42: Deal Breaker

The house search continues! While it is Jeff’s search, I get to go along for the ride a bit. He made an offer last weekend on a house that had 24 offers. Bidding $40k over asking and waiving inspection was not enough to win. And yes, waiving inspection can be stupid, but he felt confident in his own evaluation of the house. And wouldn’t waive it on every house.

Tuesday we toured a dream house. You’d have to be dreaming to agree to buy a home on an island. Especially since the bridge that connects you to the mainland…isn’t wide or sturdy enough for vehicles. Thankfully it is/was sturdy enough for rangers/atvs/four wheelers…but yeah… As adventurous as I am, I couldn’t image that being Jeff’s year round home.

The realtor couldn’t help but laugh at us, because we weren’t automatically out on the house with the bridge issues. The reason Jeff didn’t put in an offer was more because of the ongoing unknowns about the house. It would have made an excellent cabin or air bnb. But the potential with frequent expensive renovations was almost 100% certain.

Saturday morning we viewed 3 other homes. The first was a definite no. Maybe at a cheaper price point, but oh man, it had been neglected, and needed lots of work. The second had potential, but actually already had an accepted offer, so that option was basically closed. The final house was beautiful the moment I walked in. A decent sized entry way, viewing a house with 3 adults who all need to take off their shoes really helps you determine if the entry way is acceptable or not. The basement had a surprising amount of light, and the house had an addition that made a wonderfully sized living room that I would be happy to quarantine in. The only immediate need was painting a few of the rooms, and eventually there could be a flooring update. But….it is going to be a hard home to compete for.

I remember when I was condo searching I compared the process to online dating, and this house search is more like a reality show. You have no idea what is real, or what is created by the producers, or how other people will interpret your decisions (aka, the waiving inspection issue).

What I find interesting is that everyone has different deal breakers. Obviously everyone has some sort of budget, but then there is location, which can either be city specific, or type of lot specific, or even street specific in some cases. Other people care about the number of bedrooms, or the kitchen cabinets, or the garage space. There are so many different factors that could be considered. And there are so many unknowns about where Jeff will end up. But at least we got a laugh or two imagining living on a lake and driving a ranger from the garage to the house over a rickety wooden bridge every darn day.

What are your housing deal breakers?

Do you have other deal breakers in life?


  1. I read an article in the star tribune about the market and how people are waving inspections and such. I am glad the market wasn’t as hot in 2019 when we bought! We had soooo many deal breakers which is why it took 2 years to find our house. We were particular about the neighborhood, wanted a main floor bathroom, a 2-stall garage and 2 bathrooms with showers. These don’t sound like things that would be difficult to find but in south Minneapolis, the homes are all so old that these are difficult things to find! We also wanted something pretty turn key as we are not handy. I am so glad the buying process is behind us. I found it really stressful. My husband doesn’t love this house, though. Mostly because it’s on a steep hill and we have the corner lot so snow removal is pretty awful. But we will be here for trying being!

    1. We are house hunting too and the market right now is ridiculous! Good thing we’re not desperate. Thought we found a pretty good one in a northern suburb last week until I realized train tracks went through the back yard. A deal breaker I didn’t even know was a deal breaker until it broke my deal! Also split entries.

      1. Uff da, I could do near train tracks, but in the actual backyard is more than I would be able to handle. Split Entries are the worst, but feel like they are just a Minnesota thing that I have to accept. I’m trying to figure out how Jeff can magically get a new job and we can just move up north.

  2. Split entries are awful, I agree. My dealbreakers? Hm. Train tracks are a biggie. Too close to the neighbors. Not enough windows. No master bath. Too near a busy road. And honestly? Now that I’m old, no garage / only a one-stall garage. I like having my car inside, thanks.

    In short, I’m old and picky. Ha.

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