Back on the coast for our overnight camping, we headed further north to Rockaway Beach. Rockaway Beach was the furthest north on the coast that we were considering. We hadn’t wanted to purchase a home at the top of the coast, near Washington, as their records for rain fall and colder temperatures were a definite deterrent for us. Of course, there are the adorable towns of Seaside and Astoria (home of the Goonies house) at the top of the coast, but we could always visit them for the weekend once we moved to Oregon.
Our first stop in Rockaway Beach was an adorable cabin tucked away at the bottom of a hill, at the end of the road. Exiting the van, we were immediately greeted by the neighbor of the house, Mike, and his cat Nemo (yes named after the movie Finding Nemo). He knew the owner/builder of the home for sale and although he had a lot to say, he was quite friendly. The home was gorgeous. It was a brand new build with top of the line counters and cabinets and appliances in the kitchen. A beautiful paint scheme for the interior and exterior. Nice windows with views of the forest. The ocean was just a hop, skip and a jump from the house. I really loved that everything was shiny and new but that the house still felt like a warm home. The builder had done a wonderful job.
Mike told us that the neighborhood was quiet and peaceful – something we were definitely looking for. Although the property was small, there was an empty lot between the home for sale and Mike’s house, creating a bit more privacy. Mike explained that the empty lot was originally owned by a nice couple who planned to build there someday but never had. He then went on to tell us that the couple had since passed and it was now owned by their son and that sadly he was (in Mike’s words), a tweaker. He said that there had been arguments over the property and that every time the son and his wife and/or friends returned, they would leave junk behind to store on the property. This really wasn’t a story we wanted to hear about a potential new home. Don’t get me wrong, we were glad to hear it prior to buying a home, but it just wasn’t sitting well with us.
I was instantly in love with Mike’s kitty, Nemo. She was so adorable and loving and kept rubbing my legs repeatedly. I had to include her in this blog. She really was a special cat.
Dennis wasn’t crazy about the fact that the home sat down in the canyon at the bottom of the road. It felt sort of claustrophobic, surrounded by 100 foot trees. The house went on our maybe list but near the bottom with the added notes about the nosey neighbor, the unresolved empty lot, and the location of the home itself. Time to move on to the next house!
The next house to see that day was not a house, but a small motel right on the highway. While we had learned that we weren’t crazy about the idea of living on the highway, we still loved the idea of a work/live situation. The hotel was so cute. A small house out front for the office and living quarters for the management (that would have been us in theory). It had three rooms that were rented out in a separate building from the home/office out front. The hotel was really quaint and sat right across from the ocean. I could imagine all of the little improvements we would make and spending the next chapter of our lives in hospitality. It was a fun dream!
The motel was listed on Zillow for sale, but there were no signs of it being for sale once we were there. We figured that they opted not to have a “for sale” sign out front as they were still operating the motel until it sold. We would have to call the agent on the listing if we decided to go for it. We talked about all of the fun possibilities throughout the day as we continued to travel around. Ultimately, one of the biggest draw backs was being right on the highway with the traffic going by.
We drove by another cute house for sale in Rockaway, just a block – walking distance – from the beach. The burnt orange house was very beach-ey and cute but sat on the corner of two main streets and had an open yard. It felt a little odd, like it was “on display” with no privacy to sit in the yard in the evening, bbq’ing or having a glass of wine. We continued driving.
Next up, a house on the Nestucca River! This house had a fantastic location. It sat in a horseshoe of homes – at the end of the road, with a neighbor only to one side and a view of the river and mountains to the other. Behind the horseshoe of homes, sat a large field and farm with happy dairy cows meandering about – just a handful, not a huge dairy farm. It had a large garage and a dock out into the river. We were very excited to see the inside. We had spoken to the agent the day prior and made an appointment to meet her.
As we sat on the dock, waiting for the agent to arrive, we dreamed of what it would be like to have the amazing views and to live near the water (something we still loved so much about the lake house). The agent arrived and she was so sweet. She explained that the house had been on the market for some time now and that there were a few things that needed to be fixed and renovated. We went inside the garage first. The insulation wasn’t finished but the garage was a nice size and just needed some cleaning up. That made me very hopeful for the house itself to be in good condition too.
We walked into the house and I had instant vertigo. The house leaned towards the river so badly that we felt like we were in a carnival fun house and the floor was wavy from all of the water damage from floods. The kitchen was tiny and had the oddest bright yellow laminate counter tops with blue and black cupboards. There was a narrow staircase leading up to a small bedroom upstairs and another room with no windows, no light fixture and cobwebs everywhere. I didn’t step into the dark room. I came back down the tiny staircase (with no hand rail) and back into the living room. Looking around the room, I noticed that there was good light in there, but the picture window was filled with hundreds of flies! They were all buzzing and clamoring for the one corner of the window. The sight of the flies and the wavy floor were enough to turn anyone off but when the agent told us that we’d have to get FEMA approval and have the home raised twelve feet off the ground to keep the home out of the annual flood zone, the house was quickly moved to our “no” list.
The agent understood and said that she honestly didn’t know how she was going to sell the place. She felt badly that the home hadn’t been what we were looking for and told us about another house that she wanted to show us if we had the time. We agreed that we should see it. We followed her over in the Blumebulance. The house was adorable! Much larger than what we were looking for and a bit over what we were looking to spend, but it was right on the river and just a quick walk – maybe 5 minutes – over to the beach. The house sat atop a large, three car garage (Dennis loved that). It was very well kept and incredibly cute – filled with nautical and beach decor. It was being offered furnished since it had been a vacation home. We thanked the agent for taking the time to show us the extra house and let her know we would need to think about the additional cost. Another full day of house hunting behind us, lots more to think about ahead of us – we decided to camp for the night. Would we decide to purchase a seaside motel or would we go for the extra cost of the home on the river, next to the shore? Click here for more excitement in part ten of Our Oregon Adventure…