Monday, July 14, 2008

Is there such a thing as a safe house?

In addition to planning a wedding, "B" and I are also looking for a house. We're hoping to have something that he can move into sometime in the Fall (sooner if we find a "gem"), then I'll move in once we're married. We went to 5 open houses on Sunday and only one of the houses was even worth considering. However, as we were leaving we decided to check out the sides of the house and "B" noticed a Radon-elimination system. Yikes! We had already decided not to go to one open house that day because it stated that it had one of these. So, we were starting to wonder a little more about the whole Radon thing.

I did some research today and found that pretty much all of Eastern Pennsylvania averages higher than acceptable levels of Radon (a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is tasteless, odorless, and invisible that can cause lung cancer when not detected and in higher than acceptable levels). Every home has some level of Radon, the question is the amount. So, in my research, I learned a lot more and I'm thinking that maybe it's a GOOD thing if a house has a Radon-elimination system, instead of a bad attribute of the house. This way, we wouldn't need to install's already set up, especially with the elevated levels of Radon in many homes in Eastern PA.

What an eye-opener, though. A few days ago I had no knowledge of this house problem and now I know probably more than I ever would have liked. It got me thinking of all the crazy things that you have to keep your eyes out for when looking at houses: Radon, mold, foundation and/or sinking problems (we actually looked at a house where it was evident that the garage had "sunk" about 4 inches!), vermin (the same house with the sinkage also had a dead mouse on the back porch...hmmm, somebody needs to watch "Sell This House"), etc. There is just so much to think about that it can be overwhelming.

I don't think we're being overly picky, but we certainly want a house that will be safe for our future family. And, although neither of us minds doing a bit of work, we don't want to have to do a major overhaul either. It's fun to look at the houses but, when you are looking seriously and want to buy one in the next 4 or 5 months, it can be a little overwhelming, especially with the additional stress of wedding planning activities.

I'm already imagining the craziness that this coming weekend will bring. "B" is working to schedule appointments to view some homes we're interested in (2 or 3, I think), we are finally getting our engagement photos taken on Sunday afternoon, and I'm going to a BBQ at a friend's house. Whew! I don't think I'll be getting much rest:)

As I write this I realize it sounds like I'm complaining about the stress, but I really am SO incredibly thankful for these events in my life. I mean, I asked God for all of this...loving husband, family, home of my own, friends...ALL of it. Yes, it's a lot of life change in the course of a year, but it is also very exciting and, dare I say, fun?!?


mama k said...

Choosing a house can be stressful, but I do think you need to cut yourself a little slack.
You will not find a "perfect" home but you will find one that is perfect for you. You do want something you can grow into, but remember this doesn't have to be your "forever" house either.
And even if you buy a brand new construction house, things can and will come up at some point. It's just part of owning a home. So while you definitely want to do your research, there is no way to prepare for every eventuality. :) said...

I have to agree with mamak. Every house has its quirks so you just need to find one that works with you. You will want to do work on a home to make it yours anyway. And I have to agree with mamak on the fact that it may not be a forever house you move into right away. It may take some time to find that house. (-; You may not get it on your first buy. (-: Be patient. House buying isn't like any other type of shopping you will ever do. It is rarely that you find what your looking for on the first few tries.Keep looking and just remain positive. It is easy to fall into a slump when house searching. (-: