As I mentioned in my last post, we had looked at 3 existing houses when we got back in town a couple weeks ago. We liked all 3 of them, but ruled out 2 for various reasons. The 3rd one was actually the smallest, on the smallest lot and the least expensive. It has all the rooms we wanted and we loved the exterior which is different from the standard brick ranch that is everywhere here.
We went back to see it again on Friday, made an offer Saturday and now have a contingent contract on it. The floor plan is a Southern Living design by Mitchell Ginn called the Shook Hill. The house was rebuilt after the tornado and it still smells new inside. The quality is significantly better than most houses and that was one of the main deciding factors for us. We can change light fixtures, faucets, etc that we don’t like, but it’s hard to change the build quality of the house after the fact.
The floor plan has been modified somewhat. The biggest change is the addition of a staircase next to the garage to a large bonus room. That garage hallway is smaller than shown on the plan as a result. They put a mud room bench where it shows the Powder Room. The Powder Room is where it shows the laundry room. We are not sure why, but they moved the laundry room to the hall outside the Master Bedroom and used half of the Master Closet for it. Not crazy about that, but I think we can make it work. The Kitchen is not as wide as it’s shown. It has an island, but it’s a small one parallel to the sink wall. The dishwasher, sink, range, microwave and fridge are in a row along that outside wall. We really don’t like that layout given the size of the kitchen. We would like to tear out the wall between the kitchen and family room to make it all open and improve the layout.
The upstairs layout is basically the same, but some walls have been moved slightly. There is attic access off the Rear Bedroom closet where there is a good amount of floored storage. There is a separate staircase next to the garage door which goes up to the bonus room. The garage is larger than the floor plans shows, so that room is huge. There is a walk-in closet and full bath up there too. We will probably make it a home theater.
The house is around 3800 square feet with 4-5 bedrooms and 4.5 baths on a .75 acre lot. Here are some pictures of the exterior.
It is on a corner lot and the side road curves around into an alley behind the house. Beyond that is the edge of the neighborhood and a field. We shouldn’t have to worry about anything going in behind us. The house next door and this one are both turned so they can’t really see each other from the inside. The backyard is pretty cool . . .
There’s a brick bench along the garage window on the left.
There is a charcoal grill to the left of the fireplace with granite counters on either side. Our only dilemma with the backyard is that we’d like to put in a pool, but aren’t sure how to do it with all the brickwork they’ve already done. We’re not sure if any of it could be moved and we hate to lose it, but we don’t want the pool to be out of the way or on the property line. We’ll also need to put up a fence, but we have a temporary one we can use in the meantime.
Anyway, it’s hard to think about the house we were going to build so I’m trying to forget about it. We are going to keep the land for now and see what happens in the future. I’m really excited about this new house though. I’m anxious to be in our own house again and not renting. I can’t wait to make it our own. This house is considerably less than what we were going to build so we will be able to do almost anything we want to it. Things will be easier than they would have if we built, so there’s a lot of relief in that.
I’ll post more pictures if/when we get closer to closing and take care of the contingencies. We just extended our lease last month and need to get out of it, so that’s at the top of my priority list for now.
*Click Here to see the full photo gallery of our new house*