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Emotional real estate

June 23rd, 2013 at 07:30 am

As I’ve mentioned, my DH and I are in the process of buying our first home. We’ve been saving for a down payment ever since we were married and living in the same place. We finally reached the point where we felt secure in our jobs/location for the long-term, and so we decided to pull the trigger.

When we started looking, we narrowed our focus into a particular neighborhood based on community feel, type/cost of home, and quality of the local schools. But we were willing to consider homes in a couple of other (more expensive) neighborhoods as well. We set a range for our budget, based on available down-payment funds, and started looking at homes.

And then we found my dream home. Like my forever dream home. I walked inside and I knew. It was perfect. It was a cute Dutch colonial, my favorite style of home. It was immaculate on the inside; it had been completely gutted and modernized by someone who clearly knew what they were doing and put great care into the work. It was also at the very, very top of our price range.

My DH had doubts, but I reasoned them all away. I was in love, and I wanted that house. So we wrote an offer the very same day. I was sure someone was going to steal the house away. But DH insisted that we sleep on it before submitting it. The next day, removed from the proximity of the house, we talked it through again. It wasn’t in the right neighborhood; in fact it was a little isolated from other houses. It wasn’t walking distance to the school or to any playgrounds/parks. There was no evidence that any children lived nearby at all. Who would DS play with? Although the *house* was perfect, clearly the location was not. And by buying at the top of our range, we would be tying up more money in our home and limiting choices in the future. We decided not to make the offer after all.

Instead, we refocused on our original choice for a neighborhood, and found the home we are currently under contract for. It is a little bit smaller, and it needs a little work, but I really love it. It is two blocks from a playground and walking distance to the elementary school. There’s a big backyard for DS to run around in, and the neighborhood is packed with kids. And it is at the very bottom of our price range.

The best news is that the other house, the dream house, is still on the market. The sellers have lowered the price twice. And to think I was worried someone would steal it away! I think that generally I have a pretty good head on my financial shoulders, but in this situation I am so grateful that my better half (DH) was there.

4 Responses to “Emotional real estate”

  1. snafu Says:

    Since Dutch Colonial [D Cl] is your preferred style and the house purchased needs some updating, what can you and DH do to incorporate features or colors from the house still on the market? I suggest you print of each photo from the on-line site to help the process.

    Every realtor will tell you the most important factor in buying a home is location. Being in your preferred location with good schools, playground, backyard for kids is so important. I'd worry about buying a significantly refurbished home as all too often the work is cosmetic but underlying programs may not have been addressed. What lurkes behind walls?

    I've learned from a series of moves that paint is a relatively inexpensive DIY. D CL exteriors ar mostly Heritage colors with bright white trim and well planned landscaping. Their Gambrel roof can be replicated at the front entry and a porch could be an add-on in your large back yard sometime in the future. I've not been in many but interiors all had soft, pastel colors, white painted kitchen cupboards and that Dutch clean, uncluttered ambiance.

  2. rob62521 Says:

    Buying a home is very emotional and sometimes we get so caught up in living the dream, we forget the financial aspect of location or neighbors or... Glad you have found a wonderful place and are making it your own.

  3. baselle Says:

    I had a similar story - substitute condo for house. However, I found a condo that was under my budget, and the view from the back was of Thornton Creek which meant it was green, leafy, shady, and beautiful. I fell in love with it immediately. However, I slept on it and decided that while it was cheap it was not walkable - nowhere to walk to, the one bus line not terribly dependable - so I'd have to buy a car, which means more. And as soon as you throw in snow, lack of walkability turns into a total nightmare. Still, I think about that back view.

  4. Wino Says:

    I have been casually looking at houses with DW for the last 6 months or so. We had an ideal place that we set up a viewing, three days after our call, but it sold before our appointment even came up. I vowed NOT to use that realtor when I sell my present place. Imagine selling a house that someone is flying 7000 miles to look at, without giving them a chance to even see it. Of course, Houston is very much a sellers' market right now, so that is a large part of it. My neighborhood is the highest "flash sale" rate in the State, with about 20% of the houses going under contract within 24 hours of going on the market.

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