Monday, June 18, 2007

Hop To It

The wife and I spent part of this past weekend looking at houses. We're not looking to buy just yet but one of the communities to the West of Boise was having a Parade of Homes. It gives us a chance to check out some of the other communities and to see what we might get for the money.

I'll tell you, there's a lot of sticker shock for us. Three years ago, we paid ~$140K for our house in Stillwater, OK. The house was new construction with 1800-2000 square feet, a moderately sized yard (something tells me it's at least 75 feet to the back fence... but I could be wrong), large deck and a wetland to the North.

In SE Boise, the area we are renting in right now, we saw one house that was ~1300 square feet, small fenced yard, built in the 40s, recently updated kitchen and bathroom, and recently refinished hardwood floors. Price, $389K!

Granted, that's an extreme example. As you get away from the downtown area and move West, the prices get better (not necessarily more reasonable). The houses we were looking at are anywhere from 30-40 miles from where we are now. Houses of similar size to our house in Stillwater were $240K - $300K and had much smaller yards.

Most of the houses we looked at were single-story but there was one I had to see. Most of the house was on the first level but, on the plans, one of the rooms was marked FROG ROOM. I had to find out what a FROG ROOM was.

When we arrived, I looked around the house, which was actually quite liveable - unlike several others. As I ascended the stairs to the FROG ROOM, I observed that is was simply what my wife and I would refer to as a BONUS ROOM. We asked the agent who was in the house what was meant by FROG ROOM. She explained that it had confused her at first but it was explained as... wait for it...

Family Room Over Garage (F.R.O.G.)

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