HEADING TO HEATH: THE HEARTBREAK OF FIRST LOVES
Of course, the house we fell in love with already had a contract on it. Since the open field behind it will most likely become another housing development, the pending contract saved us from ourselves, but that didn’t minimize our disappointment. That house seemed like it was just-almost-exactly what we were looking for.
Taking the Long Way Home
Disappointed by the house in Heath, we reminded ourselves that there was a whole lot more of the Metroplex to research. We decided to stay focused on the East, so by the weekend following our first visit to Heath, I mapped out a route that included Parker, Wylie, Forney and Sunnyvale. Parker yielded some possibilities, but the other towns just didn’t ring our bell. Even though we drove a lot of miles to find that out, there was still some day left afterwards.
Bill decided we needed to take a look at the Firewheel Golf Course area in Garland. I hadn’t done any research yet, so I drug out my handy Mapsco (yes, I still use a Mapsco – GPS is great, but not for everything). The Mapsco directed us to pockets of homes around the golf course. Just when I was about to give up hope, we found The Oaks at Firewheel. Oh, we loved the homes in Irongate, but knew right away they were out of our price range. The Oaks were promising, but they were lots. If we bought a lot, we’d have to build and we’d done that. We decided it behooved us to see some pre-existing homes.
The Real Estate Agent Waltz
Having been in real estate for several years and understanding the hard work it takes to earn a commission, I’m very hesitant to bother real estate professionals. Nonetheless, if you want to look at pre-existing houses there’s not much you can do besides bother someone. My first inclination was to call up one of the two real estate agents I knew best, but Bill wasn’t ready for anyone to know what we were up to – yet. MLS had assigned me to an agent, but so far she hadn’t offered much besides form letter emails and that didn’t warm the cockles of my heart. We decided to call someone who had listed two of the three homes we wanted to see.
One of the houses was affordable; the other two would put us in debt. We didn’t like any of the answers facing us – staying where we were, buying less house than we wanted, buying more house than we could afford or building a house. We’d built a house before and it almost put us in divorce court. We had to go look.
Was Building Our Home the Best Answer?
We learned a lot by seeing those houses. The first thing we did was call the builder in The Oaks at Firewood. For two weeks we made almost daily treks to the community, looking at a finished home, walking through homes they were building and walking back and forth between the available lots. One day we decided a home in the The Oaks wasn’t exactly our ultimate dream house, but it was the best we were going to do. We made an appointment to meet their agent and put money down on a lot.
But Jane, what about Heath. I’m getting to that. Come back next week!