Thursday, January 14, 2010


As you know, we've been in search of a home since July of this past year.
Since the day our landlord came over and told us her marriage was ending because
her husband was having an emotional affair with his coworker. Which meant, we needed to move
out as soon as we could, (30day legally) because emo daddy was moving out of their 1.5million dollar home and moving in here.

Obviously they're working on their marriage because we are still here.
But after that frustrating day, we've been looking at homes.
We've been trying to find a home that fits us.
A home we would own.
We miss being homeowners.
We were lucky though, when we sold our place is Florida and moved back here, it was just before everything went south, and there was actually a bidding war going on for our home.
Ha, not now.

I wanted to stay in the town we're at.
The school system is above and beyond excellent.
Matter of fact it's ranked up there in top public school districts in the USA.
I grew up here, so there's that sort of family pass the torch sort of thing.
It's also a darling, conservative, fun stores and french markets, type of town.

We knew going into the house hunt that to buy a house here,
will mean less house for more money.
But we were okay with that because we'd be close to my parents.
My relatives.

We set ourselves a budget, factoring in an ideal cost of utilities, homeowners insurance,
and the ect... Oh, did I mention this town works perfect for all of us because the train
is an easy access for Bigdog to catch into work.

So we gave ourselves a nice cushion going into the search. When I say that, I mean that we
didn't overextend what we're currently paying in monthly costs.
Ever since the US went belly up like an angry Betta fish, we've learned not to end up in situations where we could be in trouble.

Sure you don't know the future, job security as well as health security, so we took that all into consideration as we ventured out into the land of FOR SALES.

Typically around here, a 3bdrm 2Th 1700sq home built in the 1950s will go for anywhere from 3$00,ooo and up, depending on the upgrades. Back at the beginning of September, we found a house.
A darling, upgraded, in town, with in law quarters ranch that would work perfectly.

The process went along slowly because while the home was on the market, the kitchen was under a renovation, so we couldn't do the home inspection until the kitchen was finished. We had the house tested for Radon, and the test came back where they'd need a Radon mitigation system (in ILLINOIS, or at least this county, if the levels of radon come back beyond a 4, it is the sellers responsibility to put in the system-by law). The buyers pay to have the inspection done, and if the levels come back beyond that number, the seller must pay to have the system installed.

We arrive at the point of the Home Inspection, and thankfully for us, my Dad is in the industry where he was able to conduct the plumbing portion of the inspection, and 3 other contractors that he knows came in for the Furnace/AC, carpentry, electricity, blah blah blah. My dad is very thorough. To the point where he even TV'd the sewer lines to see the condition of the home's sewer.

The inspection came back with many things wrong. Not to code. Possible asbestos. A garage that might be pulling away from the foundation, a sewer that is backpitched and will be in need of a replacement.

A roof, and some more of this not being at code, and that. So, we requested the necessary things to be repaired and the seller was only willing to give us $1200 in concessions to repair the items, and they "agreed" to put the radon in. Naturally, the potential issues would range more so in at least at $8000, possibly more over time.

So we pulled the contract.
We've looked at house after house after house.
Frustrated that we would be spending so much money for a small home without a lot of land to move with.

Until Brian and I decided to extend our house hunting into an entirely different area.
My sister's area about 40minutes south of here and far from plain, with many fields. A newer area, with homes deliciously lbigger (3500 square feet bigger) that costs less then the minis in our town. The property taxes are a lot higher, but again, we tried our best to budget that in.

We found a home in my sister's subdivision and immediately fell in love with it. The seller was already losing over $100,000 on it, but it's a relocation so there's a different process involved.
The home, 4 bedrooms, 3full baths, a formal Living and Dining room, a family room, a den or office, a dual staircase, sunroom, stainless steel appliances, $2000 landscape upgrade (They paid to have tree's put in their back yard, versus the standard new subdivision trees.) The house had it all and then some.

So we put an offer on it this week. The day after my birthday as a matter of fact.

It's not going to work.
When we did the numbers, we realized the amount of money we would need to bring to closing was far more then what we'd need for the town we're in now.
Which is funny because the prices were about the same.
The difference, the property taxes.
The taxes out there range from $8900 and up.

Could we stretch it? Sure.
But that's exactly what we don't want to do,
especially when everything is in the state that it's in.

So, here we are, back to square one.
Anxious and frustrated and really tired of all of this disappointment.

Now, we will most likely have to rethink where we will be looking at, because we've tasted the beauty of a beautiful home and I have to say, it's hard to go back to looking at homes built in 1950 with radon issues.

There you have it.
I think we may take our search west of here. West of a river, with one high school in the town, but that has the same old town feel as this, without the crazy taxes.

Who knows.

I'm pretty sure our realtor will be firing us soon.
I'd fire ourselves too after all the homes we've looked at.
I haven't even begun to tell you about the other homes that we put offers on...

When did life get so YIKES?


austere said...

I salute your patience. The right place will turn up.

Happyone :-) said...

The perfect home for you and your family is out there somewhere. I hope you find it soon.
We have been in our new townhouse for a year already this month!!
Have a great Friday Elizabeth.
Happy House Hunting!

... Paige said...

I so feel for y'all, looking for a home at this time. Just try not to let your eyes be bigger than your pocketbook and I'm sure you will find the right home.
Positive thinking with a smile on top :-)

Rebecca said...

Home buying or building is one of the most stressful things we've ever done. Honestly, I'm not sure my marriage would survive doing it again. Good luck in your search! Its sort of a 50/50 deal right now...a great time to buy if you feel secure (is there such a thing?) about your funds. On the other hand, does anyone really have job security?

Martha said...

How about far west Joliet or maybe the Minooka area? The taxes aren't as bad as they are in "far from plain, with many fields". No matter what, though, I'm sure the right house for you is out there!


Martha, My sister lives in the same area we're looking at and it took me awhile to even agree to go that south. Bri needs to be somewhat close to the train as he works in the city, and I liked the grades the town we're interested in, received, versus other towns.

If we were to go that south, we would first go west from here, just over the Foxy river. :)

KathyA said...

Keep looking. There's a perfect house out there for you!

Jamie said...

I know you will find the perfect place...and I do know how stressful and dramatic finding just the right place can be. You do need a huge place, one where your kids can grow and bring their friends. Again, it's out there, just waiting for you to find it. Hang in. Big hugs. :)

Gypsy said...

It will happen Elizabeth. You will find the right home or the right home will find you. Either way, once you do, it will be the greatest feeling in the world. Home....there really isn't anywhere else like it.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

I think the home buying process can be very stressful. Take care of yourself and I know the right place will reveal itself.

Cheryl said...

How frustrating! I hope you find a house that you can live in and be happy. Don't settle, if you can.

Palm Springs Savant said...

ok. read, repeat and believe this:
"We will find a great home for our family that will meet our needs". remove ALL thought, worry and doubt. See my last post about The Mental Equivalent...

sending good thoughts...

Susan's Snippets said...

CB -

I think everyone above has already said it all. With this market I cannot imagine that there isn't the perfect house in YOUR TOWN that will work for your family.

Patience and all the rest of that stuff!!

My sister and brother-in-law are also realtors IN YOUR TOWN, just putting that out there in case yours throws her hands up and says "I quit!"

maybe not a good fit

sending hugs
and warm throw rugs

Golden To Silver Val said...

Oh I know how frustrating all this is...but you are wise to stay within the boundaries you've set for yourself. There are so many people who have over-extended themselves only to live in stress and fear of losing everything. Have faith that just the right home will show up for will. Its just a matter of time and there it will be! You know its true! Big hugs Elizabeth...keep the faith.