Sunday, August 19, 2012

House Shopping?

I'm kinda in a state of not knowing what to do.  There is a house for sale here in town that is a foreclosure, it is 7 years old, 500 square feet bigger than the Shack, but still 2 bedrooms.  It has a 2 car attached garage as well as a screened porch on the back and a huge front porch (my favorite thing is to read a book on the porch swing at my parent's house).  The house is priced CHEAP.  I know who the owners were, and they took good care of it.  I'm trying to decide if I want to pack up everything and move to a new house.  The downsides are that I don't care for one of the neighbors, the lot is smaller than I have now (I love a big yard), and it has electric baseboard heat (I would have to upgrade to a gas furnace).  However, the house is priced at least 50% less than it should be so that they can get it sold.  Ack!  What to do?  I love the Shack and the neighborhood that it is in.  I don't like that I keep sinking money into it.  I have put new windows, insulation, roofing, shutters and some new flooring in it over the past 6 years.  Every time that I think I'm good for a while, something else pops up (thankfully they are minor things anymore).  Still, the draw of a house that is almost new and would allow me to get money back after the sale of the Shack is pulling me towards a move... Gonna have to make a decision soon!  Thanks for putting up with my rambling while I try to work through my thoughts!


  1. Oh wow, that's a hard one! I don't envy you there. Might be time to make the ole pros and cons list on paper and see what you come up with. I do have to say that bad neighbors can make any house less enjoyable.

  2. A great house can be ruined by terrible neighbors - especially since you say you like to spend time outside and on the porch. Can you rent out the shack and still afford the other house? It would buy you time in deciding whether or not you want to make a permanent decision on either. In the future you could still sell either home and probably profit.

    1. I can rent the Shack out for enough to cover the mortgage and insurance on it and still make some money off the rent. When I financed it, I was careful with what I did, so that if I ever ended up without a teaching job and was forced to work part-time, I could still afford it.

      One of the first things that I would do at the other house would be installing a vinyl privacy fence around the back yard so that the neighbors behind the house that I don't care for would be out of sight (an my dogs would have a safe place to run and play).

  3. This isn't the first time you have mentioned being interested in another house, so, it sounds like you have a desire to find a house that serves you better. We have been on the lookout for a different house for several years, and so far, a pros and cons list always puts our current house on top. Neighbors certainly are a part of the list. We drove past a house yesterday that we like, but, one of the houses next door is a real dump. We know that might really bug us. But if that neighbor was behind us, we might not care as much about it, because a fence could hide it.

    You say the new house is priced cheap -- but is it a cheap house? Newer houses sometimes aren't built as well as older ones. You list a lot of changes to make -- will the cost of the changes mean the house won't seem like such a great deal?

    You certainly can keep collecting retro things and displaying them in a newer house. But will you find yourself missing the feel of an older home?

    You mention your parents' house -- do they have plans to retire and move any time soon? Is their house one that you like and might want to own someday?

    So much to consider -- can't wait to see what you decide to do. Is the new house on a cul-de- sac, by the way?!?

    Finally, you mention your dogs -- didn't know you had any pets. Tell us about your dogs!

    1. I don't see this working out, so I'll share some more details on the place. The price was dropped $20,000 last Thursday, pricing it at $37,300. I contacted the realtor this morning, hoping to schedule a showing. I never heard back from her (guess I won't use her if I ever need to sell my house). Anyway, the house has multiple offers on it now, and there is a bidding war in process. I don't want it bad enough to go through all of that. It isn't on a cul-de-sac, either.

      I'm thinking that maybe I should just wait a few more years to pay down more on the Shack and then add a porch to it, as well as expanding the garage (I have room next to my house for this), and add a utility room and an office on to the back. Then, I will pretty much have the house I really want.

      As for Mom and Dad's house. It is on a huge lot (like 5 or 6 lots - 1 lot away from being half a city block), it has a 2 car detached garage, and a shop that holds another car, the boat, and the travel trailer. I'd love a place like that. However, the neighborhood has gone downhill since I grew up there. The neighborhood is full of smaller homes that were owned by older people. It was nice and quiet. However, when they passed away, the houses became rentals. They didn't exactly draw then kinds of people you really want to live around. Plus, Mom is in her mid 50s, and while she would like to look at the possibility of moving, Dad absolutely refuses, so I don't see them going anywhere in the near future.

      So, for right now, I'll most likely be staying put (unless another nearly new house shows up at a bargain basement price).

  4. I understand what you are saying about the area surrounding your parents' house. My husband bought the house he grew up in from his parents, but eventually sold it because every house around it became a rental to university students. It's now a rental too. So sad when neighborhoods change like that. We've had a grad student move onto our street, even though we're much farther from campus now. Since so many students have cars nowadays, they can live anywhere. (And party anywhere, unfortunately!)


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