Losing my Housemate??

Well Karl has decided that living here with me is coming to an end.  No yet but sometime in the near-ish future.  He’s looking to buy a home and hopefully in the next year or so he’ll find something that he’s comfortable with.

Housing in our area is hard.  He would really like to live in Decorah which is about a half hour from where I live as he loves the community.  It’s bigger and has more “happening”…but it’s a little further from work.  Decorah is also expensive.

Friday morning we went and looked at two houses there. Karl wasn’t really looking to necessarily buy either one. We were more looking at what a house under $100,000 in Decorah would get him….and sadly, we found out not much.

This is house number one.  It’s been a rental property for a bit.  It was on a nice street….it’s stuco.

The kitchen was tiny and needed some help.  We’re all about help but not really as much help as this house needed.  For example we’d be okay with having to close in this kitchen window and fixing the wall adding more cupboard space.    Okay with taking out this weird island….

But this laundry room…a bit tiny.  Seriously, Karl is 6’4″.  How is he going to maneuver to get the laundry from the washer to the dryer??


The bathroom was good in and of itself…We can replace handles..but we can’t move it to an entirely different location.  It’s off the kitchen.  Again he could live with that…but…not his favorite choice at all.


Removing wall paper is no biggie….


The carpet was good.  The floors…crooked.  Really crooked.  The house had settled in a not so good way.  That, can’t be fixed.


The shining grace of this place?  The garage.  It’s a two stall plus.  It was awesome.  It had an upstairs loft area too!!


With some TLC and no crooked floors it might be okay…plus new shingles-  plus all the other things that Karl and I with limited construction knowledge couldn’t see.  The yard was really small and he was hoping to have a garden.

This is the next house.  Obviously the condition of the outside was an issue but the inside pictures looked promising.  We could see that there had been plastic on the outside of the windows….ugh.


Once we walked in, we knew it was a no though.  I forgot to take pictures…except for these two….

Check out that cute tiny bathtub.  It was sit in sized.  I’d never seen one like that!!


The house must have been some style of apartment living with a communal kitchen.  It was weird.  Karl and I decided that in a way, every single room except the bathroom was some version of really just a wide hallway.

If we thought the floors were crooked in the other house, these were worse.  The kitchen was better here but that’s about it.

Check out this funky built in bed??!!  Karl said- Mom, what is that?  I had to explain that it was a space to put a single mattress on….interesting right?!


This house was about $10,000 more and there was no garage.  So this one was out.  The other one….It’s out to.

The problem is this.  He could buy a decent house in an outlying town and pay about $40,000 less for the house.

For example there is a house in a town close around here…they are asking the same price as the second house…around $90,000.  Sorry the pictures aren’t the best…but you can see the house looks better….


…and there is a double car attached garage.

I have been in the house before.  A gal Kayla went to school with lived here and it was a good house then.  Structure wise, solid.  I highly doubt there are crooked floors.  Granted it’s been a long time since I was in it but structure doesn’t change…From the realtor pictures, it looks okay inside too. The kitchen could use an update but for now, it was good.

He’d really prefer to live here in Waucoma but there are no houses for sale….ugh.  I’d love for him to live in Waucoma…but if there are no houses, there are no houses….(If anyone local is reading this and knows of anyone thinking of selling, let us know)

So the hunt continues.  After what he saw today, the thought is that Decorah, although his preferred town to live in, is likely out.  It’s hard to put money into a house that isn’t one he’d be able to have a family in or resell…

So many decisions…but the first decision is made, he won’t be living with me for forever.

15 thoughts on “Losing my Housemate??

  1. Lisa B

    When my son moved back to his hometown he lived with me for two and a half years and banked all his bucks from his job. He bought a house with an apartment above the garage. He lives in the apartment and rents out the house. The house needed a new roof and the floor/foundation was unlevel. A contractor wrote up a bid to do the work, it was somehow part of the loan, and all the work got done within 3 months of ownership. When he thinks family he can move into the house and rent the apartment. It has been a wonderful deal for him.

  2. June

    Praying he will find his “perfect” home – if he is meant to move – it will happen.
    God Bless you both.

  3. Stearns Carol

    Our son lives with us as well. He isn’t working a career that would give him the option to move and we would miss him. We dont’ see him much anyway. The right house will come along for Karl. I’m not a fan of the stucco. Was that put over something else? Brick or clapboard? Seems out of place in Iowa. I watch a lot of Home Town shows where the couple is from Laurel MS and fixes up old homes. Love seeing what they do. We are going to drive there fora visit in August.

  4. Elle

    The blessing is that you and your family are patient and smart enough to wait for the “right” one of anything on your lists!!! :-)

    Blessings to Karl and you as he awaits his new home.

  5. Janine Baker

    Seeing the picture of the built in bed brought back memories of my first apartment search. A cousin of mine took me around looking. One of the possibilities had one of those built in beds. It was real cute, but it was right in the entryway of the apartment-like 5-8 feet from the door! It was very open concept!!! The down side was it was over an embalming school!!! So, needless to say, I did not take it. Thanks for the memories!!

  6. Rita

    Sadly there seems to be A shortage of houses out . Therefore it drives up the price on starter houses . Also the interest rates are fairly low right now 3.5
    Percent . Great time to buy if he can find something. Good luck in his looking
    And prayers that something will come along.

  7. Christine VanHorn

    He should look in Spillville, There are some nice houses available. 13 miles closer to Waucoma.

  8. Linda in NE

    That last one, the $90K one, looks pretty decent. Maybe even some new windows? Looks big enough for a family too. Can’t see what the yard might look like though. House hunting can be a chore. When the time is right the right house will show up. Karl will just have to have patience.

  9. Terri in BC

    Wow, $90,000 won’t even get you a building lot or even a studio apartment where I live. I hope he finds something he will love and still be within a reasonable commuting distance between work and the “happening” town he’d like to be in.

  10. Lisa B

    When my son moved back to his hometown he lived with me for two and a half years and banked all his bucks from his job. He bought a house with an apartment above the garage. He lives in the apartment and rents out the house. The house needed a new roof and the floor/foundation was unlevel. A contractor wrote up a bid to do the work, it was somehow part of the loan, and all the work got done within 3 months of ownership. When he thinks family he can move into the house and rent the apartment. It has been a wonderful deal for him. I do miss him at times.

  11. Kim J LeMere

    I know that Karl will find the right house for him and have the things he wants, a garden space and a big garage. Its always exciting when a child buys a house. Happy house hunting

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