Is house hunting turning me into a crazy person?
CW and I have recently aquired the services of a real estate agent and a mortgage lender and the hunt is officially on. We’ve spent ages poring over the MLS, looking at photos online, and have finally started seeing houses. So far, we’ve seen three in person and will see five (!) more this afternoon. Here’s the thing: one of the first three we saw, we really, really like. We both keep thinking about it more and more and liking it more, not less, when we consider it. It’s listed at just a bit more than we’d like to pay and we don’t love the particular shade of brick, but otherwise, we basically love it.
I just keep hearing that you shouldn’t fall in love with the first house you see (it was the third we saw, but the principle still applies, I think) and that you for sure shouldn’t fall in love with any house until the inspection. Of course. And, I mean, I don’t know. Are we in love, or is it just a crush?
At any rate, the five houses we’re seeing this afternoon are all similar to the object of our crush, but priced a little better. Online, none of them looks quite as great, but we’ll see. Maybe you get what you pay for, I keep thinking. Maybe they’ll come down on the price, I keep thinking. If we don’t like any of these other houses as much in person as we like The One We Like, we might just make an offer.
It’s funny: this whole house hunting project has me (well, both of us, but this is my blog so I’m not going to write about my husband’s feelings) — it has me really evaluating what I want, and finding that it perhaps wasn’t what I thought I wanted initially. I’d always pictured specific neighborhoods and older houses that could be fixed up: places “with character” that I could “make my own.” I think I may have been overestimating exactly how cool I am. I may also have watched too many episodes of Property Brothers.
When moving from hypothetical dream fixer-uppers to potentially real purchases, real dollars, and real work, I suddenly find myself less and less interested in doing much renovation. Painting and changing certain fixtures? Sure. Replacing all counters, cabinets, flooring, and appliances in a kitchen? No. Anything that involves (re)moving a wall? Absolutely not. We are two busy people who work full time and are trying to procreate. Ain’t nobody got time for that. So it turns out that rather than an older fixer-upper in an established neighborhood, what seems more attractive to me now is a newer house that might not be in the center of town but that requires very little work to move in. Basically, a house in a subdivision: the antithesis of cool. I’m not even sorry.
The whole thing has the feeling of being a gamble, too. We started looking a little early — we don’t need to make an offer this month in order for the timing of a summer move to work out. So do we make a move now, or wait? Do we go for the house we like best now? Or do we risk losing that one while waiting to see if something better comes on the market when the “busy season picks up,” which is supposed to happen “soon”? Hmpf.
I suppose we will figure it out. In the meanwhile, we’ll probably both be spending at least two hours a day scouring online listings, squinting at terrible real estate photography, and trying to answer some of life’s most difficult questions, such as “is that a tile shower?” or “why is there a water heater in middle of this ‘bonus room’?”