.

Overall, this was a great little place that we could definitely picture ourselves in. It is probably a little bigger than what we would need right now, but it provided plenty of room to grow. Putting a bid in on this one is not out of the question, but we don't want to rush into anything quite yet.

I just love looking at this picture. This house (in Lombard) was just so adorable. I know, pretty mushy. But it just had such a great curb appeal, I couldn't help falling in love before we even walked in. Listed as a two-bedroom, one-bath ranch, this little place provided everything we would need.

Including my hardwood floors! This place had hardwood throughout- not a speck of carpet anywhere. Considering it can't be much more than 750 square feet, the inside of this place seemed large and bright. Did I mention the hardwood? The only downside of the living room would be that we would need to refinish the floors- they seemed to be buckling or separating just a tiny bit. I don't exactly want splinters from walking around my living room. But, it wasn't anything that a few days and a sander couldn't fix.

Both the master and the future office had the same great floors, minus the issues in the living room. The paint made the place look really fresh and bright- the colors were even shades that Brian and I liked. The only other downside on the interior was the kitchen. It was pretty small, and would need some renovating to be useful. But it took all of five minutes for Brian, Dan and I to come up with a few plans that would make the space much more functional.

The only downside on the exterior of this place was the lack of a garage. But with a 60X182 lot, putting one in wouldn't be that big of an issue once we got the permits. It would just be a matter of cost at that point. Garage building party anyone? We will feed you!

This is another one we would really consider putting a bid in on. We really just want to wait until we meet with another, smaller bank to decide where we are going to get the best deal. This trip made us really understand the delicate balance of home buying- do you put in a bid now, potentially risking missing out on a better house you could have seen later, or do you wait and look at more places, all the while risking losing a place you knew you both loved?

Fifteen houses down, who knows how many to go. I am in the burbs again this weekend dog sitting, maybe we will have enough new listings by then that we could plan a day of four or five viewings. These days of seven to eight houses are not only confusing, but pretty draining.