Sunday, July 02, 2006

House Hunting in Missoula

Here's a few shots of our July 1 house hunting trip to Missoula. You can jump to the bottom and scroll up if you'd like...

Last light. Absolutely gorgeous. I love this state. There's a reason why they call this "Big Sky Country."

Rebekah's view from the back...

And here's a beautiful shot of the Beartooth / Absarokas to the south.

Nice shot of the Crazy Mountains again, this time on Saturday night as we headed back to Billings.

And here's a shot of Micah, sprouting from a large pot at Mindy's real estate office. At times I am very tempted to disavow all blood relations to the little blighter...

So that was our day (condensed down to the top two candidates). Here's a shot of Rebekah at lunch.

Here's the other one that we really liked [MLS# 604568] - it's the only one that we walked into and thought, "Wow - this one would be big enough to be a party house!" It's not huge, by any means, but it has four bedrooms, and just about everything has been completely fixed up (and by fixed up, I mean 'stripped to the studs, re-wired, re-insulated, re-sided, re-roofed, etc' You name it, its pretty much been done. Note the beautiful wraparound porch. So what's the downside? Only the price. They want $330K for it, which is just out of our league. Sigh. We'll have to see what God provides...

So the whole purpose of this little adventure is to try and find a home. And what we're discovering is that it's hard to do. Missoula is an expensive place to live. And we're pretty certain we want to live within easy biking distance of downtown and the university area. AND... we need a house that can accomodate a dinner party with 40-60 people. It's that last little criteria that makes things really tough.

We looked at 15 houses on Saturday, and found two with potential. This was the first one [MLS# 604561]. It really has a lot of character, and it's in pretty nice shape inside. Outside it even has pear, cherry, and apply trees - Micah spotted some little tiny apples on the branches and remarked, "Look at that! Little apples! All we need now is a guinea pig and we could have a luau!" Mindy was rolling on the floor laughing after that one (I'm sure she was thinking, "Who ARE these people!?!?" :-)

The downside of this house is that it actually has less usable square footage (about 1200) than our house in Philly (1400). And they want $260K for it. Ouch. Plus, we'd have to rebuild the detached garage (to add an office), and probably expand the living room to make it big enough to hold enough people. SO... it wouldn't be cheap. But it's a possibility.

And here is Mindy Palmer, our fearless realtor. We really, really like Mindy. Her best quote: "Missoula, you either get it or you don't." Exactly.

Here we are, bright and early on Saturday morning at Liquid Planet in Missoula. Liquid Planet has GREAT crepes, and really good coffee (and hot chocolate too).

On Friday afternoon, the whole family (minus Malachi, who had All-Stars practice) piled into the car and headed to Missoula to see if we could find a house. Here was a beautiful shot of the Crazy Mountains, to the north of the interstate near Big Timber.