Monday, November 18, 2013

The Hunt Begins...

...For the next Amber Bottle House!

Grant & I started house-hunting in Chattanooga this weekend.  Our wishlist might be a little different from most:

1) Large lot
2) Dated fixtures (What?)
3) Preferably no granite countertops or re-done kitchen (gasp!)
4) Fenced yard
5) 4 bedrooms
5) Well-built, sturdy structure
6) Not brand-spankin' new

I know, I know- why would we want a horrible-looking, 1970's, grandma-like house?

First, we wouldn't have to buy someone else's upgrades by paying a higher purchase price.  I'm pretty sure no one other than us knows exactly what kind of kitchen is our taste or what kind of wood flooring we would choose, so I want to buy an un-renovated house so that we can make it what we want.  (I almost get disappointed when I see a re-done kitchen.  It's generally not my taste- dark wood cabinets, granite, beige backsplash- but I can't justify ripping out a brand new kitchen.  I would not be disappointed if the shiny, new kitchen had white cabinets and soapstone countertops, though!)

Secondly, older homes generally have a higher quality of construction than newer ones. (Maybe just my opinion?) Most houses we are looking at were built in the 1980's or before, and they are brick on all four sides.  Most new houses might have brick on the facade only. Maybe.

Also, new homes are seemingly always in developments with tiny lots with front-entry garages so that the driveway is 2-feet long and half the facade is garage door.

Man, I sound picky!

Right now, this house is the front-runner:

It's a 6-bedroom/3.5 bathroom house (built in 1985) in an established, older neighborhood- very similar to the first Amber Bottle House's neighborhood, Pleasant Valley, in Little Rock.  The roof is brand new. (Spending money on that type of update is so... unexciting.) The lot is large-ish and flat. (A welcomed change from the Pleasant Valley house's steep slope!)  There is a large, private backyard, brick on all sides, nice stonework on the front, and a finished, walk-out basement.

There is also flowery tile in the kitchen and master bathroom, brass fixtures everywhere, gray carpet in the basement, horrible light fixtures, and a weird taupe toilet in the half-bathroom downstairs.  It's pretty ugly in places, but I love the ugly!

I love the idea of re-doing another house, and I love the idea even more when the agent tells us this  house is priced around $75/sq. ft- compared to $90/sq. ft for other houses in the neighborhood. This means that with some updates, we could increase the value on the house significantly.

Things to ponder...  Now someone just needs to buy the house in Pleasant Valley so we can start anew in Chattanooga!

Happy house-hunting!



  1. Be picky all you want, Catherine! It’s your money to spend and your house to live in, so it’s your prerogative that it be the way you want. And by the look of your front-runner, I have to disagree about you wanting a grandma-like house. Calvin @

  2. It’s best to be picky when it comes to house hunting, since it’ll be an investment that will affect your whole life. Once you’ve got the place that suits your needs and standards, you should work on its home warranty, so that should you encounter repairs and problems on your home, you won’t have to suffer from inconvenience. So, how are you now? Did you push through on buying that house? :)

    Lois Becker @ Finlay Brewer