March 12, 2009
Last Friday, our real estate agent (the same one we used when we bought our house- we LOVE her, she’s so awesome) came over. She came to see our house so we could get an idea of what we could possibly maybe sell it for. Like… soon.
Excuse me while I pass out.
We will be in our house 5 years at the end of this month. On one hand, it feels like there is no possible way it’s been that long already. I feel like it was just yesterday we were living in our little apartment with 4 tiny windows and closet-sized kitchen and no outside access with our 3 pieces of furniture. And now we have a house filled with so. much. stuff. plus a kid. Um, what?
On the other hand, it feels like we’ve lived here forever. This is the only place where I’ve lived longer than my childhood home (which was 18 years or so, where I lived until I left for college) This is the place where we brought our first baby home. This is the place where we sweat and worked and cried over home improvement projects (okay, so maybe I was the only one who actually cried.) This is the place where we really settled in and made it our first real home together, as a couple and as a family.
But really, it’s going to be time to move soon.
NO I AM NOT PREGNANT. (That’s the first thing people have asked me when I’ve mentioned moving.) But probably in the next year or so, we’ll be ready to consider Baby #2- for real, not just in a ‘yeah someday when we have another kid’ way. And in this house where we live now… a second baby would work, kinda-sorta. We could do it if we had to. But it would be tight, and since we don’t really have to stay here for any particular reason, I’d rather not. Also, I don’t want to be 9 months pregnant and moving, nor do I want to have a newborn baby and moving. Neither of those scenarios sound like very much fun to me.
(Did I mention that I’m kind of a planner?)
We are fortunate. Pittsburgh has been faring much better than most parts of the country with this economy. And our specific area is still doing pretty well, real-estate wise. It’s still growing constantly- businesses opening and moving in all the time- and our house is right in that ‘First Time Home Buyer’ price range, which (according to Mrs. Real Estate Agent) is a range that is selling strong and quickly right now, relatively speaking. So I count our blessings for that.
We’re trying to start this process slowly. I say trying because I have a tendency to, um, obsess over things. Which is exactly what happened when we bought this house, actually. Dan got a raise at work, and our lease at our apartment was coming up for renewal in a few months, and we had already lived there for 2 years. We thought, Let’s just see what’s out there, what we could possibly afford, just to get an idea. Window shop, if you will.
5 weeks and 30 houses later, we bought one. whoops.
But this time, the implications are higher. School district, layout, number of bedrooms, nice yard for kids to play in, something that hopefully doesn’t need a ton of work (unlike this house, oy, did we do some work on this one.) We would like the next house to be one that will last a while, preferably until our kids are graduated from high school (which also means kind of making a decision now for how many more kids we’d like to have. We’re both pretty solidly landing on one more and we’re done. Not cutting or snipping anything prematurely of course, but I think we’ll be done at 2 kids.)
We’re also on the fence about WHERE the house should be. As in: do we want a house in a development? (those are WAY WAY WAY easier to come by in our area, we could probably find one we liked in a week or so, seriously) Or do we want to have one out on its own, with an acre or two of land? Those are around here too, but much harder to come by, more expensive, and if they’re not expensive, they need a lot of work. We both love the idea of not having neighbors RIGHTNEXTDOOR,OMGTHEYCANSEEINOURWINDOWS, but I also think that with kids, living in a neighborhood with other kids close by, having a place to go for walks in the evening after dinner- all of that is really great and something to keep on the list as Important Things To Think About. (Anyone have opinions or advice on this? If you grew up in a house not in a development, were you lonely or was it hard sometimes not having friends to play with close by?)
Anyway. So lots to consider. We haven’t actually gone to visit any houses yet. Mrs. Real Estate Agent is coming back on Monday evening to give us the results of her market analysis so we’ll have a better idea of what sort of down payment we’ll have- the profit on the house plus what we’ve paid off, minus fees and closing costs, plus any savings we manage to get together by our self-imposed deadline. Then we’ll talk to some mortgage brokers about pre-approval, and all of that will (hopefully) help us narrow down a price range. Simple, right? HA!
There is an open house next Sunday at a house that we like, so I think we’re going to go check it out. Very casual, you know: Don’t let the house know you’re REALLY interested. Keep it cool, man. We’re just window shopping.
But boy did that get us into trouble the last time.