house hunting… take 1

So for a while now I’ve been on the hunt for a house/home. Not necessarily a single-family dwelling… I’d be happy within a condo/townhome at this point just to get the fuck out of my apartment. And knowing that me finding a single-family unit that would be large enough to fit all of our stuff… and yet not so expensive that I can’t afford the monthly mortgage and whatnot.

So the hunt began… I was just looking at things not realizing the size that I was needing. It wasn’t until I saw a few places that I realized that we needed something about 1200 square feet and up. So our requirements were quickly adjusted to something that would fit our needs… and would probably fit them for at least 5 to 10 years. So let’s see what we have looked at in a glance shall we and every hiccup we’ve come across…

1) first house I looked at was actually in Santa Ana… I mapped it and it was close enough to the newly revitalized Downtown Santa Ana area. What I didn’t map out was the rest of the neighborhood. I rode to the open house that was being held on a Sunday afternoon… and let me state this right off. White guy in cycling gear stuck out like a sore thumb in the area. The next VERY noticeable thing about the property? I think my apartment was bigger than this place… and it’s only a 1-bedroom unit. This was a 2-bedroom house. Kitchen was way too small for me to even fit my fridge. So this was the home that made me realize that my minimum square footage would have to increase by quite a bit.

2) 2nd place we looked at was a condo down the street from us in Garden Grove. A 3-bedroom multi-bath unit right off of Chapman. Perfect location for Milady and me. But we saw issues rather quickly… the rooms were nice, but felt small. The main issue for me was the downstairs living area… the layout was so closed off and tight. A lot of wasted space where it should have been more open. And don’t get me started on the kitchen… electric ranges are near deal breakers for me. But at least it was in the 1200+ square feet range we were looking at. Did I mention that after about a week of seeing nothing in single-family homes that I broke down and redid the math to see if I’d be willing to live in a condo/townhouse instead? I tossed the idea around to Milady who said it was all up to me for the most part. This one was off the list rather quickly… on to the next place…

3) another condo… this time back in Anaheim. Located about 1.5 miles from Disneyland for Milady it wasn’t horrible. It was 1500 square feet… with 3 VERY large bedrooms. And separate balconies off of 2 of those bedrooms. Laundry hook-ups in the garage. A lot of tile downstairs… but carpeting starting at the stairs which would all be ripped out and replaced. This was a strong contender for me… not so much for Milady mainly because of one thing… the location was right on the edge of residential into industrial zones. The HOA fees were rather high for getting nothing as well.
About a week later I heard from my realtor about the property that knocked it completely off my list… the sale would be a land lease and my bank would back that loan.

4) let’s get condo-crazy!!! For about a week or two I saw several condos… including places that I am trying to figure out why I even looked at it. Oh yes… I know why. The pictures were misleading… and the amount of info given was either incorrect or stated in a way. Next up we had a condo that looked intriguing… was about a mile from the Orange Circle… pretty close to Main Place Mall… etc. Living/dining area was a split level… it was the carpet that was the first killer for me. Oh wait, it was actually the lack of guest parking. This place scared the crap out of me… and the kitchen was tiny again. I’m trying to figure out what these people were thinking when they built these condos. Didn’t people cook in the 70’s and 80’s? PASS!!!

5) another condo down in Garden Grove. 3-bedroom… 2-bathroom. The price point was well within my range which would have allowed me to do some minor renovation to the place before we moved in. The kitchen breakfast bar would get ripped out… cabinets moved and extended… and possibly dragging a gas line in to the kitchen. Other than that… I was happy. I liked what I saw… and talked it over with Milady. A short time later we were putting in an offer… and the waiting game was on…
A day later I looked up the listing to see it disappeared… so I was nervous. A bit later I got a call from my realtor… we lost out on the condo by a few thousand dollars. It is still in pending status almost 3 weeks later. If anything goes down it would probably be in another week or two. But I kept looking anyway…

6) condo up the street from Historic Garden Grove area… again, another perfect location for both Milady and me. My only issue was that is was a multi-level condo complex where there are a few floors between me and the ground. The good side to it was it was a top floor corner unit. It was only a 2-bedroom 2-bath… but I could deal with that given the square footage and the recent upgrades to the place.
What could possibly go wrong? I have no idea why I get my hopes up anymore… because just as I’m ready to pull the trigger something crops up. This time it was found out that the original building contractor owned 11 of the 71 units. No way I would be able to secure a loan… so no offer submitted.

This ends part 1… I’ll fill out more later…