We gave the builder a small check yesterday to hold a specific lot for us, but Adrienne and I are both concerned about being able to afford that particular house. We do like it a lot, but we're going to look at used homes too.
Here are a few links to homes I asked our realtor, Kevin Woody, to show us.
UPDATED 4/9/04 - I've added comments regarding the houses below:
http://www.hpw.com/SearchPages/Detail.aspx?MlsNum=787813 (Crockett's Ridge)
Easily the nicest house we saw. Great condition, nice lot, beautiful yard, nice floor plan, has just about everything we want. And at $217,000, it's not a bad deal. But it wasn't perfect, and we're basically looking for perfect right now. We might even consider making an offer on this, but our realtor suggests that sellers are often unwilling to negotiate price too much when the potential buyer has a house to sell.
http://www.hpw.com/SearchPages/Detail.aspx?MlsNum=791343 (Crockett's Ridge)
The exact same model as above, except the fireplace was on the side of the house instead of the back. However, the yard was in terrible shape, it had a strange deck that really looked half-finished, and they put down this nasty-looking pergo laminate in most of the first floor (foyer, hall, dining, living, breakfast area, and kitching). Plus, the island had some weird laminate tile around it that was different. The pergo looked like it had been self-installed, and not very well, there were lots of gaps under the quarter round. The house was vacant and obviously had been for some time. It has potential, but giving that they are asking $2,000 more than the previous listing, they're gonna have a hard time selling it!
The owner was still at the house when we arrived, so we went to Greenbrier then came back to this one. It had a very nice upstairs, and a gorgeous kitchen, but I didn't care for the remaining layout of the first floor. And the back yard was not only in terrible condition, it was virtually unusable. About 3 feet beyond the back of the deck was a 45 degree slope up about 10 feet, then it flattened out again, where there were some tree stumps and dead trees and stuff. It was hideous. And the landscaping on the slope was poorly kept too. I'd rather have no yard at all than this yard.
This one was in really good condition. It had a beatifully upgraded kitchen, a very nice back yard, a roomy master with a very nice master bath and walk-in closet. The other three bedrooms upstairs were not overly large, and they did not have walk-in closets. The two story family room was pretty, but not large enough for a sofa and loveseat.
http://www.hpw.com/SearchPages/Detail.aspx?MlsNum=778215 (Shephard's Vineyard)
No tub in the master bath, no walk-in closets. This was the only house we saw with a laundry closet instead of a laundry room. It was also nearly 20 years old, with what looked like original appliances, and I didn't much care for the dark wood molding and the wood paneling in the family room. The neighborhood is very nice, but I can't buy a house without a separate tub and shower or walk-in closets in the master.
UPDATED 4/8/04 - I've adjusted the links above to show the 5 homes we're looking at this weekend.
They range in price from $218k - $225k, which would be considerably cheaper than the new home. They also range in square footage from 2040 to 2200, which is also considerably smaller.