Thursday, January 19, 2023

House Hunting Saga....Part 2

So our agent(the daughter of the agents we went to see houses in Texas with), is licensed in Louisiana so we began an earnest house hunt around where my daughter lives in LA.  

We calculated that without having the funds from selling our house in PA, we had about $200K in liquid savings to put toward a house down in Louisiana.  That amount would include any closing costs, etc. and we would NOT buy something that meant we needed a mortgage.(Haven't had one of those since the mid 2000's when we paid off that house in PA.)

So our agent took us around to houses on the market that met our general requirements.  They were all over the map in terms of size, condition of house, land size and price.  Plus this was mid September in Louisiana and only two of the houses were currently occupied so two houses meant we were sweating out asses off! 8-)

The first house we saw was out in the country in a town called Benton, a 35 min. drive from out daughter's house.  Nice area but in the middle of nowhere.  It was a manufactured home, older(20 years?)but had been maintained well.  They had a strange shed next to it and the carport they were disassembling and taking with them when they moved.  The house sat on 2 acres but it was situated at a strange angle on the land.  Part of the land was across a creek too with no access to it other than jumping there or building a small bridge(which we would have had to do).  The house was 1,800 sq, ft,, 23 years old and they had priced it at $185K.  Other than the land strangeness and no garage it was acceptable until....until we were walking around the property and we heard someone playing a drum set rather loudly in the middle of a work day.  Hubs didn't notice it at first(he's one of those folks who don't notice stuff sometimes. lol)until I brought it to his attention.  So we told the agent we'd keep it on the list as a possibility for now but we wanted to see other properties.
*  Later the agent let us know that the drummer was a neighbor young adult who was in a local band that played gigs and practiced in his parents barn or pole building near the house we were considering, according to the homeowner of the house we had been looking at.  That fact put a big NO on this house since we like the quietness of the area but having that sort of noise(pretty loud since it was at least 2 acres away)on a regular basis was a deal killer.  It looks like it sold 28 Nov.

The next property was in the same little town, 3 bedroom, 2.5 baths manufactured home, 1,760 sq. ft. and 16 years old, on 1.6 acres for an asking price of $199,900.  It was vacant and supposedly had been updated(new vinyl plank flooring, carpeting, new kitchen counters and paint throughout.  The layout was weird, the counters(which were formica not an upgrade)and stove in the kitchen seemed higher than normal(not good for a short person lol).  It also had a wood burning fireplace which strikes me as strange this far South. The best thing about this house was the 1,200 sq. ft. shop/garage that was included.  It had a high ceiling with 2 10 ft. rollup bay doors and electricity.  Obviously someone had run a repair shop out of it or such.

I found this penny in the shop/garage but this wasn't the house for us.  I think the shop was nicer than the house. :-)  This house sold Dec. 30th and from the photos still on the listing it looks like they did a bit more work to it.,-LA-71006_rb/109807057_zpid/?mmlb=g,29
I hope they carted off the burn pile outside the back door too that was there when we saw it.  We've found out that many homes here for sale have these piles of debris on the properties where folks burn their trash(and sometimes try to burn things you can't like plastic!lol)when they are not in the city proper and don't have city garbage pick-up service.

The last house we saw that day was a possibility but with issues.  It was a MCM home(stick built in 1955).  It was a lot closer to daughter's house plus near shopping north of town.  Sq. Footage of 2,132 but on not quite .50 of an acre.  The house was a dream! with all the mid-century modern charm and was well maintained.  It had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths a large backyard flagstone patio/veranda that the house wrapped around and lots of windows.  A small living room and a large den which you could have done a lot with.  The asking price was $185K.  I fell in love with this one except for the lack of property.  You could reach out and touch the house next door in the backyard.  It was in an older subdivision.  The backyard slopped downward and had 2 sheds on it and a few very tall dead trees at the back of the property.  It would have cost a lot to have those trees taken down.  This is tornado country and those trees were a hazard waiting to happen.  I was so torn on this one.  It was on the market because the husband was stationed at the local Air Force base and was being transferred out of the area  so they were looking for a quick sale.

Here is the listing for when those owners had bought this house with photos.......

This house was definitely on the list even without the land we wanted.

The last house we saw that day was nearby, another stick built one from 1990.  It was 1,663 sq. ft. with 3 bedrooms//2 baths on over 1 acre.  The listing said it had a new roof and new water heater, both in the last 2 years and the home needed updating and had appraised  $50K higher than the asking price of $195K.

As we approached the house I noticed it sat in a depression(a low spot)on the land.  There was a house near the driveway on the right of the house so the house wasn't anywhere near the middle of the lot.  The large front yard slopped down from the road and the house was vacant.  There was at least one pecan tree on the lot as I saw this walking up to the front door.....

A pecan tree on the property was a plus in my book.  But that didn't make up for the house.  There was a notice from the sewage/water company that the utilities should NOT be turned on as the people who owned the house has NOT paid their utility bills for gosh knows how long!  Once we got into the house you could see it hadn't been updated inside since the 1970's(avocado appliances much?!)and the place smelled of must and mold.  It was a hard NO!  Nonetheless it still sold 18 Nov. I suppose they cleaned it up and paid their utility bills to get this one sold.  Goodbye pecan tree.............sigh.

That was our first day of looking.  More to follow........



  1. Looking forward to reading about your house hunting journey! We looked at 70+ homes during ours, always blew me away the difference from listings pictures to in real life. Or things sellers try to hide lol. That MCM home is gorgeous!! Too bad no land.

  2. The MCM house was nice but yes, too close to neighbor. The kitchen sink and faucet in the bathroom was just weird. The 1760 sq ft Benton mgf. house was super depressing. You were right to pass up both.

  3. I would not live in a mobile home/manufactured home if given to me. We do have tornados here and the floors cannot stand a flood of the water heater or any similar water incident.
    Maybe the land was at a strange angle to take advantage of prevailing winds or the sunrise and sunset. When people lived in a dogtrot, houses were built to have the wind flow through.
    I loved my avocado appliances and sink! I could probably go back to that color.

    1. So you wouldn't live in a manufactured home but you'd live in a needed to be condemned falling down house where you had to sleep under a plastic sheet so as not to be rained on? Get a gripe Linda.

    2. That's pretty low! Tornados blow mobile homes away! And, no, I had a basement even if a tornado came. I was not griping about anything.

  4. House hunting is a pain. I'm still looking. LA house prices seem to be much lower than MI. I'm looking forward to reading more about finding your new home. Hope your leg heals fast.

  5. Where is part one? This was very enjoyable reading. I have seen some manufactured homes that are beautiful. My stepdaughter lived in one with a skylight over the kitchen island and a laundry room off the kitchen. I would love to live in one. Looking for to the next chapter.

  6. When my kids were small, I had a single wide mobile home that I put on stilts at the River. I absolutely loved it and regret selling it. I had a deck built across the entire back of it and I had a huge above ground pool. It was so fun to live there…. Sigh. Cindy in the South

  7. House hunting was brutal 12 years ago when we bought our house. I can only imagine how challenging it is now. Thanks for sharing the links. I love looking at houses.

  8. Good luck! Remember agents show you first the house they hope you will like, as subsequent houses are compared to the first one. Anchor effect.


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