I’m not sure I should make a post about it yet, since these things fall through. But everything is moving forward, so why not? Maybe in a few weeks I’ll be making this post all over again about a different house, or maybe in a few weeks we’ll be moving in. I guess only time will tell!
We started casually looking for a place back in March. Browsing Zillow. Going to open houses. I liked a lot of the places we saw, but I didn’t love anything. Something was holding me back.
The truth is, I was still holding on to hope that our landlord would decide to sell his house (and when selling it I was also hoping he might sell it for the paltry price we could afford to pay rather than the million or so that it’s worth). I finally worked up the courage to ask him, and he confirmed that he would not be selling the house. Ever.
I got off the phone and sobbed for a minute or two (have I mentioned I really love this place?).
Now we could keep on renting, but financially it really is better for us to buy right now. With all of Violet’s medical bills we aren’t saving much of anything (at all!), and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. So if we buy a home we can at least start building up equity every month for the same price we are paying in rent.
Our initial wants in a house were pretty simple:
-2 bathrooms, or one bathroom with the potential to put in a second.
-Some kind of little city yard.
-Easy commute to my office by public transportation.
-Mortgage payment that works out close to what we are paying in rent.
Not too long of a list right? Well as we started looking at houses our wish list kept growing… We soon added:
-Parking (the slight increase in home prices with parking will be worth it for what we save in tickets when we forget alternate side parking rules).
-Usable basement (I need somewhere to banish the children).
Our realtor showed us a lovely little duplex which had recently been renovated. “Look at these granite counter tops! And the cabinets!” He exclaimed. “Yeah, they’re nice. But the yard isn’t big enough for chickens…”
Some kind of yard was changed into “yard big enough for chickens.”
Our realtor showed us a pretty perfect little brownstone, right by the park, built in 1910 and still toting most of the original charm. “What do you guys think?” he asked excitedly. I’m pretty sure he thought this was it. “Well it’s nice. I like those original fireplaces… I just didn’t see any rain gutters.” He looked a little surprised. “It’s in the middle of the row of houses, so the gutters probably drain from the houses on the end of the row rather than the ones in the middle.” “Yeah. We need a house with rain gutters. So we can catch the rain in our rain barrel. And water our plants.” “Oh.”
I could tell we sounded like those high maintenance couples on House Hunters. “Not enough natural light!” “This open concept floor plan isn’t open enough for me!” Except for us it was chickens, and yards, and trees, and our realtor was like “Ya’ll know this is the city right?” Which I felt a little guilty about. But it didn’t stop me. Rob suggested that perhaps I didn’t actually want to move. Maybe I loved our little rental so much that I secretly wanted to keep on renting. Maybe he was right.
A couple days later our realtor sent us another house.
It had 3 bedrooms. And 2 bathrooms. And parking. And a basement. And a yard big enough for chickens. And rain gutters. But it was ever so much further from public transportation than I wanted to be.
We decided to take a look. It was more of a “thanks for trying” look, rather than a “I really want to see this house” look. I appreciated our realtors efforts even though I wasn’t actually that in to the MLS link for the house. I figured there would be some reason to veto it after seeing it anyway.
We loved it.
The only downside is that it’s further out than we wanted. The plus of it is that it’s right by a CitiBike station (that’s our bike share program for those who aren’t from around here). Perhaps I’ll get in shape by riding a bike to the subway station everyday? Knowing me, probably not, but it’s fun to imagine. (There’s also a bus a block away.) It’ll likely add 10 minutes or so to my commute. But honestly, what’s 10 minutes if we love the house?
It does need a little work… But everything in our price range does, and we are good with that.
We’re under contract now and I can’t wait!