Friday, October 26, 2012

Our House-To-Be, Plus Some Near Misses

Okay. For the third post in a row all I have is house photos. I promise I am working on a post with ever so much more fascinating KID photos. :-)


First are a few houses we pretty strongly considered putting offers in on, but didn't. They are in no particular order, but the last one is the one we are under contract on, as of today. Here's to hoping everything proceeds smoothly through closing in mid-November. 


We liked this sweet little house with its good-sized yard and super-friendly neighborhood. It was tastefully updated and had the cutest laundry room you have ever seen (the little kitchenette with the adorable pink appliances). We ended up ruling it out because of the tiny size of the bedrooms.


I absolutely loved this unique home, with its functional one-level layout with 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a formal living room, formal dining room, family room, eat-in kitchen, and CONVERSATION PIT!!! The neighborhood was a community planned by architect Ron Molen, called Westshire. You can read more about Westshire here: The neighborhood is south of Valley Fair Mall. I visited and spoke with some nice neighbors. The neighborhood shows great pride of ownership and has lots of community involvement. I absolutely LOVED it, but I couldn't get past the idea of the West Valley schools and the neighborhood's adjacent location to a much rougher neighborhood. If we hadn't had kids yet and didn't have one starting school next year, or if we were empty nesters, I think I would have bought this house and made it mine.


Okay, we didn't really consider this one strongly. We were trying to go no further north than Centerville for commute reasons. But I was starting to get discouraged and looked at Farmington as the next possibility. I love so many things about this house, not least of which is the fabulous island kitchen with, I believe, FIFTY cupboards and drawers!!!! Heaven!!! And do you see that master closet!? Last I heard, my dear childhood friend and neighbor is supposed to be going under contract on this one. Lucky girl!


We liked a lot of things about this big Bountiful rambler, like its yard, deck, covered patio, formal dining space, dream fridge, beautiful bathtub, etc., but it was just TOO big for us. We didn't need the lower level at all! It had four bedrooms, two baths, eat-in kitchen, living, dining, and family room on the main floor. We just didn't even need the two remaining bedrooms and additional family room on the basement level. The house was 4000 square feet, and that was just too big. Plus it only had a one-car garage!


The condo next to my parents' home went up for sale as a short sale a little before we started looking. We were apprehensive about the short sale process and didn't think we could get the property for an amount that would make sense for us. It needed quite a bit of fix-up and the HOA fee would add quite a bit to the monthly payment. The other concern was about the lack of yard and playmates for the kids. We did love the proximity to downtown, the size and layout of the home, and the idea of living close to fun grandparents. In the end we decided to pass, only to find out that the eventual buyer got the property for much less than we had been targeting, and closed on it in a very timely manner. Yeah, we're kind of kicking ourselves. But it really would have been quite the project. The pictures below were selected to show some of the work it needed.


This is the property that really held up the decision about the house we eventually went under contract on. After not having satisfactory negotiations with the seller of the property we had offered on, this south Bountiful rambler came up as a new listing. We went to see it that day and I found myself smiling about the house and yard. I loved the big entry, the vaulted ceilings in the living room, the big front porch, the huge terraced yard and the view, the view, the view! There were things about the house I DIDN'T love (small bedrooms, dark bathrooms, garage on basement level, near a steep and busy street), but it was almost easy to forget about those things when I imagined myself welcoming friends and family into the generous foyer and entertaining them on the brick patio or the upper terrace that looked over the top of the house at the whole valley, lake, and mountain range. Same view from the porch, living room, master bedroom, and even the basement family room. Sure, the whole house needed to be de-faux-Tuscan-ified to suit my tastes, but that could be done. The real problem, in the end, was the street and neighborhood. Our family is just too young for the location. There were less than 20 kids in the whole primary, and there was nowhere good to play outdoors. It is far from schools, stores, etc. Not to mention I didn't relish the idea of carting kids and groceries up and down from the basement over and over for the next several years until they can all reliably walk up and down stairs by themselves (the kids, that is, not the groceries). We decided the house in Centerville was the best one for the next few years of our lives. But someday, a quirky seventies house with a view???

This pic doesn't do justice to the view. It was amazing. It looked west to the lake and then north all along the mountain range up to Ogden.


This is the right-sized house (essentially 4 bedroom 2 bath, 2400 square feet) at the right price (not at all a budget stretcher), that is new enough to hopefully not have too many age-related problems, yet old enough to be in an established neighborhood with people in a variety of life stages. The ward is friendly and the house is cute now and will be even cuter when I get done with it :-). I don't anticipate we will live here forever, but we hope it will be a great home for the next several years. I, for one, will love living close to so many friends I have known my whole life. I also love the convenient location, so close to schools, parks, stores, and transportation options.

Some of my favorite things about the house are the spacious size of the bedrooms, the abundant storage (three-car garage, crawl space, shed), the vaulted great room with lots of windows, the fully-fenced yard and extra parking, the gas range, and the flexible space (two more bedrooms could be added in the loft, or it can be used as a family room, etc. Other rooms have multiple possible uses as well). I don't love that it doesn't have a basement (they're so nice for cooling off in the summer), that the dining space is a little cramped, that the master bathroom is not really a master bathroom - but that and a few other "flaws" we plan to change. Maybe even swap out the dusty blue siding? The main things that kept us from jumping right into this house can't be changed: it is on a semi-busy street and it has a shallow, smallish yard. We will just have to make the best of those things. Hopefully the good things about it will outweigh those drawbacks. I used to babysit a family that lived in a house with this same plan, and I have to admit I thought the house was "weird" and never imagined myself living in one like it. I probably thought it was weird just because it was so different from my own house. Really it's quite nice and livable and I think I'll like it.

I'll probably do my best to squeeze a dining space into this great room along with a living room space. Hope it works!

I see some cabinet painting in my future! Oh boy.

That door leads to the garage.

This goes down to the crawl space, which has a concrete slab floor and about 1200 sq. ft. of storage space with about a 4-foot ceiling

This is supposed to be the master bedroom. It is on the main floor and is currently used as a play room.

The master bedroom has a door to this bathroom, which is also accessed from the main hallway. We are looking at dividing this into a half-bath and a true master bath. We will probably steal a little of the master closet space for the endeavor.

The loft area could be left open and used as a family room/play room/office, or it could be closed off and divided into two bedrooms or one master suite. Who knows?

The kid bedrooms are significantly larger than we had before, and have vaulted ceilings.

This is the bonus/attic room above the garage, currently used as the master bedroom. It doesn't have a closet (yet). This room could be used as a play room/family room/media room, or it could be used as a guest room or a kid room or even converted into a master suite. I'll have to see it again before I decide what to do with it.

 So there you have it. We'll be so happy to get settled after three months of limbo!


  1. The house is so big....and cute. It's amazing the difference in housing costs between Utah and Pennsylvania. I'm glad that you finally found a house that you like. I really like the outside - the stone with siding - I just like the look. Congratulations on your new home.

  2. Looks like a fun house for you! The three-car garage space will be great - half of our 2-car garage is given up to carpenter shop space for your granddad, and he has done many great projects there. While the back yard is not huge, it is considerably larger than you had in Logan! Your kids will love it. I was silently pulling for this house because of the location close to your friends. I hope you and your family will be very happy here. It looks like a winner.
    Love, Grandmom

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