Tuesday, October 23, 2007

How I came to buy this bungalow

Okay, let me give you a little background on my story with the house.

Back in the winter of 2003, I decided it was time for me to make a decision. Rent or buy? It may seem strange to consider buying a house, since I had never even lived on my own before, but I had a finite amount of money in savings, and my income was (and still is- what can I say? I love my job) relatively low. So I made the decision to buy a house. I had enough for a 20% down payment on a modest house. If I had chosen to rent I would have spent all my monthly income and slowly frittered away my entire savings. To buy a house was the right choice for me.

After several visits to the financial people, and a bit of financial finagling, I was approved for a loan. Next, visit the realtor. Many, many showings of houses, mom and I realized that houses in my price range were not really habitable. Black mold is not cool, people. And I just adore indoor plumbing. We reassessed the situation, and mom decided she would help me. We go back to looking at houses, with a slight increase in the price range.

Remember, the interest rates were at an all time low by the spring of 2003, and the market was seriously, crazy hot. I remember seeing an adorable cottage on my way to work one morning, calling my realtor immediately, thinking of what to tell my supervisor so I could go see this house, like, now. Twenty minutes later she calls me back and says they've already accepted an offer, and that the house only went on the market that morning. Two hours. Crazy. Discouraging.

During this time I would drive around just looking for "house for sale" signs.

Late one afternoon in May I drove down a street in my town that I rarely used, and spotted the "auction" sign. Pulse races. Drive by slowly. Nice, big porch. Are there any leaflets? No? Down the block, turn around, pass slowly again, catch the date of the sale, drive to the next intersection, turn. There is back yard alley access. Cool. Down the alley- oops, dead-end alley doesn't go all the way to the house. No place to turn around, back out of the alley, out to the side street, turn again, approach the house slowly. Beginning to feel like a stalker. Someone behind me annoyed by my slow driving, forced to pull over close to the house. Quickly jot down the vitals: auction company and date. Speed home. Google to the rescue. Small auction company actually has a website and a page for this house! They are calling it a "1920's 2 Story Cape Cod style home 3 bedrooms on a 40'x150'". Super excited, too chicken, I make mom call, she sets up an appointment.

Take dad along to see house. He knows houses. He built his own. He does plumbing, heating, and metal roofing for a living.

So we go to see this house one evening, and it is nice. I like it, but I don't know if I really love it. Am I just getting discouraged by not finding anything with the realtor. It's not like a pair of shoes, you get something you kind of like, it does the job, but you know you'll keep looking for the perfect pair: you know, the ones that go with pants and skirts, are comfortable enough to wear all day, and are still really cute. This was going to by my house for a long, long time. Cold feet? Probably.

Dad says it is a good solid house, and gives it his seal of approval. Mom and I go home to think about it. We aren't sure, and we have plenty of time to decide, the auction isn't for several weeks.

So, we'll just mull this over for a bit...

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