thursdays, the day to watch tv!

Well, I have developed a couple new addictions since summer season shows* have begun, but Thursday has become one of my favorite nights for vegging in front of the telly because of this (I’m glad they’re doing it for charity; seems somehow less exploitive that way) and of course, this.

house hunting and a conundrum

You talked and I listened. Kind of. I haven’t brought my digital camera with us for any of our house-hunting adventures (I have no good reason, other than I keep forgetting to tuck my camera back into my purse), so these pics come to you courtesy of their marketing agents.

the contenders:

House 1 is the fixer-upper. It’s built on a hill, so it looks teeny tiny in front but has the surprise extra level below street level on the back. Monkey and I were in love with the possibilities of this place. So much potential, such a pretty street, a great walk-to location to a local “hotspot” neighborhood full of fun restos, bars, shops, and cafes (it’s literally the street behind the neighborhood). But it’s not too cheap (location, location, location) and would probably take another $100k-$150k to renovate + a lot of sweat equity. We’d likely need to gut a lot of it. The gardens (both front and back) are intensely overgrown and riddled with squitos and other unpleasant insects. But there is a delightful huge deck/porch off the back of the house, complete with pale blue-painted ceiling and glow-in-the-dark stars. Behold:

House 2 has been rehabbed extensively by the current owners (who are relocating to Charleston, lucky ducks!). There are so many charming qualities in this beautifully renovated house. Plus a lovely yard and lots of pretty neighboring houses. And the Dollar Tree is a few feet away at the street corner. George (our agent) noted that just a few years ago there was a strip club where there’s now a Gamecocks goods store. So I guess the transition is still happening in this neighborhood. Not sure I’ll be wanting to walk to the shops in the immediate neighborhood so much (but I do like the DT)…The house itself is lovely. Same price as the terraced house above, not as sweet a location, but absolutely move-in condition. See:

House 3 is not really a contender anymore because of its location. I am IN LOVE with the house itself. Charming, quirky, wonderful and all renovated and basically move-in ready. But it’s the same one I’d mentioned we’d taken polaroids of way back in November of last year. It’s about $100k less than the 2 houses above, but it’s been on the market for this long for some reason. Plus, the neighbors were out this time, and they didn’t seem too friendly. The neighborhood looks ripe for investing into, but it may be quite a few years before we’d see the environment warm up. It’s a shame, because I love this house. Isn’t it so sweet?

And then…House 4 (no pics): Monkey and I found a house a few weeks back (when we had first just started working with George, who we really, really like) as we were wandering through some of the neighborhoods we liked. We really stumbled across this house on a whim, because it wasn’t much to look at from the outside (red brick cottage, looks tiny and lacking on some curb appeal), but it was FSBO and definitely in the area we were looking in (walking distance to nice food markets and restaurants), so we checked it out. There were info sheets stuck to the windows, and the rooms looked very intriguing. So we got in touch with the owners then, but we only just got a chance to get into the house this week (the current owners have relocated to FL because of the hubby’s work moving them from time to time, and they were back for one day). Oh my. So quirky and charming and cute. It looks teeny tiny from the front, but the house is a bit of rambler, with lots of small, usable rooms, which is perfect for what Monkey and I need (we’re both hobbyists and dabblers in too many things). It almost rivals the charm (on the inside) of House 3. And the homeowners were so nice (and very ecologically-minded and DIY handy, which I love) and renovated the house with such care and love. They left a few rooms to do (because they’d planned to do them but had to move), so that would leave a nice, manageable amount of DIY for Monkey and me. We like that. A lot.

I can’t stop thinking about this house. We could really make it our home. We would love it, and it would love us.

The conundrum is, the house is For Sale By Owner. And we found it ourselves before we’d fully gotten into househunt mode with George. But we want him to get a cut because he’s been great and has spent a good amount of time with us. At the same time, we don’t want to pay more for the house than we need to, which we would if we wanted to build a commission for George into it. Oy.

Did you really want to know all this? Probably not, but there it is. And meanwhile, Lizzie is at home spiffing up our old house for market there. She’s my dreamboat sister and I love her for being such a wonderful, giving person. Yay! Wish us luck in selling it!

And watch some telly tonight. It’s Thursday!

* I am liking The Next Food Network Star and wish we still had HBO to catch the new (and last) season of Six Feet Under. Nobody break my heart and tell me Dead Like Me is starting up again soon, please! We get a package cable deal with the apartment, so we are just going with it for now (it’s cheap and loaded with fun channels), but once we move into our house, we’ll be looking for some DVR+extended cable, because I love TV, but I don’t want it to run our lives forever….