Open House, Open Mind


It's official, I have a new hobby: going to open houses!

Now that I am no longer a voluntary slave to the pursuit of higher education, I have my Sundays back.  And now that I'm about to get a great job and have steady income (manifesting), Jay and I are finally ready to kiss our renting days goodbye and purchase our first home.  This is terribly exciting, because for years we never thought we would ever be able to buy a home, but with a lot of savings, some luck, and a carpenter husband who loves to fix things up, we are in good position to be homeowners.  Plus, in this incredible buyers market, we'd be fools to not to look for a home. 

Since I don't actually have a job yet, we're not actually looking with an agent.  BUT, thanks to Sunday open houses, we're able to look around, check out areas, figure out our must-haves and deal-breakers, and just get a feel for the market.  Unfortunately, our largest deal-breaker is the Philadelphia public school system, so we have already made the difficult decision to leave our wonderful neighborhood in Philly and head back to the 'burbs.  I wish more than anything that we could stay here, but some things are just non-negotiable, and education is one of those things.  So in addition to a home, we're on the hunt for a new area, preferably an area that is still close to the city, has a nice community vibe, and a solid school system.  

Yesterday we went down into Delaware County and saw about seven homes in the Folsom / Aldan / Drexel Hill area.  We went to this area primarily because it had a lot of open houses, not because we're looking exclusively in that area.   We saw a great mix of homes; some were ugly and had zero character, and others had a lot of charm and potential.  We learned that pictures can be quite deceiving, both in good and bad ways.  For instance, look how cute this house is:

Now look at the view from the front door


But on the other side of the coin, this house looked small and uninspired from the outside:

...but the inside was full of character, big windows, unexpected nooks, and beautiful built-ins:

This house sat on a large lot, had a fantastic front porch, and had tons of potential:

...but it was in a crappy neighborhood, or at least a crappy section of a neighborhood.

So you never know what you're gonna get, which makes for fun outings to open houses!

In my perfect-world scenario, we would buy a fixer-upper home like this:

...and turn it into something like this:

And while I'm talkin' dream scenario, this house would be right here in Mt. Airy, would have a large backyard, and Philadelphia schools would offer a world-class education.  A girl can dream, can't she? :)  But seriously, I'm open to new possibilities; I'm open to the potential of ugly spaces and unfamiliar places.  I am open.  And grateful for open houses!