Wednesday, July 19, 2006

House search

Over the weekend we saw 3 more homes we’ve added to our consideration list.

The first was a California contemporary, custom-built in 1989 for a Washington DC interior designer and his partner who relocated to Rehoboth Beach. All the rooms except the kitchen were pretty spacious. It has a spectacular Italian marble master bathroom, 4 bedrooms, great room with a grand fireplace, dining room with pretty built-ins, a sunroom/Florida room, a heated in-ground pool with retractable cover, and a beautifully landscaped and fenced yard. It’s a very pretty house, and we could see ourselves living there, with some updates. The wallpaper would have to be removed from several of the rooms, the mirrored fireplace surround in the dining room would have to be removed, the marble island top has several cracks in it so it would need to be replaced, and the wood floors and banister would have to be sanded and restained to get rid of the dated ‘pickled oak’ finish. It will also need a new roof within the next 2-3 years.

The second was an all-brick Ranch, custom-built in 1980 for a Delmarva native. We loved the floor plan of this house, with its spacious formal living and dining rooms, family room with large stacked stone fireplace and skylight, large open-concept kitchen with lots of cabinet and counter space and large island, its sunny breakfast nook with built-in window seat, and its spacious 3-season room – all of which overlook a private boat dock on a canal that leads to Rehoboth Bay. I especially liked this house because of the water views, despite the fact that it appeared to have been decorated in 1980 when it was built, and not updated since. It is a solid house in very good condition, with a recent roof and heating and a/c system. But there are only 3 bedrooms, there are no hardwood floors, the bathrooms are very dated, and the décor of the entire house needs to be brought into the 21st century.

The third was a historic Victorian/Farmhouse in desirable downtown Lewes, built sometime in the 1800s. After adding 2 additions, enclosing a side porch, and adding a screened porch and deck, it is a spacious home on a large, treed lot. The original part of the house contains a beautiful large living room, large dining room, and small kitchen downstairs and 2 bedrooms and 1 full bath upstairs. Off the left side of the kitchen is the enclosed porch with fireplace. Off the right side of the house is an addition containing 2 bedrooms and a full bath. Off the back of the house is another addition that contains a ½ bath, laundry room and family room, with French doors leading to the screened porch and open deck. Its yard and interior space are very good, but the interior is very dated. Many rooms have horrible wallpaper that would have to be removed. All of the bathrooms need updating/modernizing. The family room addition is covered in ugly, dark sheet paneling. One of the upstairs bedrooms has sheet linoleum over the wood floor! Central a/c and heat would need to be added. We liked the space and location of this house, but understand it would need a lot of updating.

Of these 3, our favorite is the brick Ranch with the canal views and access. The views, floor plan, and ability to finish the walk-out basement were big factors. We feel we could change this house from outdated to outstanding! But it’s the most expensive of the 3 and has only been on the market for a month, so we’re going to keep our eye on this property and will likely make a low offer on it in Aug. If the seller turns down our low offer, we can wait a few more weeks and submit the same or similar offer again, OR we can focus on some of the other homes we’ve seen and liked. Fortunately we are not pressured to buy, since we can stay in our beach place until we make the right offer on the right place.

Meanwhile, tonight we are moving all the furniture out of our TV room and guest bedroom in preparation for the wood floor refinishers to come. Next week we’ll have a realtor do a walk-thru to give us recommendations for what else needs to be done in order to put our house on the market and get top dollar. We’ve already gotten estimates for granite countertops, a new kitchen floor, the installation of some new light fixtures and ceiling fans, and some painting. If the realtor says these things should be done, we know who to call and how much it will cost.

It’s exciting! It’s really beginning to feel like we’re going to move to the beach!

Drag Queen name of the day: Lilly White

1 comment:

Bugsy (aka Joe) said...

Wow, Sounds like you guys did a lot! The ranch house does sound nice. Although that inground pool?...