We did end up going to see that house that's over our budget this afternoon. The house is a raised bungalow and the basement and yard were quite nice. They'd chosen to put three bedrooms on the main level instead of two which made for some small rooms and a small ensuite bathroom. The kitchen was also too small for our needs. We did like the general layout of the main floor in spite of some things being a bit too small.
So this house wasn't right for us in some ways. If we were willing to knock down a few walls and gut the master ensuite and kitchen, the house would be perfect for us. Of course we hardly even want to have to replace carpeting, let alone to do a major renovation. This place was priced as high as it was because it's at the very edge of a very expensive area and it backs onto a wooded area, but the house itself isn't worth what they're asking. If this place was in another area it would be much less costly.
It was good to see this place because now we know that this type of house has been built in several areas with slightly different floorplans and at slightly different price points. Seeing it also reinforced how much we really want a walk-out basement. We might be willing to settle for a basement with look-out windows, but we definitely don't want the usual teeny basement windows. We love the amount of light that you get from the big windows or walk-out patio door. Not only that, but look-out windows and patio doors are definitely better from a fire-safety perspective - I can't reach those regular little windows and even if I could, I wouldn't be able to wiggle through them.
Seeing this house also reinforced how much we like bungalows over two-story houses. There are two-story houses with a main-floor bedroom... but we just feel so much more at home in a bungalow. When we first walk in to a raised bungalow house, we feel comfortable pretty quickly; overall, we're happy, and it's the details that we don't like.
We both left the house feeling optimistic that we'll find exactly what we want. I hope it goes on sale soon.
I bet buying a house is really stressfull. We looked at houses once and it wasn't that much fun. I hope you find what you are looking for.
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