The house on 5318 Raber St in Highland Park was the house that got us started on our journey. We decided to drive around the city and look at different Redfin listings we mapped back at home. After driving buy some of these houses and feeling disappointed, we decided to use the Redfin app and drive to the closest house in our search criteria. And we drove and drove and drove all around the city. I slowly started to figure out how the streets worked with each other. As we drove all over the city in a very random pattern, we saw a tiny house listing. Something didn’t seem right as the price was too high for the square footage listed. Driving up the odd street we saw the house. And after driving past the house we were immediately shown why this house would be perfect. The view was amazing. The listing showed a garage, but there was no garage. I am always curious how a house looks from the street behind the property. We drove back down and snaked our way to the street below. Here was the little 1 car garage with a good hike up steps to get to the house. This still was not a deal breaker. We drove back to the top to look around again. We picked up the brochure and drove back home. I had a good feeling that this would be the house before we even started looking with a Realtor.
As we got back home we saw the floorplan on the back of the brochure. I drew up the floorplan in the computer and drew up our furniture to get a better idea of the size inside. We even started to talk about how we could expand the property and possibly put in a proper garage. I thought we were getting our hopes up. And did we ever.
I tried to get ahold of the listing agent, but that was a bit useless as she wouldn’t show us the property herself. So we went to Redfin and contacted our soon to be current agent. He got back to us a few hours later with some disappointing news. The house had foundation issues. The entire bottom floor of the house was unpermitted. And this would be a short sale and sold as-is. I could live with a few of these issues. But being a Civil Engineer, I know that foundation issues on a steep hillside means a big red no. Current building standards would probably entail some major work to fix the foundation. Such as tying into bedrock with piles. We were disappointed. But this taught us a quick lesson. Do not get carried away until we are actually living in the property.
We are still driving around as we see any house listing that looks interesting, as this is a good way to weed out what we want from what we don’t want. I can’t believe how useful current technology is when looking for our first house.