Sunday, April 8, 2012

House Hunters = Us!

I haven't been blogging much lately because I've been utterly obsessed and consumed with........... house hunting! My husband and I have decided to try and find a new home that would fit us better and our horsey lifestyle (no more boarding! yay!) and while its really exciting its also very stressful because we have a lot of factors to consider:

1) Very Limited Price Range
We plan to rent our current home (we'd be losing money if we sold it in this market, we bought near the peak of the bubble, ugh.) but when we met with our mortgage broker we decided that we wanted to be able to afford both mortgages in case our renters up and leave, we have a hard time finding renters, etc. Which means based on our salaries....a very moderate price range to be looking in. So while it will be a step up from our current house, unfortunately it won't be anything close to the houses I've been pinning on pinterest. ha ha.

my dream home via
but no way in our price range. one day!

2) Acreage & Decent horse land
We will have at least 2 horses on the property - my horse Mysti, plus a future horse for my husband/mom to ride - and we want to have some nice pasture turnout with room for a round pen and barn, so at the very least we want at least 3 acres, but we're hoping to find a place with 5 acres.

(And if we find at least 5 acres, that means I can also get the pasture companion for the horses that I've always wanted - a donkey! I looooove donkeys and have wanted one for forever! Aren't they adorable?

Donkey in Idaho Falls. Made my aunt pull over so I could snap this pic while gushing in baby talk to him. So cute!
We're also in need of acres that aren't too forested with some sloping to help with drainage (the rain and mud can get out of control over here). And while houses and rates are really low - there's not much out there in our price range and acreage criteria.

3) Location
We are looking to stay in Snohomish County which we really like (it has cheaper taxes and less restrictive land ordinances than King County's CAO that restricts how much of your land you can use (only 65%!) and where you have to get permits to clear invasive vegetation like blackberries - ridiculous! but that's for a whole other blogpost). We need something where my commute isn't longer than an hour. We want more privacy from neighbors but on a street that has a neighborhoody feel. And we really want to be in a horse-y community and rural area, but not like a scene from Deliverance. Access to riding trails would be a major bonus, but I don't think we're in the price range to really find that unfortunately - which means we need to start saving $$$ for a trailer.

4) Amount of Fixin' Up Needed
We know that we will be looking at some major fixer uppers because of Factors 1-3 above. But we're really trying to find something where the house doesn't need too much major stuff done (because we do have a limited amount of $$$ to tap into and it will be a long process). We're hoping to find something where mostly its just the land and any outbuildings that need the overhaul and the house just needs the TLC. So something kinda crappy, but not toooooo crappy.

5) Must haves
We have a few must haves that we can't really compromise on (well, hope that we don't have to). Our must haves: bigger than our current house (1500 sq feet), at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms (room for future kids). No baseboard heat. No major roof problems (unless seller is replacing). Not too close to a busy road. Not next to any neighbors like we have now: dog houses (incessantly barking dogs), motorheads (aka neighbors who are constantly reving engines up as part of their stock car building/dirt bike racing) or inappropriate volume of music/bass guy (I realize I sound like an old lady now, but gosh darn it turn that crap down!). Unfortunately, living out in the boonies means we're probably going to have to deal with at least one of those type neighbors.....but hopefully we'll be a little more tucked away from all that.

Bonuses would be: a barn or outbuilding I could convert to a barn, existing fencing, a garage (my hunny is dying for a home gym), a fireplace and a porch or deck.

Wouldn't this be nice? My dream barn! Again, for another day via google images
But I'd happy just to have this! Nice run in shed via with small tack/grain room attached

We can find that - limited price, restrictive area, strict must haves = no problem, right?? ;)
ha ha ha......well, we'll see what happens. Fingers crossed!

I'm sure my realtor loves our vague description of what we want: Kinda crappy fixer upper but not too crappy but still pretty big, mostly private but not too scary and alone, nothing too downtown or on the road, not too hillbilly, nothing too foresty, and oh yah something that's cute with potential .....that shouldn't be hard to find, right? ;)

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