After our debacle with our "first home," we had to play a strange game of wait and pounce. There were entire weeks in which there weren't any homes within our price range or liking put on the market, and then there were weeks in which we couldn't make appointments quickly enough to see all of the gorgeous potential homes in our immediate area.
One particularly Saturday we decided to browse quite a few homes in an area that was a little bit further away from work for my wife but a little bit closer to work for me. I, of course, in my selfish elation, thought it was the best idea we'd had in a while. And that feeling was reinforced after we were alerted to a new home being placed on the market that very morning. Seeing as how we were only a few miles from the house, we decided to do a drive-by (think window shopping not Grand Theft Auto). We were impressed by the lot, the size of the home and certainly by the pictures we viewed on our realtor's mobile phone. We made an appointment for later that afternoon and were shocked at how gorgeous the home was.
Location, really for the first time in our entire home-buying quest, made a significant difference. In most of the homes we looked at there was a marked difference only if the homes were located in two different states; sections of towns, or towns located adjacent to one another made no difference whatsoever. This home was in a less affluent area, was a bit further from commuter services and was certainly more rural than almost any location we had seen previously.
What immediately attracted us to it was that it was...drumroll...finished. The basement had been renovated to hold an additional bedroom with built-in bookcases (a plus for my often bookwormish self), and included a lovely living room space that provided a great getaway and party area. The downfalls, in retrospect, were probably the 7 foot ceilings, 6 foot drywalled beams, and dangerously low head clearance on the stairwell. Had we purchased the home I probably would have knocked myself unconscious on several occasions.
It had a very nice bathroom, several nice bedrooms and had a great walk-in kitchen that had a "unique" layout; one I'm sure a lot of buyers would have been turned off by, but one that we loved (read: refrigerator in a different area than the kitchen so you are allocated additional counter space; read also: could be a pain.)
We saw it for an hour and were captivated by its appeal. To put this in perspective, we were, at that time, like hungry supermarket shoppers and anything halfway decent probably seemed the most appetizing dish. We wanted to put in an offer immediately. We had learned our lesson. No calling of the parents, no stopping by three or four times to consider what we really wanted to do. If we wanted this house we needed to pounce on it immediately because someone else would undoubtedly be doing that exact thing in a matter of hours. We had our real estate agent draft up the offer right after we left the house and we put the offer in that very evening--for full price.