For the past month, Steve and I have been researching houses in Lima online. Our realtor (whom we connected with in June when Steve interviewed for the position) had given us a list of houses to look at. We chose some houses from her list and also did our own research and compiled our own list. Steve, being the engineer that he is, concocted a spreadsheet with equations & ratings that put the houses in a ranking order. We separately had to go through and rate the inside/outside, price, & square footage of the houses based on pictures & information. We chose the top 12 from the list and sent them off to our realtor.
We met with her last weekend in Lima and she had set up appointments with almost all of the houses on our list. A couple of the houses were already sold/on contract, so she added in a few houses that she thought we might like. We ended up looking at a total of 14 houses on Saturday. Some of them, we knew right away weren't the house for us, which helped a little in weeding through all of them. When we got back to our hotel after seeing all the houses, Steve and I were so sick of houses, we put a ban on the word for 2 hours. We went to dinner that night with our stack of house information sheets, pictures, and notes from the day. By the time we got back to our hotel from dinner, we had narrowed the selection down to three house:
Market Street -- A definite fixer upper! It was a "mansion" (4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths) in the historical district that was in dire need of repair.
Breese R0ad -- Move-in Ready! This house was located in the semi-country (away from town, but not country). The kitchen had been newly modeled and was gorgeous; however, it was located on a busy thoroughfare to the interstate and the master bedroom/bath had no privacy (it was the only bathroom on the main level, and the bedroom was located at the front of the house with many windows towards the neighbors).
Spring -- Old house with character! I wasn't a fan of this house upon the first showing. I didn't grew up with hard wood floors and don't really have an affinity for them. The "old charm" of the house was first lost on me. However, Steve wouldn't let me cross off the list.
We kept going back and forth on all the houses. Saturday night, I was leaning most towards Breese Road with Market Street in second. The problem with Market Street is that it would need lots of work. We weren't sure why we had a desire to be in the house -- to do all the repair work or to live in a historical house. Since no one lived in Market, we could see it any time we wanted for a second showing. However, there were people in Breese & Spring, so we set up second showings with those houses on Sunday morning.
Sunday morning, we headed to Breese Road first to look at it again. We decided it was a "safe" house. For instance, we could see ourselves in it, but we could see anyone in it. We could live in it and raise kids in it, but there was nothing jumping out at us. We weren't sure if we were going to see Spring for a second time, but right as we were finishing at Breese, we got the okay to head to Spring.
We got to Spring and went in search of the basement that we missed on the first time through the house. We found the basement (the door was hidden by the door we entered) and discovered that part of it had been finished into a really spacious & functional laundry room. I fell in love! This was my dream laundry room as well as one of the few houses we saw with a basement. I walked through the house with my new love of the basement and was already imagining how I'd decorate it. After walking through it all again, Steve and I looked at each other and had our "This is Your House" feeling we'd been waiting for.