I posted pictures of our new home roughly two weeks ago. Here's a bit more about how we ended up in a brand new home.
We started physically going out and looking at houses the week after we got back from visiting my family in Texas. Before that we'd been shopping online and felt like we had a good idea of what we could get in our price range. As we actually went out and saw the houses, though, we realized that we weren't going to find anything decent on the lower end of our price range. We'd definitely have to be in the upper limits.
Sometimes the houses had critical flaws, like absurd layouts that would make the house really difficult to sell later on. Some houses just needed so much work that we didn't feel like it would be worth it to us. (We didn't mind the idea of fixing up a house, but we didn't want to devote all of our free time for the next ten years to that one recreational activity.) Other houses were pretty decent but with lousy locations that would really bring down the value of the house.
At some point our realtor suggested looking at new homes, and that's what we ended up going with. The builder of our home had already sold pretty much all the homes in this community. They are a very large company and are publicly traded. That means they have some pretty strict criteria they have to meet to appease their shareholders. One requirement they have (and it is a perfectly logical one) is that in order to open up a brand new community, they have to close out another one. In other words, it would be unsound business to run around helter-skelter opening up new communities when there wasn't enough demand to sell out the homes in the other communities. This worked really well to our advantage. We are buying one of the houses in the community that is last to sell, so we got what we think is a very good deal.
Somebody else was commissioned to purchase the home, so they had chosen the layout and had elected for some of the extra features that we probably never would have splurged on: extra tall cabinets in the kitchen, a double-oven, canned lights in the living room, extended dining area and living room, tall ceilings in the basement, coffered ceiling in the master bedroom, cold storage under the porch, and a handful of other perks. In addition to those things, the builder threw in some incentives in regards to our options of flooring, lighting, cabinetry and such that further piqued our interests.
All in all, we are excited about this house. We're really happy to be getting into a brand new home even though that was not originally in our plans. While there are things I would have done differently had we started from scratch, they are fairly minor. And had we selected an already existing home, there surely would have been things in that home that I would have changed as well.
We've gone and checked out the house a couple of times, and it's fun to see it progress. I've got an album on Facebook with pictures if you want to see them, but I won't post a whole bunch of pictures here until we are fairly well settled. Otherwise you'd all be sick of pictures of a partly finished home. And I don't want to make you sick.
We're expected to close on March 15. We should be able to get the keys a couple of days later (when the papers have gone through all the county rigmarole). We'll actually just do some painting that weekend and then move in the following weekend. We won't paint all the house in one go, but we want to at least get Ike's room painted and aired out before he starts sleeping in it.