After much thought and prayerful consideration, we decided against getting either house.
One house we loved the view, the floor plan, size and the price, but there was more freeway sound outside than I could deal with. Freeway sound is usually part of any house that is set on the slope of a mountain, much to my dismay. In my mind I see us living in that house, but when I go to it and sit outside, I realize the sound would never go away.
For the record, that was the house with the deck, garden, fire place, red kitchen and yes, Bob Marley.
The other house, the one with the view to downtown: we loved everything except a very steep curving driveway up to the front deck. Way too scary steep to manage in snow or ice.
Then to reach the front door at the top of the driveway would have required climbing an additional 10 steps outside, or from inside the garage climbing the steps from the downstairs up to the kitchen and living area.
The downstairs was simple; a family room with a great fireplace and downtown view, but no bathroom. There are lots of reasons why someone might not be able to climb stairs for awhile; and just staying downstairs would not be an option. The price point on that house was our absolute limit; adding a downstairs powder room would not be an option for us.
Sunday was B.'s 55 birthday. He had a miserable head cold, but rallied enough for us to go see eight more houses in the late afternoon. It was raining cats and dogs at first but cleared up a bit later.
There is something quite funny about looking at lots of houses: You get them mixed up in your mind if you are not careful. To prevent this from happening, we tend to re-name each house according to something that would stick out in our mind later. For instance, the first house I wrote about above has been called "The Bob Marley House" since the first time we saw it. The second house is "The house with the steep driveway and great view"
Sunday we saw "The house with the green rocks on the busy corner" (NATURAL turqouise green actually,not paint...the whole front of the house)
"The foreclosure house", where they had done a ton of work on the front of the house and kitchen, and were sadly in foreclosure. Small child sized clothing and other junk was strewn about in odd places, we felt so bad for the family._
"The Sick Realtor House" so named because when we arrived, the key box was opened, and we could see a purse on the kitchen table of the empty house. We knocked and knocked, speculated on what might be going on in the other wise empty house, and finally a young woman answered the door, saying she was the real estate agent for the house and she had been unable to answer the door because she was being violently sick in the bathroom. She gave us details (ewww) and then curled up on the carpet, holding her stomach. I offered to give her a ride if she needed to go home or to the hospital, she decline and continued to be on the carpet while we explored the house.
"The Snakes on the Carpet House" was so named because of the crazy carpet pattern.
"The Brownie House" was where the nice old couple showed us every nook and cranny of their beautiful house and lovely garden, and then offered us freshly baked brownies.
There were others, "The House with No View", "Too much noise house"...and so it went.
I am cheered that two houses were actually home and garden tour perfect. One was 4,000 square feet (too big for us) and the other is great but for the fact that they have it so the first thing you see when you walk in is the kitchen sink across the way didn't do it for B.
Oddly, the house reminded us so much of our Houston house we were someone taken aback. We had mentally gotting into a bit more rugged style house!
For fun...here's the link to the Brownie house, sans cute couple serving brownies. The kitchen is photographed from the front door.
It is too early in the day to post pictures of the snakes on the carpet house. I'll wait to do that later, when I can face seeing that mess again.
I think that makes us at 34 viewed houses now. Plus a couple of hundred houses just viewed on line.