Holy No More

That’s right–guess what today is?!  CLOSING DAY!  So that holy house is ours–all ours!

And you know what that means, right?  It sure as heck ain’t holy no more . . .

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We did it! The church accepted our offer, and we’re so pumped.

More later, but just wanted to share the good news.

Holy House

Third time’s a charm, right?!  We’re hoping that’s the case since we just made our third offer last night.  Time has been tight these days with the house hunting (we saw at least a dozen more properties just this past weekend alone), long commuting, tons of work, and our upcoming trip out west, so I’ll be brief.

First, of course, the stats:

  • Location: Snyder (yes, the same neighborhood from basically all the houses we’ve put offers on)
  • Square Footage: 2,696
  • 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms
  • Lot size: 0.24 acres
  • Built in 1962
  • 2.5 car Attached Garage
  • Asking Price: $209,900
  • Days on Market: 4
  • Our Offer Price: $209,900

That’s right–we offered full price.  And here’s why: the Snyder neighborhood average sale price is generally $113 per square foot.  That was true for many of the homes we looked at (such as here, here, and here).  However, with this home, the price per square foot is only $78!!!  So yeah–it’s a bargain, and if you know us, you know we love us a good bargain.  And no, it’s not that cheap because it’s falling apart or needs a new roof or has a crumbling foundation.  We’re not exactly sure why it’s priced that low . . . of course, as you’re about to see, it most definitely needs some updating, but the structure is sound–the home is almost entirely brick!  That’s great news when it comes to maintenance.  So let’s get into some pics . . . here’s the open living and dining room combo:

That door up there is the front door–it’s super wide and would probably need to be replaced down the road since it’s a bit ho-hum for my taste.  On to the kitchen which is off a hallway from the open living-dining combo:

That’s an eating area to the right in the kitchen and to the far right above you can see the steps that lead to the attached garage.  There’s also a laundry room off of the kitchen:

Also on the main floor is a half bath . . .

. . . as well as a full bath . . .

. . . that has a new whirlpool tub and separate shower:

The full bath is right outside of the master bedroom which is across from the smallest of the other three bedrooms.  First, the master with it’s wall of closets and snazzy bedside lights:

Oh yeah, and see those hardwood floors peeking out in the closet?  Well, they’re everywhere with only a few exceptions (the kitchen and baths).  And we’re hoping they’re in good condition since the carpet is so plush.

The smallest bedroom across from the master:

Also on the main floor is a family room off of the dining room that I think we would likely use for the Mr.’s office.  It also has sliders to an outside patio and fulfills the Upstate New York requirements for faux wood paneling (come on, you knew it had to be somewhere!):

So that’s the main floor.  Then, there’s a second story above the garage that houses two bedrooms, a full bath, and a walk-in cedar closet.  That floor gets accessed through a door off the kitchen.  Here’s bedroom one with some stylin’ built-ins and a random hanging lamp:

And bedroom two which is almost a mirror match to the one above:

The full bathroom, also with a separate tub and shower, but this time with double sinks:

Oh, and the walk-in cedar closet:

Again, all the bedrooms have hard-wood floors under that carpet, which will hopefully look just as good as the floors in the cedar closet.

The other big plus to the house?  A huge, clean basement with high ceilings (at least 8 feet).  This was what sold the Mr.–he plans to set up some sort of hockey goal thing down here (don’t ask):

Okay, so that basically rounds out the tour.  We’re hoping our full-price offer will get the deal done, and we’ll hopefully know by today.

Oh, and in case any of you were wondering about the post title, “Holy House,” well, that’s because the owners of the home are the Episcopalian Diocese . . . and the former occupant?  Oh yeah, the Bishop!  Stew on that for a bit . . .

Curtain #2

So we’ve shown you what’s behind Door #1 (the Carport Castle from here), and we’ve shared our dismay from Strike One here, so now here’s something that we’ve had hidden behind Curtain #2 for quite a while now (I know I’m sort of mixing up Let’s Make a Deal with the Price is Right, but you get the idea):

Let’s jump right in with the stats:

  • Location: Snyder (the neighborhood I’ve fallen in love with and which is also home to both of the other homes we made offers on from here and here)
  • Square Footage: 1,764
  • 4 Bedrooms, 1.5 Bathrooms
  • Lot size: 0.18 acres
  • Built in 1927
  • Two-car Attached Garage
  • Asking Price: $184,900 (down from $194,900)
  • Days on Market: 38

The home is on a corner lot, so there is no backyard.  None–there is maybe 3 feet of space behind the house before the fence that separates the property from the neighbors.

No Backyard

However, there are two nice-sized side yards with some beautiful landscaping:


Side Yard 2

Sorry for the big driveway shot.  My bad.

Inside, the house has wood floors throughout, lots of nooks and crannies (I kind of love those, but then I also kind of love wide open spaces as seen in the California Ranch on Monday;  I know, I know–could I be more annoying and non-decisive?  It’s sort of a wonder that the Mr. hasn’t given up on me yet ;) ).

Living Room to Dining Room

Living Room open to the Dining Room

Entry way

The main entrance is that opening with light coming through on the left. The piano doesn't stay.


I'm kind of in love with the idea of a banquette in a kitchen; it reminds me of my grandmother's kitchen from years ago. Of course, that back wall is the one that would get knocked down to open the room to the dining room, so needless to say this banquette wouldn't be staying.


The previous owners (they're in a nursing home now :( ) used this as a home office. The husband actually still has a sign on the side door for his law practice. This would be perfect for Mr. Bunches' business.


The bathroom would need to be completely gutted, especially since there's only one full bathroom in the entire house (major bummer, I know).

Bathroom 2

Lots of cabinet space in this bathroom. The tub/shower is just to the right out of the shot.

Bedroom 1

Is it awful that I actually think this wallpaper is sort of rad? Wallpaper's coming back, right? I know--a lot of you just cringed. Sorry.

Bedroom 2

Here's the yellow bedroom. This wallpaper I could let go of.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom. The Mr. thinks it feels cramped because of all the ceiling cut-outs. I didn't totally agree, but after looking at these pictures, I kind of see where's he coming from.

Master BR

Other side of the master bedroom.

Interrogation Room

Some of you might remember this picture from an earlier post, but here's the basement interrogation room. This is where we'd likely put our kids to play. (Just kidding! Really--totally kidding.)

So in a nutshell, that’s the house.  It was definitely on our short list for quite some time, but recently we’ve decided against it.  We took our contractor friend Steve there and he basically vetoed it.  The reasons?  Well, there were many: siding issues, bad roof, bad electrical, water damage in basement, poor workmanship, faulty hardwood floors, I could go on.


Here's a shot of the water damage (and potential mold?) in the basement. Apparently, the water at some point was as high as that line. And this basement has no sump pump or drain tiles--a bad combination when you live in upstate NY. Quick sidenote: love the random pencil sharpener in the basement! We've seen these in a lot of homes, and I can even remember having one just like it in our scary basement growing up. Anyone have any idea how that trend got started?

So even though the neighborhood was perfect and the place oozed curb appeal, we’re just not sold.  Sigh. Lucky for us, though, apparently this weekend is National Open House Day (June 4 and 5, 2011), so we’re hoping to see something we love.  For now, we’re NOT going to take what’s behind Curtain #2.  Sorry Bob.

California Dreamin’

Despite striking out on our first official offer last week, we’re charging ahead with high hopes.  Of course, we haven’t made another offer on anything, but we’ve been continuing to pour through open houses.  And that’s where we found this beauty, er, at least if you squint your eyes real tight and tilt your head sideways . . .

Zero Curb Appeal

Yeah, we know there’s no curb appeal.  None.  Zippo.  Zilch.  (Oh, and bonus to anyone who spots Spider-Man.)

But don’t think we’re totally crazy just yet.  First, let’s take a look at the stats for this “California Ranch” home (maybe if we live in a home designed for California, then it won’t feel quite so bad in the dead of winter surrounded by feet and feet of snow?  Maybe?):

  • Location: Amherst (not in Snyder like the other two homes, but still in the best Elementary School district), in a neighborhood with sidewalks (that’s for you Nancy)
  • Square Footage: 2,406
  • 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
  • Lot Size: 0.21 acres
  • Built in 1957
  • All brick exterior (except for the attached garage)
  • Attached 2-car garage
  • Days on Market: 40
  • Asking Price: $165,000 (down from $169,900)

Yeah, the asking price is NOT a typo–this home is C-H-E-A-P.  Why?  We’re not so sure, but we think it’s because the homes in the neighborhood just tend to be lower-priced, although they also tend to be much smaller (the house next door is currently on the market for the same price, but it’s only 1,700 square feet).  And as you’re about to see, it also needs a little bit of style.

Upon walking in the front door, you walk through a wide hallway that leads to an open living/dining room (complete with some pretty rad Terrazzo floors . . . if only the whole house was done that way–wouldn’t that be gnarly?  Can you tell I’m trying to get into the California spirit?).  Mr. Bunches, being a flooring genius, has informed me that Terrazzo floors are some of the most durable (and expensive) floors out there.  They’re usually used in commercial applications for that reason.

Dining and Living Combo

I’m a little in love with all the exposed brick and the huge sliders and wall of windows.  Here’s a more complete view of the living room:

Living Room

So yeah, that’s a huge projection screen on the left.  These people apparently L-O-V-E to entertain.  To the right of those rooms is the kitchen which opens to another huge area:

Pool Room

Another fireplace and more huge windows and sliders.  The kitchen is open to the left of the pool table above.

Excuse the quality of the kitchen picture, but that one’s taken from the actual realtor’s site since I forgot to snap a picture of it when we were there.  You can just barely see a doorway in the far left of the above picture–that connects through to the dining area from the earlier pictures.  However, you can also go around from the pool table room . . . basically, it’s almost completely open.

The master bedroom is a bit separated from the other bedrooms, and also has its own bathroom:

Master Bedroom

There are more huge windows at the foot of the bed and another exposed brick wall (forgive me–we were rushing to lots of open houses, so I was snapping quickly).  The master bath has a separate room for the toilet and stand-up shower:

Master Bath

Toilet and Shower Room

The other three bedrooms are decent-sized and have either exposed brick . . .

Bedroom 1

Bedroom 2

. . . OR the requisite wood paneling (it must be part of Upstate New York’s building code that every house has wood paneling in at least one room):

Bedroom 3

And the other full bathroom is sort of standard; that is, if standard means yellow.

Yellow Bathroom

There’s also a two-car attached garage (again, bonus points if you find Spider-Man):


The home has a totally private, fenced backyard (and yes Deenie–that’s a hot tub, although if we buy the place, chances are that won’t survive for long–sorry).

Backyard Shot

So that’s the house.  We’re a little nervous about the whole flat-roof thing, but our contractor friend Steve says it’s not that big of a deal.  In fact, from just what the Mr. has told Steve of the place, he’s a fan (he likes all brick construction and stuff built in the 1950s).  But maybe we’ll get him out there for a more thorough inspection before we decide to make an offer or not. 

Overall, we like the open floor plan, the exposed brick, and the potential that seems to be oozing from the home.  Does it need work?  Sure–what doesn’t?  But it seems that at least this home has the square footage and the good bone structure to make something that works.  So that’s where we’re at–we’re tossing it around and now we’re tossing it at you.

So what do y’all think?  Yay or Nay?  Do you see the potential?  Or do you think we’re now completely and totally certifiable?  You can be honest . . . no, really.  Tell us what you think (leave a comment on this post).  Please.  Clearly we need guidance ;).

Strike One

Quick update: our offer got rejected.  :(  Both of the other offers were apparently higher, and closer to the asking price, so this is officially STRIKE ONE.  But, we do feel encouraged that even basic updates in a home in Snyder (the neighborhood we’re leaning towards) means that a house can sell quickly, and for a decent amount.  The original owners bought the home 11 years ago for $160,000 and now were selling it for at least $214,900 without doing much work (the addition had been put on by previous owners).  Soooo, that means maybe if we want to spend money to fix up this beauty, then it might be worth it?  Hmmm . . . jury’s still out on that one.

Carport Castle

Bidding Wars, aka Offer #2

A lot transpired this past weekend.  First, we managed to survive the end of the world.  Phew.  Second, we found a new favorite pizza joint, which means Mozzeroni’s has officially fallen into second place.  And third, we’ve made an offer on a house, and this one in writing!  Of course, in true Bunches style, we didn’t offer on this house like we blogged about last week.  No–that would be way too straightforward.  And well, we want to keep y’all on your toes.  No, we put in an offer on a totally new-to-the-market house.  One that we only just saw this past Saturday.  Spontaneous, aren’t we?!

Here are the stats:

  • Location: Snyder (only a few streets over from the earlier house we liked)
  • Square Footage: 2,016
  • 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms
  • Lot size: 0.19 acres
  • Built in 1950
  • Two-car attached garage
  • Asking price: $214,900
  • Days on Market: ONE!
  • Our offer: $208,000

I wish I could show you a ton of pictures, but unfortunately my memory card was full after I took only 3, and all of those from the outside.  Plus, at the time, I thought for sure that the Carport Castle was the one, so I wasn’t thinking that pictures of this one would be that important.  But here’s a shot of part of the outside–this is the original home–an all-brick Cape.  To the right in the picture is the addition that houses the family room and master suite upstairs.

Option 2 Front

To the right of the addition is an attached two-car garage, which is also not original to the home.


That woman in the picture is actually the owner–she let us in the place (the guy is our realtor).  Behind the white picket fence is a front porch slash patio.  Quaint, huh?  To the right of the garage is a fully-fenced yard (the house is on a corner lot, so there’s no backyard, and only a side yard):

Side Yard

We saw a total of four houses on Saturday: 1) this one; 2) the one we made a verbal offer on last week; 3) another option that I’ll be posting about soon; and 4) a smaller home in the same neighborhood with a recent price drop.  And since we were serious about the Carport Castle, we brought along Steve, a handyman slash contractor extraordinaire, who frequently does excellent work for Moose.  So basically, with Steve in tow, we conducted mini inspections of all 4 homes.  And he sort of convinced us that this house was the best deal–it had a new kitchen, dry basement, and with just some updated paint colors and new hardwood floors, it would be move-in ready.  We talked it over, hemmed and hawwed a bit, and then called our realtor to make an offer, only to learn that there was already one offer on the house and potentially another offer coming in!  Are you kidding?!  We’re still in Buffalo, right?!

Long story short–we’ve offered $208,000 and we’re waiting to see what happens.  We’re not interested in getting into a bidding war in western New York, so if they don’t want our offer, we’ll walk.  If they do, then hooray for us.  So we’ll keep you posted on who wins this battle . . .

Let’s Make a Steal

So we’re in the game!  We officially made our first offer on a house yesterday; er, well sort of.  Our real estate agent made a verbal offer yesterday morning, and we’re still waiting to hear back (I know, I know–can you stand the suspense?!).  We offered much lower than their asking price, so we have no idea how they’re going to respond.  They might flat out reject us, but we’ll see.  So enough of the boring stuff, do you want to see what’s behind Door #1?!

Well first, some background slash filler:

  • Location: Snyder (a neighborhood of Amherst, NY)
  • Square Footage: 2,087
  • 3 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms
  • Lot size: 0.22 acres
  • Built in 1950
  • Two-car Detached Garage
  • Asking Price: $209,900
  • Our Initial Offer: $173,500

Why such a low offer?  Well, I’ll just let the pictures do the talking blogging on that one:

Offer 1-Outside

Upon entering, the living room is immediately to the right (the front entrance is just outside the left side of this picture):

Living Room to Dining Room

I love, love, love the dining room door that leads to the sunroom–it’s one of those half doors where you can open either just the top or bottom!

Dining Room

The sunroom just outside the dining room . . .


The kitchen!!  Why hello blue formica, knotty pine, and faux brick linoleum . . .


Our plan would be to tear down this wall so the kitchen is entirely open to the dining room . . .

Kitchen-Second View

Can you tell that the Mr. is loving this kitchen?!  He said the fruit tchotchkes stay or no deal!

Mr. Bunches in the Kitchen

The office, which is 4 steps down from the other living spaces.  Mmmm . . . more knotty pine goodness in here:


The door to the carport from the office:

Office to Carport

The first of three bedrooms . . . I love the bench seat all along the back wall:

Bedroom 1

And I especially love the creepy doll!

Creepy Doll

The one disturbing thing about this house was that it was clearly owned by someone over 85, and yet there were a lot of scary kid things.  Okay, maybe there was more than just one disturbing thing about this house . . . like the broken crib and creepy piano in the master bedroom:

Master Bedroom

But the master was huge, and even had a walk-in closet and its own bathroom! 

Master Bedroom with Closet

Gotta love the asbestos tile in the master bath, huh?

Master Bathroom

Master Bathroom

The second bedroom (any idea what’s hiding under the covers?):

Second Bedroom

The full bathroom in all it’s blue and pink glory (of course, then I guess we’re covered if we have either boy or girl mini bunches someday . . . )

Full Bathroom

This bathroom has a separate tub and standing shower:

Full Bathroom Tub

Full Bath Shower

Did any of you notice the best feature of that bath?!  That’s right: a carpeted floor!  Ugh–I think I just gagged.

And last but not least, the scary dungeon basement:


That’s our agent, by the way.  There weren’t any lights in the basement, so he was using his iPhone flashlight app (or something crazy like that–c’mon, you know how crazy those Apple people are) to try to illuminate the space.  Note, again, the asbestos tile, but also the concrete around the edges is new drain tile that they put in . . . which probably means there was a drainage problem down there, but maybe it’s been fixed?  Who knows–all we know is if we get to the point of an accepted offer, we might have ten separate inspections done before we go forward.

Now, some of you might still be wondering why we offered almost $37,000 below the asking price . . . you might love the dated wallpaper, water stains, matted shag carpet, knotty pine kitchen, frosted ceiling, 1950s oven, blue and pink tiled bathroom, asbestos tile, rotted windows . . . wait a sec–why do we want to buy this house again?!  ;)  Nah–we’re excited because it has good bones, a great floor plan (once we make some modifications), and a really rad carport!  Plus, as a bonus, it’s located in the school district with the best elementary school in all of Western New York: Smallwood Elementary (which should make many of you happy since that seems to be how you all voted in our poll).

And the neighborhood has sidewalks!

Snyder Neighbors

Okay, so maybe you can’t see them in that picture, but trust me: they’re there.  And it even comes with a furry friend:

Snyder the Rabbit

So everyone keep your fingers (and even toes) crossed for us . . . and hope Door #1 doesn’t end up with a ZONK!

So let us know what you think–either leave a comment on this post or take our poll:


Let’s Make a Deal images from here and here.

What were they thinking?!

In our house hunt, we’ve now looked at 50+ homes.  Yeah–Five-O.  No, I’m not being dramatic.  I literally just counted all of our listing sheets, which, considering that we’ve thrown away a lot of them, means that I’m seriously under-estimating how many properties we’ve seen.  And while some have been great decent, others have been down-right crazy.  So here’s a compilation of some of the weirder things we’ve seen:

Some type of pen for an animal?  This was in the corner of a scary, dark basement . . . any ideas what (or maybe who) was kept in there?!

Basement Animal Pen?

A monstrously over-sized shower head . . . did Kramer live here?!

Largest Shower Head Ever

Every single house we have been in has had wood paneling in at least one of the rooms.  Every.  Single.  One.


Here’s a basement interrogation room (again, this makes not only my wood paneling point, but it also circles back to the weird items in basements).  Isn’t this straight out of a scene in a 70s cop movie or something?  Is that a blood stain in the bottom left?!

Basement Interrogation Room

In case you didn’t catch these in the picture above . . . gotta’ love the Bambi figurines!


Anyone in the mood for a peach?  How about an orange? 

Orange Bedroom

How about a quick game of shuffleboard?  In my basement.  On asbestos tile.  Near the scary coal fireplace. 

Asbestos Tile Shuffleboard

And finally, my absolute favorite . . . the closet bathroom!  Yep–that’s a closet.  With a toilet.  A blue toilet.  In a closet.  A closet with bi-fold doors.  And a toilet.  And to make it even awesomer, there’s carpet in there.  Because who doesn’t love carpet in a bathroom?  Sold!

Closet Toilet

House Conundrums, Part II

Alright, for those of you who have been following along since the beginning, we’re having house troubles . . . as in, we can’t decide what to buy for our new home in Buffalo.  Part of the problem is that we seem to be on a rollercoaster ride of determining what’s important to us.  Soooo, instead of thinking for ourselves, how about you do some thinking for us?  Take our poll and let us know what you think . . . you can choose as many qualities as are important to you, but please don’t pick all of them (because then you’d be scarily too much like us and therefore stuck in a world of complete indecision–awesome, eh?).


Oh, and if you have any other suggestions, just comment on this post–we welcome any and all advice.

And just for a bit of eye candy as a reward for taking our poll . . .


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