March 1, 2014

House Hunting: It Sucks!

I knew that buying a home was not going to be an easy thing to do. There are so many aspects to it and so many ups and downs that it had to be a trying process. I didn’t realize how difficult it would be, though.  

I had been telling Thomas that he or we should buy something for over a year. The market was right in 2013 with homes available and price pretty low. However Thomas wasn’t ready and honestly it wasn’t a good idea to buy a home together without at least being engaged. Unfortunately now that we are engaged and ready to buy together home prices have risen quite a bit and interest rates are also on their way up.  Nevertheless we need a place to live and I really don’t want to rent.

Thomas grew up in a regular single-family home while I grew up in apartments and townhomes. When we talked about where we would like to live once we moved in together Thomas had indicated to me that he wanted to live in a house. This was fine with me. When I picture raising a family I see my children in a backyard with a place to play. This is not something that is easy to do in a condo or townhome. Although I did grow up in a townhome it was located across the street from a park and it was during a time where I could go out and run around and my parents didn’t worry. That isn’t something that can be done today. No matter my opinion on that we have decided that for now we have to settle for living deeply within our means so that we can save money and buy a house later on.

I have to say that I was disappointed in having to pull out of the home we wanted to buy originally. It had everything I had wanted in a home to raise a family. Some things just aren’t meant to be and when one door closes another one opens, right? In my last post about the housing situation I mentioned that we had been looking at 2 condos. Shortly after putting our offer in for the one we preferred we were informed that it had been sold to an all-cash buyer. There wasn’t much we can do to compete with that.  I hope we don’t keep running into these types of buyers, if we do we will be doomed.

The same day that we put in the offer with the condo a townhouse came onto the market. While it appealed to me initially, I was happy with the condo we were trying to buy so I disregarded it. When the condo went off the market I e-mailed my realtor and asked for a showing to the townhouse.  I had written a whole description of the townhouse really thinking we would get it, however before I was able to post this, they informed us that they sold it to someone else. I am very disappointed.

Since we are now searching for a 4th home to purchase my hopes are very low. I have gone over and over the homes available in the area we want to live in for the price we want to pay and there are very few options. The homes that do go on the market are quickly sold – and not to us. Right now there is 1 condo left that fits our criteria (in a good neighborhood, over 1,000 sq ft, 2 bedrooms and 2 baths – with hopefully a garage and windows that don’t face other windows).

We will be looking at the condo Monday during our lunch hour. This home is not listed on the MLS yet and they are not showing it to others. I think they will officially list it in April because there are tenants in the condo until 3/31/14. However we are being allowed to look at it because the listing agent feels bad for our situation. The listing agent is the same as the other condo in the same complex that we had put on offer in last week. I guess having someone feel sorry for you is a good thing. The bottom line on this is that if we like it we can get it. No one else has access to it for now.

The condo has pros and cons before even seeing it in person. The pros include it being down the block from my parents’ house. This will be very useful when we (read: I) have to drop off our future children with my parents when I go to work. It is also large, with 1,310 square feet.  It has the 2 bedrooms and 2 baths that we want as well.  The cons right now include that it does not have a garage and there is no window over the kitchen sink – 2 things I wanted to have, but that I can live without. Another con that might or might not be true is that it is only accessible by an outdoor stair case. Although we are a young couple, I have nerve damage in my ribs that does not allow me to carry heavy things, especially up and down stairs. I am not completely sure if this location has that issue or not. It might be accessible by elevator only which would be fine. Finally, another con is tandem parking. This is an issue because our schedule’s are different. One of us will either have to move the others car every day to get in and out of the parking garage or the other will have to come down to move our vehicle. This is not very convenient, but something we can work around (especially if there are guest parking spots we can use).

While I am hopeful for this location I am very hesitant to get excited about it or to even think that I will like it. I am going in without the best feelings. Maybe that’s a good sign. Either way, wish us luck to find a location to move into before we get married!
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