19 October 2011

Playing the Real Estate Game in the DC Area

It's been a five (blissful) months since we've gone out to look at houses. We were burned so badly in our search. Countless contracts, three inspections, three realtors. All for nothing. We were searching in vain for over a year by the time we decided to take a break for a while. We needed that break very badly, and the changes we made really did make a difference in our attitudes and life. In that time off, I tried to convince myself that buying a house wasn't the right choice for as many reasons as I could come up, including (but not limited to):
  • I should enjoying being young and carefree without a mortgage.
  • Spending money on concert tickets, going out to eat, etc is way more fun than spending it on a mortgage.
  • We've always wanted to live in another state doing it now before we have kids and want to be near our family makes sense.
  • The majority of our future kids' grandparents will probably move out of town in the next 10 years anyway.
  • Grad school would be the perfect opportunity to live somewhere else for a while.
  • My tools for yard work right now include kitchen scissors and a serving spoon. And I like it that way.
  • Similarly, if something breaks, our sweet land-lady arranges to get it fixed. And pays for it.
  • I love our neighbors and our neighborhood.
Then I devised an alternative five-year plan that did not include homeownership that enabled me to think of those reasons listed above. I did a really good job of convincing myself. It really was a great plan - it was valid and smart.

So I'm still not sure I want to be back in the real estate game, but for every con I came up with there is also a pro to buying right now.

Still, I don't know how I feel about it. If it says anything about our experience, we couldn't even remember our realtor's name when we wanted to contact her yesterday. Which might be understandable except that her name? It's my middle name (the one I had 'til I got married, anyway)... and I still had to look it up to remember. (It should be said that this memory black-out had nothing to do with her as a person because she's sweet as can be.)

So all this to say, we're going to start looking again. So... wish us luck? I guess? We'll see how long this lasts. Because honestly? I can see myself walking into one house and then being done again.

P.S. I'm still catching up on posting. I posted two entries (concerts, Baltimore) this weekend to start my catch-up process and plan to do more in the next week or so. And yes, I skipped over the last half of our West Coast vacation. Someday I'll get back to it. Maybe in the dead of winter to remind me of summer again.

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