Seven years ago, we moved into a townhouse that had just been flipped… and by flipped, we mean they basically put down new carpet and painted the walls beige. This was a perfect opportunity for the flipper because it was almost 2100 square feet with 4 bedrooms and 3 and a half bathrooms, and was only 7 yrs old with no problems. It was also a perfect home for us at the time because of the layout and blank slate we had to work with and that it was probably the most spacious home we could have afforded at the time. Over time, our needs changed, and the neighborhood changed.
I suppose every neighborhood has its story. Yours may include toilet papered trees, loud traffic, or the occasional murder. Ours included a little girl playing with a hula hoop on top of our mailbox, bonfires in the neighbors driveway, and a chicken coop in someone’s front yard. Nevertheless, it was time to move.
We put our house on the market on Valentine’s Day. 16 days and 25 showings later and we had a buyer! Sounds great, huh? We only had one problem… nowhere to move to. At that time, Lexington had a very low inventory of homes for sale and quite a few people looking to buy. We checked websites every single day looking for a new place to call home. We knew we wanted a place with character and one that was not showroom ready–There’s no point buying a house that has been remodeled when we are just going to change everything about it. Our realtor even set us on on an email alert for everything in our price range and desired neighborhoods. Still, nothing. We found that there are plenty of homes with character in Lexington, but they all come with a price tag. You know what you learn about buying–it’s location! location! location!–which we totally ignored the first time around. This time, we tried to find something with the charm, but also with location as key. Well… if there’s two things that drive up the price of a home, it’s location and charm. What can we say? Caviar dreams.
The first house–great neighborhood: check, charm: blah
The second house–good neighborhood and potential to make money with a remodel: check, charm: negative (well yes it did if you like midcentury modern, it just wasn’t the style we were looking for)
At that point, we had to re-evaluate our checklist. How can we get what we want where we want it and make sure we can still afford to keep the lights on?
We remembered a house we saw online about a month before that had great curb appeal (or potential) and in need of updating, but we knew nothing about the neighborhood. At that time, we put it in our “maybe” file, and continued looking, but now after getting nowhere, we decided to go look at it… right then. Literally. We dropped everything (even bailed out on dinner plans) to go explore a neighborhood we knew nothing about, Meadowthorpe.