When we decided that rent in the Sioux Falls area was too damn high, the search for houses begun on the internet. Based on several limiting factors, we came up with a few lists: a list of things we wanted in a house, things we knew we didn’t want in a house, and things that we were indifferent on.
Things that were on our initial must-have list: right location, good yard, fence preferred, basement that doesn’t feel like basement and that has never seen water, bigger communal space vs. bedroom space, updated kitchen, 3+ bedroom, 2+ bathroom.
Things that we knew we didn’t want: Split-level entry, hot tub, over-sized garage.
Things that we weren’t swayed one way or another: Paint colors, carpet, and basically anything else we could easily change.
These were feelings we had before we ever stepped foot into a house. We had done the house shopping game before a bit in Vermillion, but our budget was considerably lower, and we were not terribly serious.
This was serious.
So we contacted a couple of banks and figured out our options there. We then contacted a real estate agent and set up a time the next weekend to visit some locations. Based on our Internet searches, we already had favorite homes in our ideal area, as well as questions for our real estate agent and ideas for how to make a home feel like our own.
On the way to the showings, we dropped baby L off with Grandma and Papaw, put on our detective hats and hurried along. We were to meet our realtor later in the evening for a few showings, but there was a pair of open houses that were scheduled earlier in the day, including one house that we loved the looks of, based on our Internet searches.
House #1 Stats
Square Feet: 1,502
Year Built: 2005
What we loved about House #1 was the look of the exterior, the back yard, and the fact that the bedrooms were all situated on the second floor of the home. However, despite our instant attraction to House #1 when conducting our Internet searches, when we walked into the open house, we immediately checked the home right off of our list.
What tossed House #1 into the “no” pile was largely layout-related. The biggest issue that we found was that the house didn’t have a basement. While that wasn’t something that deterred us right away, when we saw that the communal space of the home was limited to a tiny area that might qualify as a living room and the kitchen, we were bummed. The upstairs of the home was even more problematic – while we appreciated that all of the home’s three bedrooms were located on the same floor, it felt like 80% of the house – not just the second floor, but the house – was the master suite. While that may be a selling point to some individuals, it sealed the deal for us in the opposite way.
Needless to say, we were rather disappointed. You know that feeling when you’ve seen the selection of homes that are available in your ideal area, and you picked out your favorite, and the favorite is incredibly underwhelming and now you’re coming from behind hoping to get surprised? We were there.