We went Tuesday night after work to see two houses with F. One was up in the Richmond Hills, and was as pristine as advertised. Fresh paint, new windows, refinished oak floors. Two wall heaters, which cold-blooded me shivered at - but everything very nicely done on the inside. Some puzzling features of the outside included a yard entirely covered in gravel, with visible sump pumps and all kinds of drainage pipes snaking everywhere. (Underground lake?) Another downer for me - a huge shed taking up half the backyard, finished as an office - but not legal, since there was no foundation. Sigh. Why don't people take the time and money to do things right? Six kinds of fruit trees, but all crowded together in the front yard - as soon as they establish any size they will be crowding each other out. A horrible house, like something out of Deliverance, right next door, including multiple cars in need of major repair dumped in the driveway. But the Husband loves the newness of the indoors, and the size - he drools at the big 1400+ square footage, the shed, the double garage. He would never have to throw anything away, ever. Asking price: $449K.
The second house appeals to me much more - up on a little hill in the Annex. Built in the 40s, and clearly one couple's home for many years. Nice size (1200 square feet), with character. The kitchen and bathroom need to be completely redone, and at some point the linen closet was removed to bring the washer and dryer upstairs. The yard is large and lovely, the third bedroom over the garage has an abundance of closet space that makes the Husband salivate. Did I mention the pinkness? Pink carpet, pink walls, pink silk valances over pink sheers in the windows all through the living and dining rooms. But F. kneels in her cute sundress and yanks up the floor heating register, pulls back the pink carpet and sees nice wood floors underneath. We could make this a lovely home, I am convinced. Asking price is too much: $479K.
The Husband and I spend several minutes sitting in the pinkness, debating this house over the one in the Hills. He loves new, I love old - he wants all the work done, and I want to do some of it myself. As we're walking out, we look out the front window, and the Husband says, "Is that Sutro Tower?" It is. A view. I might change his mind after all.