Significant Other and I have started looking for a house to buy in our fair city. We have property that we own together in Hawaii and New York, but as our original intent was to make our time in our fair city a fairly short affair, we never considered the prospect of home ownership here. As we've now been in LaLa land for nine years, prices are plummeting, and mortgage rates on thirty-year fixed loans are at historic lows it is probably really time to think seriously about getting our piece of the rock here. Doing the open house crawl thing on a Sunday afternoon is a very eye opening experience.
- We visited an open house where the family was still home. According to the selling agent they've been in the home for a number of years, but for whatever reason can no longer afford the mortgage. It is really uncomfortable to visit a home when you know that the family who owns it isn't leaving on their own terms. I mean, you want to get the best deal for yourself as a buyer, but it is a lot easier to take advantage of the unfortunate circumstances of others if you dispassionately think of the sellers as a statistic. You know, "Nearly 12% of all mortgage holders in the U.S. who are at least one month late on their payments …" It is a totally different thing to see them sitting together on a sofa as you wander through their living room like a vulture after a kill. As a teenager, that family was mine … We came very close to losing our home and it is a fear that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. It made my stomach hurt and made me sad.
- The saying, "location, location, location …" is true even in our economy today. What amount to the identical houses located five blocks apart can vary by three hundred thousand dollars and more.
- I'm Asian and S/O is Italian-American. We make decent money, but the bottom line is that we've come to realize that we cannot afford to live with white people. After visiting a few open houses we pulled up to a very modest house in our neighborhood (which is kind of upwardly transitional). People in the neighboring house were sitting on the lawn in their Adirondack chairs with their gorgeous blond baby. I bet S/O lunch that the house was out of our price range and my free lunch was delicious.
- Looking around made me realize that I don't need a lot of house to be happy, but I think that I need two bathrooms. S/O and I get together for work at the same time and I'd drive me nuts to have to share. I found that when I found out that houses were just one bathroom I tended to no longer be able to see myself living in it very easily.
- I don't don't have a good imagination. I can't imagine how good a fixer upper can look after it would get fixed up. I won't be a good house bargain finder … It is task that will best be left to S/O.
- I fell in love with a bank owned house just three blocks from our current apartment–three bedrooms and two bath. There is also a detached garage that still functions as a garage, but also has a apartment with a kitchen, full bathroom, and a bedroom attached. It is currently out of our price range, but if it comes down a bit we may be in the ballpark because of the rental income that the property can generate. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!!
Keep your fingers crossed for me!!!