Our flight into Denver was actually quite nice – we left on time and landed about 20 minutes early. I slept for most of the trip due to the previous night’s insomnia. When we exited the plane, much of the respiratory congestion that I have lived with for the last 4 years (maybe a little longer) started to break up. I think that this place will be good for my asthma.
Since we had a lot of time left in the day, Michael and I explored town a little bit. First, we went to Red Robin for dinner – chain food, nothing fancy. It’s notable because when you live in San Francisco, you tend to focus on mom and pop restaurants. Sure, there are some chain restaurants, but especially since there is a recession, it’s better to keep the little guy in business. It’s just something to get used to here. In any case, I got something to drink that Linnea would love – it was this limeade thing with blueberries floating in it! For some reason the blueberries tasted so good after the flight.
We visited the mall after eating. I found it to be completely acceptable. There were plenty of the same stores I shop at in San Francisco, and a few that you find everywhere. I have been told that the Park Meadows mall is the high-end mall in the area, but it doesn’t really compare to the high-end places in San Francisco.
I had every intention of visiting the hot tub in the hotel that night, but I was just so tired that I collapsed around 9:00pm, which would be 8:00pm San Francisco time. I figured this would be so great, that I would have plenty of energy for the house hunt the next day. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
I woke up a little after midnight. I tossed and turned, and eventually took a swig of my cough medicine (I figured maybe I was still a little congested). Nothing worked. Additionally, it turns out that people are serious when they tell you the place is dry – my lips were sealed shut when I woke up! I already had a crack in the corner of my mouth from the winter weather at home. It was painful to rip my lips apart this morning. Tonight, I will liberally apply Chapstick before falling asleep. I did not fall back asleep until about 6:00 this morning. I had to get up at 8:30 so we could meet some people Michael met in the city-data forums. So much for being well rested.
After all of this we met our agent to look at, I’m not kidding, 11 houses. If you are faint of heart or easily overwhelmed, I don’t recommend this volume. Don’t get me wrong, Michael and I absolutely wanted to see as many places as possible before putting in a bid. Looking at houses was exhausting, sure, but way more fun than I would have expected. If I weren’t so tired, I think it would have been even more awesome! It was especially important (given the sheer number of houses we wanted to see) that we had a system for keeping track of the places. Our agent gave us a little bound book of the houses we were to visit today, so Michael made notes in there. It was the better job to give him because he’s good at cutting through my comments to what is most important. It kind of reminds me of the journals he kept as a kid – very dry, mostly “the weather was ___” and “I did this” kind of statements. I might be tempted to write more than necessary, maybe adding emotion and confusing the issues. I took the pictures since I have a clear idea of what was visually notable. Plus, it’s mostly my camera (but I let Michael use it, too!).
Shall we start with the broad strokes?
Our realtor took us all over the city today. I’ve never lived near mountains before, so it was kind of cool to see them as we drove around. Here is a zoomed in view of what I saw from the front window:
There were also interesting things to see in the houses, even from the 7 houses we have eliminated from consideration.
The 4 houses we are still considering are very different, yet nice for different reasons. I’ll show them to you in the order we saw them.
The first is a very pretty house, owned by a person who appears to be an architect. The most notable pictures from this place are of the stairs, kitchen, and bathroom. The staircase is curved, and the entryway has an unusual, but really nifty “hub” sort of design. All of the other rooms on the main floor come off of the entryway. The kitchen is pretty, large, and open to the family room. It is the most expensive house on our list.
When we walked into the second house, I was a little speechless. I walked through for quite awhile before I realized I had forgotten to snap pictures. You’ll notice some dark (slate, I think) tiles in one of the rooms – they go throughout the main floor save for one small carpeted area. The only knocks on this place are that the driveway is sloped (more difficult to get out of when it snows) and it seems like there isn’t a lot of natural light. On the bright side, I believe we could easily add some skylights to the living room to brighten it up. This was also the only house where I readily saw where the kittens would go. There is a white bathroom downstairs with easily cleanable tile. It was hard to photograph, but it was sort of long and just the right amount of space for little cats. As a bonus, there is a swing set/jungle gym thing in the back yard that I think my brother’s kids would really like when they come out to visit.
The third house was in the same category price-wise as the second house. You can tell that the people really value their bathrooms in this one – every single bathroom is just gorgeous. The kitchen is updated, but it needs a little more work space to really make it functional for us (maybe a moveable island sort of thing). The master bedroom has a sitting area off to one side, as well as a deck off the other side. The master bathroom is really nicely done as well.
Unfortunately I didn’t photograph more than the facade of the fourth house. It’s on the short list, so I will add photos on the second viewing. The rooms were nice. The master bedroom had the 5-piece bathroom (separate tub and shower, 2 sinks, and the toilet). The kitchen is big and totally usable now, but I can see how I could update it to make it incredible. It backs to an open space that will never be developed, as part of the community plan. The best part? The seller is under contract to buy another house and is desperate to sell. He said he’d be willing (to quote my Realtor) “to take a haircut” on the price. He called before we even got to the place to see if we liked it – our agent had to calm the guy down and explain that we would get there soon. This would be our cheapest option, and I do like a good deal.
I would say that today was a very successful day of house hunting. We will see many more places tomorrow, and then make a trip to downtown Denver. I’ll give you another “best of” list, but be forewarned, the houses that you’ve already seen are the ones we had rated the highest before actually seeing them.
I wonder, which houses do you like best?