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J. Daniel Ashton

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Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with all your might, —Ecclesiastes 9:10a NIV
The LORD God has told us what is right and what he demands:
"See that justice is done,
let mercy be your first concern,
and humbly obey your God." —Micah 6:8, CEV
With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment.
Always let Him lead you, and He will clear the road for you to follow. —Proverbs 3:5,6 CEV

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Name: Daniel Ashton
Location: Germantown, Maryland, United States

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Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Probably Not This Time Either

We went to see the second townhouse today: this one is right beside J & D. We had heard that it went on the market August 1, and we found a sign out front on that day. However, no one was permitted inside until today, probably thanks to some serious maintenance in progress.

Today we got inside and had a good look around. The upgrades are obvious in the kitchen, and it looks like all or nearly all the carpet is new. The kitchen was really impressive: very nice appliances, very nice cupboards. The place had certainly been staged: all the furniture was beautiful.

Unfortunately, there are several drawbacks to this place. All of the townhouses on that street face the south, and their front-sides get all the light. This makes the back deck a nicer place to sit, I suppose, but it also makes the downstairs room very dark.

In addition, this place is noticeably smaller than J & D's (right next door) and the contrast is almost oppressive. The internalized garage leaves too little space for the basement room. In stark contrast to the first one we saw, there was no additional space downstairs for computer stuff, and all of the classroom would have to be relegated to this smaller, darker space. Not inspiring.

Although the master bedroom is ample, the kids rooms may be even tinier than in the first townhouse. Since they share the north face of the house, they will get little light and will probably seem even smaller.

Finally, the lack of concern and craftsmanship was evident in many details. The kitchen and living room had obviously been made over rather thoroughly, but the reconstruction in other rooms was somewhat shoddy. Baseboards had been left in an unpleasant state, and the corners of the walls had been caulked instead of puttied and sanded. The staging was a little too obvious, too. It was difficult to believe that anyone was still living there, and the furniture looked like rental pieces fresh off some show-room floor. Gorgeous pieces! yes, but not believable.

In general, this place failed to sieze our hearts in the same way. I think we could be content to live there, but I'm not sure it's attractive enough, or a big enough improvement over where we are now, to make it worth the hassle of moving.

The biggest attraction is being near friends. So I think we may put a bid on it, but for somewhat less than the asking price. I'm not sure that it's worth the pain of signing all those papers again, so we'll ask first whether many other offers are being received. If we could get it for less than they're asking, it would be a worthwhile investment, and Vicki could relish the kitchen every day.

In addition, I think it would be a great home for a couple with no kids, or a family with one child. The drawbacks for us were envisioning the upstairs rooms as our kids' bedrooms, and trying to picture the downstairs den as our classroom.

One other thing: the last few days have demonstrated our inability to visually compare spaces. I can't imagine how this townhouse can have 33% more floorspace than the previous one. It just doesn't compute.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like you should just take a pass on this one...

11:14 AM  
Blogger anonymous said...

I agree. Unless you can get the house for a lot less than asking price, pass.

4:43 PM  

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