Wow, have we been busy!
Landing at Dulles around dusk Thursday night, we taxied past the space shuttle. Am I too old to think it's totally rad, awesome, and tubular to see that thing live and in person? I've gotta tell you, it must be huge; it made the 747 on which it was piggybacked, look like a toy!
We stopped by WolfAlpha's apartment to pick up a few last-minute things. Nice, quiet, safe neighborhood, dull as dirt and close to work. It was 11:00 when we checked in to the motel, so we hit Burger King and crashed out. Yesterday a.m. we met with the realtor (could NOT have done better on that count) and headed for the hills. Literally. My dream home was already under contract, and I consoled myself by noting some rather noisy neighbors when we drove past. It really was a nice house in a pleasant neighborhood, and we are in LOVE with this town! After seeing ten-ish (seriously, I lost count) houses, we wrote an offer today, and we have second and third choices lined up in case we get out-bid. Since it's a foreclosure, if we are initially out-bid, we'll get a second chance, as I'm sure the owner would thoroughly enjoy a bidding war. We might go five or ten dollars above the list price, but it someone else wants it that badly, they'll get it. It's at the top of our price range, but it's a great house that doesn't need much work. And it's about a mile from the river.
Choice #2 is an amazing modified A-frame in the mountains, great decks, funky but do-able layout, and a gorgeous lot. Two huge bathrooms, and a big garage/workshop, but we'd need to cut a few trees for a garden - sad face. # 3 is $18,000 cheaper and just about perfect (loudest noise in the neighborhood was the wind in the trees) - great yard for a food garden, the works. But access is a bitch - my ears popped twice on the way up. WolfAlpha would NOT enjoy the commute. (OTOH, starting in January, he'll have enough annual vacation time to simply stay home any time the roads are bad.)
Tomorrow we'll do some drive-by's in a nearby town, in case we end up SOL on all three. WolfAlpha is pretty confidant that he can judge a house for me if I've seen the area. I have to keep reminding him that HIS needs take precedence over my whims, and we really are in agreement on priorities. In our price range, we'll be lucky to get the basics. Plus, our realtor is truly wonderful! We've been communicating via email, and it only took him a few minutes in person to get a feel for our priorities - best described as "there are a few things we absolutely need, but we can be flexible in how those needs are met." For instance, we need a basement unless there are already at least two bathrooms and a garage. We need a garage unless there's a basement. He said he enjoyed working with us, and I think he meant it; I think we're pretty good clients - not a lot of dithering and second-guessing.
Now it's time to eat and get some rest!