The Husband is working a matinee again, so I'm solo on another scouting mission. After checking online and in the Sunday Chronicle, it appears there are only two houses on my list. I rush out the door at halftime of the WNBA finals (go, Indiana!) and head up the hill a bit in El Cerrito for the first.
The flyer calls it a "spacious starter home," and at 1500 sq ft., it is spacious. Built in 1962, and I don't believe a single improvement has occurred since then. I climb the steep steps to the front door, and walk in - there is the distinct odor of old, dirty socks once I step inside - but maybe that's just the old brown shag carpet. The view is lovely, but a linoleum-floored dining room is not. It's a few steps up to the three bedrooms and two baths; I think one room must have housed Frank Sinatra, or some member of the Rat Pack, because it smells distinctly of millions of cigarettes, and a lot of scotch (with a spicy overtone of fresh paint). The backyard is a cinderblock retaining wall in front of a hill that would have to be scaled with climbing gear. I flip through the pest report, and it's a laughable $5k. Please. I saw the asbestos wrapped pipes in the garage, the buckling tile in the bathroom. And as I turn the page, a nice disclosure that this house is in a landslide zone. Perfect. I bid the overfriendly agent farewell. Asking price: $450K.
Over to the Richmond Annex for the second house. I fall in love as soon as I get through the front gate, and see that this house is built on two lots, so there is plenty of lawn, and it's beautifully landscaped, including this grassy front, perfect for frolicking pooches. The owners have done some nice work inside - they haven't completely renovated the bathroom or the kitchen, but done enough to make them look modern. The rooms are good-sized, the flow works, and the backyard is big. My mind instantly puts our furniture in the living room, and it looks great! Pest report is clean, sewer lateral was done this year - definitely move-in ready. I start calculating how much over the asking price we'll have to bid on a place as nice as this, and how I will convince the Husband. Asking price: $449K.
I email F. as soon as I get home, can she come see this place with the Husband on Monday or Tuesday? Offers are due October 9th. I need to calm down and not obsess. Suggestions are welcome.