It's a rollercoaster around here.
We looked at five houses today, all well within our price range and some with excellent potential. There were two that were excellent, one that was pretty good, and two that were no-way-ho-zays. The largest one (with four bedrooms and an eNORmous family room) is the one we're going to bid on tomorrow. It has more work to do than the other excellent one, but it's significantly cheaper and has a bit more potential to increase in value just from people living in it and improving it. The rest of the houses on the block are very cozy, decent homes with people who appear to care about the appearance of their domiciles, so they'd probably be glad to have someone move into the dilapidated place and make it nice again and improve their property values.
It has a ghastly fugly kitchen (next time I'm in it, if the bid goes through, I'll share with you just HOW fugly) but there's potential for improvement. The fact that it has FOUR bedrooms instead of just three... well, that's a major plus. If everyone has a room and a place to be banished to in times of despair and tumult, it sure does save a great deal of aggravation. Not to mention, if something's messy, no-one can blame it on anyone else.
At any rate, it's a government foreclosure property, so there will be multitudinous hoops to flip through. And if it turns out, after Rick gets to inspect the underneath, that it's a no-go, there are two others I'd be fine with.
Ugh... one of the no-way houses was inhabited by a tribe of migrant vandals, I believe... they were all IN THE HOUSE while we looked at it. All the kids were huddled in one bedroom with a huge flatscreen TV. It was piled nearly to the ceiling with junk of every kind imaginable, including about sixteen Holy Santos on each wall. They had let it get into horrible condition and were asking a ridiculous sum (higher than anything else we looked at). I don't think I would've taken the place if they took 25% off the asking price. I felt like I needed a shower when I left.
Any-hoo, Gainesville appears to be where we're going to have to settle. It may not be the place everyone's clamoring for, but neither was the run-down inner-city of Des Moines when we first bought a house there, and by the time we left, the neighborhood was a decent, quiet, well-kept place with people who knew each other. If we're not moving into the heart of a welfare apartment complex, and if the kids won't be attending school there, then perhaps it isn't such a bad deal after all.