Sarah and I found two homes that we really like but after revisiting both homes, one has surfaced as a clear winner. Our agent was over late last night preparing an offer for 105 Stoneline Court.
We chose this house over the other for several reasons. Stoneline is in a nicer area with better schools, etc. It is in an area of higher/quicker appreciation. The community feels better--we have a community pool, and nearby ballpark and bike path. One of the big selling points is land. The first house had less and 1/5 acre. The house we've chosen sits on 2/5 acre. Additionally, two of the 3 adjacent lots (one side and rear) will most likely never have homes on them. The rear lot has a pond on it and the side lot is almost completely in a flood plane with poor position and terrain relative to surrounding properties. That effectively means that we have a lot more privacy and the feel of a lot more land. Obviously all these things translate into a higher cost but it is definitely worth it.
There remain only two things that could keep us from getting this home. First, there is a contingency on the home. This means that another party has sent an offer that is contingent on something, typically the sale of their existing home. When another offer comes in (i.e. our offer), the original party is given 24-48 hours to decide if they want the house or not. Our agent tells us that the odds are in our favor.
The second obstacle is the loan. We don't have much cash on hand so a down payment isn't really an option. We've been told that since we are first time buyers, financing the whole shebang shouldn't be a problem...I guess we'll see.
I'll keep you (that's plural you--my 5 loyal readers) posted with the goings on.