Thursday, May 05, 2005

Home Shuffle

We're planning to move. Not real far, in terms of distance, but considerably in terms of time. Trish's commute can take anywhere from 30 minutes (way off peak time, i.e., when she doesn't go very often) to an hour, worse in bad weather or if there has been an accident. I'm well aware that some people would kill for that commute, but it’s the sort of thing that gets to her and me after a while. So we'd like to get in closer to her place of work.

We are picky people when it comes to houses. I'm the pickier one, but if a house passes my muster its almost certain to pass hers, so it makes for an efficient division of labor for me to make a first pass at house-looking and then bring her in.

The problem is that we are low on houses to choose from. We had a list of eight when I took Trish around (culled from even longer lists we had started from), and some of those eight I doubted very much were worth the candle, but I know my biases and so left them on the list. Two went under contract before we could even get to them. Of the rest, only two more were really worthy of further thought, and those were not without serious issues as well.

One was a quite lovely home, tastefully decorated, but very problematic in terms of its layout. The other house had more space and a better arrangement of rooms, but a much smaller yard and lots of signs of water damage. The water issues may or may not be properly taken care of . The house was a foreclosure and the bank is going to fix it up before sale, but will it go far enough in dealing with the problems?

Then we have the matter of timing. We want to move out of our current house before putting it on the market. It needs some cosmetic repairs, and it would just be much, much easier to do what needs doing with us and the dogs and the cats mucking about. But we're about to hit the slow season for home selling. If we don't get going by early June, it might sit on the market for months. On the other hand, mortgage rates are still pretty low. Will they be this low next year, or six months from now? Would it be worth it to pay two mortgages for 6-8 months in order to get a good rate now (a point might mean tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of a 30-year note). But we have to live in this house. Is "good enough" now going to be good ten years from now? Argh.

1 comment:

Harry said...

Visible signs of water damage and you're still considering it? Run, man, run. Water damage is like an iceberg.