House Gathering

We’ve been talking about looking for a new house for a while. I’ve been in our current home for 9 years, and Debbi moved in 5 years ago. A bunch of Debbi’s stuff (and a little of mine) is in a storage unit. And we have 3 cats, with the expectation of going back to 4 (or even 5) someday. So we’ve basically outgrown this place, even though when I bought it it was just the place I wanted (well, within the bounds of what I could afford).

We went out and looked at a few open houses early last year, but I wasn’t really ready to move. Now I’m feeling more motivated, so the last two weekends we’ve gone to see some houses on the market. January isn’t the ideal time to look at houses since there’s not a lot on the market (most people like to move during the summer, between school sessions), and the market is down so many people are keeping their homes off the market until it improves. We were mainly going to see what’s out there in in our price range in the area we want to live, and to talk about what’s important to each of us in a house and see how close these houses come.

What we didn’t expect was to see a house we both adored the second time out.

Now, this isn’t a huge problem. As a friend of mine observed, there are always other houses. But this one is quite nice, with three bedrooms, a den, a 2-car garage, a large yard (and yet, a yard that doesn’t look like it would need too much maintenance), and it’s very bright and cheerful. Its drawbacks are mostly cosmetic: I’d say the biggest one is that the living room could be bigger, and it could have more closet space. It is perfect? No, but we were both charmed by it. And the location is good, too!

Of course, we’ve only seen a few houses, whereas when I brought my current place I’d seen upwards of two dozen townhomes and had a pretty good understanding of the market. But we don’t feel like we have the same grasp of this market this time around, which is why finding this place so quickly feels a little uncomfortable, since we don’t have a lot to compare it to (though it’s much nicer than the places we do have to compare it to). On top of that, we hadn’t talked to a realtor or a mortgage broker yet, so we weren’t ready to actually put a bid on it.

So we’re talking to a couple of agents and a broker over the next few days. And if everything goes well, we’ll decide whether we want to make an offer on this house.

But if that house doesn’t work out, well, we’ll have started the ball rolling.