Friday we met our realtor and find him to be a proactive, very knowledgeable guy. He has lived in the valley for 35 years and been at real estate for 30, so he can answer every question we come up with. I also feel he is honest with us about a property's value vs price. We drove around with him for 5 hours looking at 5 homes. There was only 1 of those 5 that I could imagine living in, but Adrian liked a different property better.
Saturday we toured 4 more homes, and only one of them had Adrian and I both saying "wow". In my opinion, it has everything on our wish list except for excellent guest quarters. Since it could still be usable, I would consider it. Adrian liked the location, property and house, other than the fact that it doesn't have trees. Well, trees or views... you can't have both. The places we viewed that were heavily wooded like his childhood home didn't have views-- just a different feel.
Another place we viewed is $150K below our price range limit, and is in a very quiet spot. The owners were home, and we found out the man is dying of cancer. At the end of the tour, the man of the house even told Adrian he could throw in his $20K pickup truck and plow, since he won't be needing it. It was hard not to get caught up in the emotions of the owners' needs, or the fact that we could probably make a lot of $$$ by changing a few things and selling it. The house has an unfinished basement and pink carpeting that would need to be changed immediately. It would be a bit of a project for us, and could even be fun. We could afford to have the work hired out, yes. But we had previously agreed not to get a house that required any remodel. Hmmm...
It is a very interesting experience to be looking at homes that are all newer, nicer and considerably larger than the one we have. They almost all offer horse/chicken and acreage options. And yet... we have to narrow the list. I have a 15 point grading system of the features that are important to me/ us, in order to give every home a similar review. I'm taking lots of notes. I've found that "sleeping on it" helps a lot, as I am able to clear away all the details of every home and decide whether or not I could actually picture our family living there!
We are taking Sunday off real estate hunting, and will resume Monday. Monday we have 6 more properties lined up to tour. One of them is one of the 3 original homes we were disappointed to hear were under contract-- seems the contract has fallen through, so we get a chance to see it. I'm guessing after that, we'll narrow it down to 3 real possibilites. Also after that, we'll have the kids along with us for 2nd showings, and it will be fun to have their opinion! I'll post more Monday afternoon!!