Saturday, April 28, 2012

Real estate blues

To make a long probably boring story short, we are thinking about moving. Who knows when--not this year, but maybe not even until 2014--but that hasn't kept me from stalking the real estate listings. I knew inventory would be low for us--it was when we moved in and I knew this time wouldn't be any different--but I think I underestimated how low it would be. When we moved in here we were basically looking for a house that was safe for the boys (especially Mr. Man), which meant not falling down and a fully fenced yard. Even with just those criteria there were only two houses that fit, and one yard was only partially fenced so it really should have been out of the running from the beginning.

Anyway. Since it's on my mind I thought I'd post some pictures of houses that I've rejected. Our criteria this time: four bedrooms, fully fenced yard, not too far from the boys' school district (we have open enrollment here so we can live in the other district in the city and still send them to the one they're in now), a real entryway, and either a screened or sceenable porch. Sorry for any small pics; they're from various real estate sites.

House #1

Cute, right? The kitchen is the typical remodeled in the '60s type, but the house has original woodwork, original light fixtures and a decent-looking bathroom (although that toilet looks super close to that shower). The problem with this one is that the lot is postage stamp-sized. It's .08 acres. I don't even know how that's possible; if the house burned down who knows if the insurance company would allow us to rebuild. I want a bigger yard, not one half the size.

House #2

Definitely not as cute. It's a foreclosure, which I'd like to avoid if possible. This house is actually right around the corner from us, and it's one of the very few non-split level houses in our subdivision. The listing says one and a half stories, although it looks like two to me. Why was it rejected? Multiple reasons, but the biggest one is that it's on a slab. We live in tornado country, so to us a basement is essential. (Guess I should put that on my list.) Unfortunately I've rejected a lot of houses for being on slabs; it's the way most new homes here are built.

House #3

I actually really like this house, although I can't tell if it has a separate entry room or not. So why is it rejected? Well, I suppose it's not 100% rejected, but this house was on the market when we were looking to buy almost two years ago. It was slightly out of our price range then but it's well within it now. That made me assume that something was seriously wrong with it, so I looked it up on a different real estate site and on the county assessor's page. It's a foreclosure ("in need of some repair") and it's being sold for almost 100k less than the price listed when it was transferred back to the bank. So I guess it could be the deal of the century, but it's also about as far away from our current school district as you can get and still be in our city. Open enrollment doesn't come with bus service and that's not a drive I particularly want to make every day.

House #4

This one is slightly out of our price range, but that's not why it's off the list. First, I don't really like the houses that are up a flight of stairs like that--it makes moving day a huge pain, it makes getting into the house with children or any sort of shopping a huge pain, and more often than not they're in terrible shape and very narrow. Second, it has a tiny yard. It's actually slightly smaller than our current lot and oddly shaped to boot. It's also on the other side of town, so quite a drive from the boys' school.

I'm starting to look across the river again, in the city where B works and where we lived before we moved to this house. There's tons of inventory, but the biggest drawback is that taxes are ridiculous, usually at least twice as high as what we pay here. Also, since I'm not as familiar with the neighborhoods over there (other than the one we lived in and the ones that are on the news as major gang territory) I tend to rule out huge swaths of real estate because I just don't know if living there would be safe. I've even started looking for decent sized lots with crappy falling down houses thinking that we could somehow build our own house. I doubt it'll happen, but I'm keeping the possibility open.

No comments:

Post a Comment