Friday, November 6, 2009

The Thrill of the Hunt!

Thank you for all of the congratulations on Monday!  We are really excited!  Since I have a feeling I will be blogging a lot about all of this house stuff in the next 10 years few months.  I thought it might be fun to escort you on a trip down memory lane and share with you how we arrived at this destination. 

I alluded to the fact that we had been house hunting for an obnoxious amount of time, 4. 5 years to be exact. For the last 4 years we have spent at least 2 weekends every month, perusing open houses, annoying real estate agents, and getting our credit checked just for fun. I have spent more minutes on zillow and zip then I am proud to admit and I have discovered a hidden talent for making power-point models of floor plans complete with before and afters and our furniture penciled in.

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NICE, I know.

Join me as we visit some old favorites from the house-hunting front. These are some of the houses we have seriously, and sometimes, stupidly considered over the years.

Rockhaven:

When we first moved to the bay area we had, oh all of $30,000 we had painstakingly saved when Brakes was in graduate school simply burning a hole in our pockets. We naively thought we would be able to “walk onto,” the Northern California housing market much like Kobe did the LA Lakers, strait out of high grad school. Being the Gas, I took my job seriously and was constantly scanning the MLS, making lists of potential properties I thought we could afford. I set our cap at around $800,000. Ha! We can’t afford $800,000 now and I am no longer an hourly employee and Brakes has earned 2 promotions since then. (This is why Brakes handles our finances.) It is strange though, how the more money we made and the more prices fell, the less we feel we can afford. I guess that is what they call growing up. Sigh.

Anyways, once Brakes brought me back to earth, I started targeting areas we could actually afford and I happened upon a quaint and adorable “village” full of charming Cape-cods. We called it an “emerging,” neighborhood that was “well on its way to gentrification.” There was a house on a darling-ly named street, Rockhaven, which had the most amazing ocean views! We toured this house twice, loving the tiny floor plan, and the large albeit steep lot. At $715,000, it was a little more than Brakes felt comfortable paying so we kept our eyes on it, waiting for its price to fall. It finally sold for $695,000 after 3 months on the market. Brakes was encouraged, he was sure prices were falling. I was heart-broken; sure we had lost our only chance at home-ownership in the bay area.

Three years later, I got lost on my way to a student’s house and ended up in the same “adorable” cape-cod neighborhood. This time my savvy eyes spotted the cars up on blocks in the front-yard and the couches on porches. And I certainly could not miss the freshly chalked outline on the street and the caution tape surrounding a house, where an apparent drive-by had taken place earlier in the week. I realized the neighborhood was still “emerging,” and at a very, very slow pace. As I drove away I reflected on what a silly girl I had been shedding tears over that house a few years ago; I felt like we had dodged a bullet... And, as it turns out, we may actually have.

1 comment:

Jessica Interiors, Etc. said...

It is hard to fathom the housing prices in your area...we live in Texas, and when we tried to buy a home in Austin, we came to the realization that we just couldn't get what we wanted/needed with what we had...we had sold our home in Wisconsin, and had quite a bit to put down, but you couldn't get much, and you couldn't swing a dead cat, without hitting a neighbor's house,...so we went forty-five minutes outside of Austin, to Georgetown,where we got 2 acres of land, a new, stone house, and we could actually afford it...I don't know if the geographics of where you live allows for that, but somehow, with this housing crisis, you must be able to find something within your budget...I do so wish you well..
Thanks for your prayers for those who are suffering in Ft. Hood...it was so sad to drive down the highways today, and see all the flags at half staff...a reminder of how fortunate we are.