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.

3 thoughts on “House Gathering”

  1. It’s a rare thing indeed to find a place you both like equally, especially when inventory is so low. But we have noticed quite a few For Sale signs popping up in the last 2 weeks. February is actually prime time to list (I’m not sure why. But it is true according to real estate agents and it certainly worked like a charm for us on our old house.) The pleasant surprise is that unlike those that popped up this time last year, they aren’t all places that look distressed in some way. Many of them seem to be fixed up and well taken care of. I suspect a lot of people are taking advantage of the market being low (but not hugely low) in order to move up into something bigger, or to a different area, etc. That could mean good news for you guys in your search! I’m sure you’ll find something great. Meanwhile, I’ll look forward to helping Debbi design a new kitchen. :o)

  2. Cool. Finding something you like is not a small feat. (Susan and I put in three bids before we got our current place.)

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