He has said he is going to compile notes and then tell me what he thinks - about the drainage issues, the cost of remodeling it to have it up-to-date (I think that figure will be higher than I might actually need, because I am comfortable with things being a bit rustic, don't want modern finishes like granite, and want to do simple things, like lay tile and so forth, myself), structural concerns, the whole nine yards. His wife was making comments about what walls I could knock down to combine bedrooms - I was slightly alarmed. I don't really have ambitions to knock down any walls. They're OK with me where they are. But I realize there are people who think of things as investments and projects, which I am inclined to see as in need of maintenance and some minor upgrades.
Then we went to see the house his wife found on the Virginia side. It's about the same age and it has a nice porch, although I think the facade is kind of blah. It's in MUCH better shape on the inside. Instead of an addition to create a family room with a wood stove, they put on an addition with a large first-floor master, along with full bath, and to expand the kitchen. The kitchen is quite large, and though I kind of hate the finishes, I know they would not be offensive to others. So it doesn't need remodeling.
The dining room is huge. The living room is smallish, and there's no family room, but the kitchen is big enough to entertain in, in terms of hanging around and hanging out. All the bedrooms are large. The master isn't small and there are three that size (one on the first floor, two on the second), and a third on the second floor that's medium-sized and L-shaped. The second-floor bath is much larger than in the tan house and has a jacuzzi tub. Plus this house has an entire full bath that the tan house doesn't have, period. I think it must have more overall square feet, what with the difference in bedroom size. It has no attic (just a crawl space), and no basement (built on a concrete slab). I guess there's nothing to flood, but it really would be nice to have that space. It's in much better condition - everything is basically done, though it needs to be repainted from beige. Instead of carpeting with subfloor underneath, the second floor has some of the most magnificent old hardwood floors I have seen ever. I love them. (I can't imagine I could find similar ones to install in the tan house...)
They may ultimately sell for about the same price.
But. Though this latest house is on the Virginia side, it's nine miles further from my work than the tan house (which means the tan house has an even greater lead as far as distance to the city border). The Virginia house is nowhere near a metro station, and the tan house is less than 1.5 miles. The Virginia house is driving distance from the VRE; the tan house is walking distance to the MARC train. They're about the same distance from the nearest church, but the tan house is near a good parish (and then reasonably near to half a dozen others), and the Virginia house is near a lousy parish, and a decent drive from the next-nearest. The Virginia house is in a city, with a sort of so-so economic and crime profile. The tan house is in a tiny village with no crime to speak of. The city the Virginia house is in isn't near anything else of a decent size, though; the tan house is in a village immediately adjacent to populated areas with shops and stuff to do. And the Virginia house is driving distance from a historic downtown, whereas the tan house is in the historic downtown, which also happens to be the entire town. You can see where I'm coming out here. And this isn't just bias. You come visit, and you'll see - if you want historic, idyllic, quiet, and safe, there is absolutely no comparison on the location. Now, why can't the tan house be in good condition like the Virginia house?
Oh, another point. The floors - and the room size - in the Virginia house are winning by leagues. But I actually like the layout in the tan house better. For entertaining, it seems really welcoming and fun. The Virginia house is sort of weird and blocky and isolated. You're fine if you're in the kitchen, but if you leave, you might never find the living room - it's a mystery. I know that sounds so subjective it must be bias, but it's not. The tan house is laid out really well.
I'm nervously awaiting the verdict from my friend's husband - just how many lurking problems are there in the tan house? And how expensive will they be?
After an exhausting day of being lost and not getting enough food or sleep (until I got hungry and got way too much food - and, of course, being tired, I didn't run), however, I'm exhausted and depressed. I'm willing to give up all my houses if need be. I told myself I would call my family before 7PM (I haven't talked to them in too long and they are all hanging onto sanity by a thread) and I didn't, and now my dh will be back soon (finally!), so I can't call, and the living room is still a mess, and yes, he will notice, and even if he doesn't say anything, I will get upset. So I have to pry myself out of the couch, pick up the living room, do the dishes, and sweep the kitchen floor.
I would rather be sedated until tomorrow, honestly. Maybe tomorrow will be a less totally exhausting day.