Thursday, January 14, 2016

House Hunting in Atlanta

It's on!
We aren't in any rush to move, but Ernesto and I are both on Redfin regularly and interesting houses are popping up. We know we are going to need more space. And although Grant Park is awesome, we will get more for our money in another neighborhood. (Still in Atlanta)
We are pretty much set on a mid century (modern hopefully) ranch. Something with good (and interesting!) bones that needs the kitchen and bathrooms overhauled. Our must-haves: Open concept (kitchen/living/dining rooms open), 3-4 bedrooms WITH basement, a big yard and in the school district of Globe Academy. (Spanish immersion school K-8)
PLUS - We are in a good position to sell. We bought it in 2011 (a week after Mateo was born) and it was a foreclosure. Boy, did we get a deal!! And now it's time to cash in! Our neighborhood is HOT! The home values have skyrocketed. Our realtor came by last week to look at our house and we are going to list it for MORE THAN DOUBLE of what we paid 4 years ago. Hell to the yeah!! I mean why wouldn't we get more space for an almost even mortgage payment??

The area we are looking (6-8 miles NE of downtown) is not in the suburbs by any means, but you get the benefits of suburbs with the proximity to the city that we need. Good schools, big yards, basements!! Oh my! This area is pretty hot now too. Houses are going under contact in less than one week.
We are not ready. Our house is not for sale...but we are pretty sure after what has happened the last few weeks it will be listed soon. We are seeing house after house come on the market. If we find something we like, we need to be ready to pounce.
We can't stop debating: Do we sell before we find another house? Or find another house and then sell?
There are pros and cons to each scenario.
Obviously it would be nice to stay in our house until we find another house. The thought of being in a temporary home with 3 kids does not sound appealing. Nor does finding said home (or worse an apartment) and signing a lease.
If we are going to live in temporary housing, I would like it to be in a temporary city, or better yet country!!
But what if it takes us a year?
Well, on with the story.....
Two days before Christmas (we were in Ohio) and Ernesto shows me this house...
I looked at all the pictures and said. Ok, I want this house. I love the front of the house, but the kicker is the back.
Hello 5 million windows!!!!! Light and bright!!
The kitchen needs a renovation and that little peek-a-boo opening into the living room would have to open up.
This doesn't scare me, it excites me. Also, the bathrooms would one day need re-done, but they are livable.
The big yard is definately a plus.
I went through this house as soon as we were back in Atlanta, but it was just a little too small for us without a basement. So when I left I wasn't pining over it anymore. There were several offers on it and they called for "highest and best." It went under contract shortly after that.
The next week, I opened my Redfin app, knowing full well that I had seen everything available in our desired area. Low and behold, this house came up...."NEW"
OMG!!! I texted our agent right away and said "I WANT THIS HOUSE!!" It is a perfect location off Briarcliff right at Lavista Rd. (Walk to Bucky Bucks, Whole Foods! Hello?!!) and FIVE BEDROOMS guys. FIVE!! Plus a basement, PLUS almost one acre!
After walking through it, I was even more convinced this was our house. Apparently five other people thought the same thing and so we were up against other offers.
SPOILER ALERT: we did not get the house.
Here we are two weeks later...the house is under contract and I can't get over it. UGH! I'm so disappointed. This house was awesome. Let me take you on a tour [of what could have been]. *Cry cry cry*
When you walk in the front door the room feels huge because of the vaulted ceiling.
The kitchen is behind that wall. Just imagine it gone and a huge island instead. UGH! So awesome!
Three bedrooms upstairs....
Hall bath
Welcome to the master...

Not huge by anymeans but I don't really are about a big master and en suite. There is a bath in there and it is neutral. One bathroom actually had vintage wallpaper that I would've kept! Metallic silver with orange butterflies. No pic, but trust me, it was awesome.
Downstairs, two more big rooms. (paneling is guest room/office and big windows playroom/rec room-yes I already planned it all out)
Big Laundry room AND a walkout basement...CRY CRY CRY.
Also the back deck overlooking our own private woods.
Ok. Now that I got that off my chest maybe I can let it go. SO. SAD. (more crying)
Want to see some other houses I like that have come on the market?
Some of these are already sold or under contract. A few are outside our desired area, but oh so cool.
{Perfect location, great price -4 beds but no basement and no yard - but pool!}
{perfect location, good price. 3 bedrooms, partial basement, but small living room with no way to open kitchen. Big yard but mostly taken up with POOL!}
{Great location, 100k over our budget. Big house, huge yard and awesome inside}
{perfect location, really cool MCM details inside - original architect/owner was selling. A little too small, but would have been interested to tour it if we weren't in the heat of Christmas lights - sold}
{great location, but wrong county (for Spanish school) Plus too small.}
{great location, although high taxes. Love asymmetrical roofline and white brick, but inside was renovated waaaaay to traditional for my liking. Price is at our max so we couldn't renovate}
{Not crazy about location, but good price and lots of space. Needs updates, but vaulted ceilings!!}
{Big house, huge yard! Great price for renovating. Wrong area, although great neighbors - Hi Sue Ellen!}
{wrong area, ORANGE DOOR!!}
{Too far out. Nicely renovated but too expensive.}
{LOVE this! Great location right on Nancy Creek but in the wrong county. Plus over 7K in taxes. No thanks!}
Oh but look at the fireplace!
Any way, I think the consensus (today) is that we are going to get ready to sell.
Our tentative goal is listing in mid-February. We will leave for San Diego when listing goes live and wait there until it sells. (Can you imagine us trying to keep our house clean for spontaneous showings with 3 kids. Oh Hell no!)
We need to position ourselves and be ready (i.e.: big wad of cash!) to snag one of these MCM house which are going under contract in just a few days.
We will see how long this process takes. Last time we hunted (when I was pregnant with Mateo) it took us 9 months. Yikes!
Stay turned for the Espinoza Hous Hunting Saga!!!


  1. Thank you for writing your blog about moving. I am also in the process of selling my house and looking to move. I know how hard it can be and sometimes it feels like a never ending process. I also know that my dream house is out there somewhere and I'm sure that yours is too. I wish you and your family all the best.

    Elton Rousseau @ Hancock And Partners

  2. My wife and I are currently also searching for a house. Not in desperation but we have both agreed that we are ready for a house. I think the good thing is that we have also agreed that we do not want a fixer upper. We want something that was built in the last 40 years and will be good.

    Jefferson @ T.J. Lamb Real Estate

  3. The best part about dealing with a realtor that was referred to you is you already know that they will be working extra hard to not disappoint the person who referred them. I was referred to a realtor of a friend who took on selling our house and held several open houses where she sat for 6 hours each time drumming up sales.

    Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate


I enjoy reading your comments. Thanks for stopping by Viva Cindy!


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