Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Buy This House

The Partner does not like it when I spout words such as these: "Our house is going to be on the market for a very, very long time" and "All the houses we want to buy will already be sold by the time we get an offer on ours. "He calls it negativity; I call it reality. What he considers optimism is what I look at as lying to oneself. I hate lies.

We knew going into this that there are a few significant factors working against our home's place in the real estate market. Its position on a busy road is one of them. Its two bed, one bath status is another. The fact that it is over 200 years old will probably scare away some people who would otherwise be attracted to the reasonable price.

For all those reasons, I'm inclined to put off our search for a new home until we have an offer on this place. That way I won't get my heart set on a property that someone else will snatch up while wait for ours to sell.

The Partner, on the other hand, believes in the necessity of familiarizing ourselves with what's out there so that we aren't forced to make a rushed decision once we finally do sell our house. He also thinks we should put in an offer contingent upon the sale of our home if we happen to find a place we're in love with.

Well, I refuse to fall in love with another house just to watch some home-wrecker come and take it away from me. It hasn't even been a full week since we started going on showings and already, the first house we looked at (and really liked) sold.

What would you do in such a situation? Put the search on hold or keep looking?


Mrs. Chicky said...

I'm with you in that I wouldn't want to fall in love with a house and have the rug (or the house, in this case) pulled out from under me. I've seen a number of houses in the last year and I've fallen for a few, and then I spend the next couple of weeks pining for them knowing they weren't right for one reason or another.

But I have to admit, realtor.com is stupidly addictive.

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of change, so as soon as there's a whiff in the air, I get ahead of myself.

We've been looking around, but we're not ready - physically, necessary work has not been done - to put our house on the market. I imagine the ensuing turmoil if we actually found a place we want with a knot in my stomach.

I see both sides. I'm a big fan of the contingency clause, although I don't know how well they work in reality, having only made the one real estate transaction to buy our current house.

Mrs. Chicken said...

Friend, I bought two houses and sold one in nine months. I speak from experience.

Keep looking. The partner is right on this one. It is Murphy's Law. If you wait until your house is sold and you're closing in six weeks, you won't be able to find a thing.

And you'll end up in a crappy neighborhood with an elementary school that has an 80 percent poverty rate and your kitchen cabinets will spontaneously jump off the walls.

Honest, go look at everything. You'll find the right one exactly when you are supposed to.

toyfoto said...

I agree with the partner, too, although I understand the angst. The WHOLE process of buying and selling houses can take forever. And it's possible that you'll sell your house before you find an acceptable alternative. And you'll be living out of boxes, in storage or at the in-laws until you get settled again.

I say look.

Joker The Lurcher said...

both our houses have been bought on a whim (mine not my husband's). the first time, in fact both times, we weren't even looking to move. both houses just leapt out at us.

Wendy said...

I am with you. I am sorry to say, but that is how we got our house. There was another offer, but they had to sell their house first. I thought they would get it, because their offer was higher. Nope, we got it, because they couldnt get another loan until their house sold.

I like to think that they found a much better house than ours and is living happily ever after.

TSM said...

It's not your fault...or your house's fault.

It's the housing market's fault!

I have always found that timing is everything, and only when the time is perfect will the perfect house come along with perfect buyers for your house, etc etc.

Keep the faith!

jen said...

i am with you, sister. i couldn't take the heartbreak of finding the perfect house and having it wickedly snatched away due to my own lack of house-selling-ness.

not that i'll ever own a house. but if i did, that's how i think i'd feel.

with that said, perhaps listen to Mrs. Chicken instead.

Amy said...

oh I have been there and there is nothing worse than being stuck in a property chain and dependent on others to complete.

If I were to do it again, I would familiarise myself with the areas that I like. Investigate the type or property that I like and compile a list to give to estate agents. Build up a good relationship with the estate agents ahead of the time but only seriously look once an offer on my own house had been accepted.

At least then any contingency would be for a short period of time. I think this'll save the nerves a bit.

all the best in your hunt!

Michele said...

I have been there, and I was like you, but in the long run we were far batter off for having looked around alot before we bought. Its like looking for a job when you already have one, the pressure is off so you can be choosey. When you lose your job (or in this case, house) you have to find aomething quick so you make the round peg fit into the square hole and buy lots of caulk. Skip the caulk and find the square peg.

In this market sellers are much more willing to accept contingencies than they were two years ago.

Andrea said...

I'll be in your shoes in the next year or so (hopefully, because I want to move to a different house before this one shrinks any more). I've given this a fair bit of thought, actually, and I am with The Partner on this one. There's no harm in being prepared, knowing your options and getting a feel for the market. The hard part is not letting yourself get attached to "the perfect house" if such a thing exists. I know I would have a hard time resisting that.

My cousin-in-law is a realtor and she recently moved, so I paid attention to her methods. They put several offers on houses contingent on the sale of their own house, and they watched as several other buyers trumped their contingency contracts. But they got an offer on their house, accepted it and happened to find an incredible house all in the same week, so the timing just fell into place for them. A few weeks later, they closed on both properties on the same day and moved in one weekend. But they went through months of looking.

Now, I just have to get my husband convinced that if we sell our house, we won't have to spend a year renting an apartment to find the perfect house to move to. He doesn't think the timing ever works out so his backup plan is to rent for awhile (cheaply to save money) and then when we can, start offering when we don't have a contingency holding us back.

Amy said...

BE VERY POSITIVE- or your house won't sell. We say things like "their house is never going to sell, because they keep saying it won't." Every week I hear someone in the office say that, but it could be a completely different market up NORTH. One that accepts negativity?

Redneck Mommy said...

I love ya Binky, but I got to say, I'm agreeing with the partner. Just this once, though.

I think you should just look (half-heartedly) and learn about the prospective neighbourhoods where you would like to live.

At least then you will have background info, like schools, traffic, where the nearest gas station is...etc..when it is time to buckle down and get serious.

And it's always fun to go and see how other people live, right? Think of the decorating nighmares you could learn from.

Really, how can you not feel good when you go to a house and see the hot pink walls and emerald green carpet? Doesn't that make you smile just a bit????

Good luck, chicky and hang in there.

Marie said...

As a Realtor I know that timing does mean a lot, but so does finding the right house. Don't wait until your house sells, and you can put the contingency in both contracts (the one you are selling and the one you want to buy), but you still have to live in your new home and I am sure you want it to be a perfect fit for your family. Get out there and start looking!!
p.s. it is a buyer's market right now so that is in your favor! Good luck!!!