Fri 25 Sep 09

So far so good on the new house. Nothing major came up in the inspection (and we had a very thorough inspector). Financing seems to be in order. Our interest rate is laughably low, around 4.6%. So, with a fifteen year mortgage and a 20% down payment, our monthly mortgage ends up somewhere around $450/month. I guess that’s what eight month winters and fifteen percent unemployment gets you. Way to go Michigan!

All that and it’s actually a pretty decent place or will be at least once we give ‘er the usual treatment – can’t wait to start ripping apart multiple rooms at once, right Mary? Anyway, as you can see from the picture below, doctored from Bing Bird’s Eye, we’ll have a nice big fenced backyard that backs up to a pond/woods.

After our house in Yakima backed up to a massive park, I kind of got used to not having neighbors behind, so that should be great. There’s a gate in the back fence that opens up to the woods behind. Or maybe we’ll just complain about mosquitoes all the time.

Worcester is one of those dead end, speed bump-interrupted, Sycamore-lined streets that I’m sure moms with toddlers dream about. Or maybe old people, I don’t know. The Google Street View car evidently drove through around Halloween and you can see Jack-o-lanterns aplenty on front porches. I’m assuming it will be a pretty peaceful neighborhood. Though when your next-door neighbor has cranberry red exterior walls, who knows what madness lies within.

The location really is nice. Next to the woods, but you can still be on 96, 196, or the beltline in less than five minutes, so the whole city is fairly accessible. Quick interstate access also means a little shorter trip to Lake Michigan. Mary can be at work in three minutes. Knapp’s Corner with its movie theatre, sports bars, family restaurants, bourgeoisie Meijer, and whatever else got dropped in there in the past three years is five minutes away (no more 28/Kzoo Meijer). Yankee Clipper library is a walkable half mile away.

Inside the house, there definitely is work to be done, but for the most part, the major components actually are in good working order and just need some spit shining. On the main floor: three bedrooms, one and a half baths, kitchen, dining room (with slider to backyard), and living room. Roughly 1100 sq ft. The basement has a rec room, laundry/storage room, and two illegal bedrooms.

The kitchen in our first house had smoky carpet, lime green walls, and a stove and fridge that hung out in no-man’s land, and a tiny skinny layout. Our second kitchen had 18 layers of ugly flooring, giant mirrored doors, and a long skinny layout. For the first time in our home owning career we’ll have a kitchen with a normal functional layout. The cabinets are in great shape and plentiful. The floor is fine, but I’ll throw some ceramic tile in there somewhere down the line. No appliances. And I really wanted a breakfast bar, but I guess I can just knock my knees against the counter while I eat my cereal.

The dining area can actually fit a normal-sized dining table, so that’s cool. Hardwood floors in the living room and bedrooms. Fireplace in the living room and another in the rec room downstairs.

So those are the pictures of the nice stuff. Believe me, there’s plenty of ugly to go around as well. I’m sure as projects commence the unsavory bits will make their appearance on this site.

10 thoughts on “Fri 25 Sep 09

  1. JOZ

    Looks great, Josh–big and bright and open. It will be fun to see what you and Mary do with it. Great location too. It will be so good to have you both so close by. I’m glad you had all the opportunities and adventures Washington gave you, glad too Jord and I were able to visit you there. But I missed you and will enjoy having you nearby til your next adventure beacons!

  2. jordan

    that actually looks pretty decent. Nice side of town too… and that’s ridiculous what you’ll be paying per month. I’m jealous.

  3. Malone

    Did Mary decide to go with home inspector Tony?

    The pictures you have of the inside look a lot nice than pictures I saw of another house (945) on the same street in the same price range.

    I want see the picture of ugly.

  4. Uncle Dan

    Your back yard looks ideal for establishing a Michigan Native Plant Area (MNPA). My MNPA is limited by dry, sandy soil, but yours appears to have real potential for woodland plants.

  5. Josh Post author

    In reverse order:

    4. I had a biology professor at Calvin who used to hype native plants all the time and I used to be excited about the idea. Lately I’ve just been happy if I can keep grass alive in the backyard. Maybe this will be the excuse to exotic up the yard (with non exotic plants).

    3. Yeah, Tony. Mary said he was great and he spent about five hours at our house.

    We had a sneak peak at “our” house since our realtor was going to be the agent listing it for the bank. Our agent initially told us that our house would probably be 80k at the absolute lowest. Then when that really ratty other house on Worcester posted right before our house did at 74k, I thought for sure that the our house was going to list way higher. So, needless to say we were really excited when for some reason the bank decided to list at 68k. Hence an immediate full price offer.

    Here, you can have one ugly picture (some sort of shanty attached to the back of the garage):

    2. Hey, but it’s not in walking distance to Suicide Rock.

    1. I think we’ll probably be around for a couple years at least this time. Until the lack of sun and wilderness access drives me crazy again.

  6. Mark B

    Looks like you guys got a fantastic deal on the house! Congrats. And it came with a shanty. Those are hard to find in houses in that price range. It’s gonna be great having you and Mary close by; we’ll have to get the dogs out there and throw a few sticks in the pond for them.

  7. Malone

    Suggestion – turn the shanty into a chicken coop.

    Fresh eggs + feathered playmates for the dogs = Great idea

    Kelly has a friend who lives on the north side of Rockford. We recently visited them and they have 5 chickens in a coop smaller than that.

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