Post # 1
It’s a house in the neighborhood we’ve wanted to live in for a long time. The house is in great condition, right price point, and good neighborhood. The problem? I hate the house. Hate it. Absolutely despise the aesthetic of it (dopey country style).
I know that people will tell me to just redecorate, but it goes beyond that. It’s the kind of tacky 60s architectural style that I never liked. It would be like putting lipstick on a pig. The house is just so NOT me that I feel miserable at the thought of moving in there.
My fiance loves the house. Loves it because it’s in a good neighborhood that is walking distance to work, and that the back yard looks out over a field where deer hang out. He tries to understand where I’m coming from, but he’s also like “you should be happy, it’s a beautiful house, what is your problem?”
He just doesn’t understand that the feel of a house is important to me. I don’t want to live in some boring box of a house that looks like it should be decorated with Precious Moments figurines.
We’ve been searching for several months now, and the housing market in our tiny dink town is really bad–very thin, with not a lot available. I know we should just jump on this house, for all the practical reasons, but every time I think of moving in there, I get so upset and start crying my eyes out.
Post # 3
@mspartridge: I think decorating will go a long way, but do you think it’s possible that you could eventually learn to love the house? Maybe you just need to get used to it? What is it exactly that you don’t like about it? Perhaps it might be possible to do a little renovation work to change the major things you don’t like? Is there anything that you DO like about the structure/style of the house?
Post # 4
Can you talk to an architect or remodeling company and fix the style? Maybe if you replace the siding, flooring, paint colors, etc with something more sleek/less country? Can you rearrange walls inside to something you like, how mich would that cost? Would it be worth it for the location? Or is it completely a no go?
I understand this predicament. It took us forever to decide on a house as nothing was quite right. I found a house that I loved but turns out the ceilings were too short for Fh’s taste and that isn’t something you can fix.
Post # 5
@MoonlightRose: I like that it’s laid out well–it has a great flow and floorplan. It has a lot of light and nice bay windows that look out on a huge field and trees. The builders really did a nice job of making all the space into very livable and useable space. We’ve seen a lot of houses that are laid out poorly, with a lot of “dead” space that couldn’t be used.
The downsides are that the house was built in the 60s and has a tacky “brady bunch” architectural feel. It has a cheesy painted brick fireplace that can’t be changed. The style of the house is also very “grandma’s country cottage” (not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it is just not me). We can try to redecorate, and maybe different paint colors and trim would help. But like I said, we can’t completely change the aesthetic of the house. It’s impossible.
It’s like…well, it’s comparable to liking Celine Dion or not. If you don’t like Celine Dion, you just don’t like her. Getting Celine to sing your favorite songs will not change the fact that she is Celine Dion and that her style is just not for you.
Post # 6
@kerensa: I guess so, but it would be so expensive. It would get to the point of “well, why are we even buying the house if we’re just going to tear it down to the studs and redo the whole thing?”
The layout of the house is one of its strongest points. It’s laid out in a way such that it’s all good living space. I guess if we redecorated with our furniture and stuff, I might feel differently, but I don’t think so.
Fiance thinks it’s worth it for the location, and I kinda do, except for the fact that we practically overlook a cornfield (it’s one lot over). I’m from the west coast and am not happy about where we live, so the last thing I want is a reminder of it.
He did say that once we’re in that neighborhood, it’d be easier for us to move again in case another house pops up sometime down the line (he’d be willing to do that). There’s a house across the street which I love, but the owners are definitely not selling any time soon.
The house just feels so much like the guy you’re trying to force yourself to like because he’s nice, responsible, has a good job, etc, but does not turn you on at all. Sigh.
Post # 7
@mspartridge: You absolutely can change the asthetic of a house. In the end a house is just a bunch of walls, the things that contribute to an asthetic can be changed. A cheese painted brick fireplace can’t be changed? Why not? My parents had theirs covered in stucco and it looks a million times better and more modern. You can also tear down the brick and put up a whole new surround.
Check out this blog for some amazing before and after photos:http://www.younghouselove.com/photo-gallery-2/
Post # 8
I don’t know. I’m in the “redecorating/renovation goes a LONG way camp.” My SO’s parents house looks like the southwest vomited and their house was created. Horrible. But repaint, refinish or replace the cabinetry, update some of the molding and replace some countertops and voila! A gorgeous house would be sitting in it’s place. It’s not even 100% just their choice of paint. It’s things they’ve installed in the house as well but if it were gone or updated it would be amazing. With the right creativity you can do a lot with a house. I’d do some googling for interior decor ideas before you completely say no.
Post # 9
You might be amazed how much you could actually change a house if you’re willing to put aside some time and money and really commit to the project. I hate to say this, because Fiance and I were in the same situation with a particular house when we were still shopping, but at the same time, the pros you list are really really strong. Have you seriously looked at all your options with changing this house?
Have you seen anything you would like better on the market in your price point, even if it’s gone now? I’d say if you’ve seen better and know it’s plausible, you have a leg to stand on with your Fiance. However, if nothing you’ve seen on the market would have worked better for either of you, you might have to commit to getting creative. If that happens, my guess is that once you start the necessary projects, the house will start to mean a lot more to you as well, and will really start to feel like your house.
Post # 10
OP, do you have pictures of the house? Maybe we can give you some suggestions to change things that are not so costly?
Post # 11
“well, why are we even buying the house if we’re just going to tear it down to the studs and redo the whole thing?”
Because you don’t always find a home that is designed and decorated to your liking. Sometimes you have to look at just the layout and location and imagine what could be done to it. This is especially common in older homes that haven’t been renovated to the modern standard. They aren’t bad homes. They just haven’t been brought up to date. And a home is kinda like a long-term project anyways. You move in, you paint walls, put up curtains, replace floors or cabinets to your liking. People who can move in and not change a thing are lucky but changing things doesn’t mean it’s a dud. It means it’s a house.
That being said if you’d rather be hit by a truck than sign on the dotted line there is no reason why you can’t keep looking. 🙂 But I’d say don’t rule it out immediately. You may be looking at a hidden gem.
Post # 12
I agree with PP that you actually can do a lot to change the aesthetics of the house–yes, it will possibly cost a lot of money (unless you are both very hands on DIY-ers), but it’s absolutely feasible. If the “bones” of the house (floorplan, etc) are good, you’d be amazed at what a good contractor can do with the space.
Post # 13
You can almost certainly change the look of the fireplace – check out these photos: http://www.bhg.com/decorating/fireplace/styles/before-and-after-fireplaces/
Post # 14
@mspartridge: LOL @ Celine Dion.
If you have the money, it isn’t hard to change various aspects about the house. Fireplaces can be ripped out. Roofs can even be raised and lowered, though it isn’t cheap. What if you took out the attic and raised the roof pitch? You’re looking at probably $20,000 here (rough estimate based on pulling something out of the clear blue sky) but won’t you be saving that in car maintenance and gas over the time you live there based on the fact that Fiance can walk to work? You wouldn’t even have to HAVE two cars. Selling one might pay for the reno, and dropping the second car insurance policy would probably make up for the rest if it didnt.
Plus, as someone who has lived an hour from work and who now lives about 10 minutes from work, you CANNOT underestimate the power and beauty of a short commute. It means less stress over the course of the day, more time to sleep in the morning, and more time to hang out and do chores at night. Plus, it might even equate to paying less in day care fees someday. I’d say get the house.
Post # 15
To me, buying real estate is all about the property – the house is a distant second. In regards to the house – is it sturdy, that is what kind of shape is it in? The foundation, the plumbing, etc.
The looks of the house is almost dead last for me as there are a million or more things that can be done to change the looks. Exterior – there is painting, sliding, rock-facing, landscaping, etc. An addition can be added. Interior there is even more – walls can be added or knocked out, wall and floor treatments. The fun part is looking around, figuring on the look you want and then working to make it happen!
Post # 16
The layout of our house is what I hate. I could deal with kitchy look – that I can change. We’re about to tear out a couple walls, move some cabinets, put down new floor, and re-trim the whole upstairs. Should cost us less than $5k total. We bought new appliances with the cash we got at the wedding.
I guess what I’m saying is make sure you don’t hate it because of the other people’s stuff. There were cat stencils on our walls. CATS. But now all the stencils have been sanded and painted over and our furniture is in here and it looks much more modern.
Also I’m jealous of your cornfield. I die for open spaces.