The Backstory: Last year, we put our house on the market. And sold it. Four times over. And still managed to close 8 weeks after it went on the market. In the middle of selling it and re-selling it (due to a variety of reasons), the company my husband worked for was sold and he decided to go freelance... something we had been working towards for a long, long time. So, we decided to rent. We found a rental in our preferred neighborhood (well, my preferred neighborhood...), and managed to move in 10 days before we closed on our house. There was too much simultaneous change happening all at once for us to feel comfortable committing to our next house. As it was we were moving across state lines (and all that entails), and while we felt comfortable we had found the right town in the new state... we weren’t on the same page as to what we thought was “next.”
Yes, it was about as stressful as it sounds.
Today: We are 100% confident we chose the right town. We are utterly thrilled to be here and ready to see what’s next for our family. We are pretty sure we want to buy here, sooner rather than later. The town is small, and the inventory is limited. When something that works for a family comes on the market, it sells. Quickly. And we are finding that the Goldilocks “juuuusssttt riiiiggghhhtt” homes are few and far between.
But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing out there. There is. We just know we need to be ready to move when we see something we like. And we are being pretty open-minded as to what that could be...
The Fixer Upper: Lots of houses pop onto the market that are either too small or too outdated for us. We definitely want what is now considered a “smaller sized” home, having had too large of a home last time. But we won’t all survive in a 1200 square foot home with a kitchen that dates back to the 70s. That’s a fact. There have been a few homes that come on that we could “easily” update/expand.... but that would require us to stay in our current rental and to dip into our savings more than we [probably] feel comfortable with. And when I say “easily,” I mean it sounds easy but it won’t be and it will probably require more contractors than I can imagine at this point. That said, I’m still stalking those real estate listings, and pinning a variety of updating ideas.
The Turnkey House: On the other hand, we can buy a turnkey house that someone else has fixed up that mostly suits our style and change what we want, when we want... with no urgency attached to it. We’ve seen these come on the market, and not surprisingly, go in a matter of days. (We are never disappointed by this as we have yet to come across the right house at the right time... and I take it as a sign of good things to come...) There’s something to be said for moving in and moving on. Even though it goes against my history of coming in, and making my mark... and I don’t mean the scuff marks I’m sure my kids will add to wherever we end up next! It’s still very early in the season and a couple of these have already hit the market. (And sold, natch.) So I stalk those listings as well... if for no other reason than noting what I like, and don’t like, about each home.
For now, all we can do is continue to explore our options, keep an open dialogue between us, and check out any (and all) interesting listings. And if neither of these work out... we still have our rental to fall back on. While we are definitely ready to move on... it’s 100% less stressful than where we were last year with our house sold, no rental, and uncertainty in so many different aspects of life...
I find it exciting. In fact, it’s a little bit fun. Not so sure my husband feels the same way... but he’s tolerating my obsessive pontification on the matter. For now.
Note: Regardless as to which route we take, we will net out around the same cost. It’s just a matter of if it’s all tied up in a mortgage, or only some of it is in the mortgage and with the remainder funded seperately. (Read: savings and home improvement loans.)