Like everyone else in the world, hubby and I are wanting to buy a home in Austin. It’s time to downsize, and I love the idea of breaking out of our rut and starting new projects. The last time we bought a home, I don’t even think HGTV existed. Now I know how to tear down walls and build a fireplace. This makeover beast is ready to roar.
But after our first weekend of hunting, we learned that long gone are the days of looking at a house, thinking about it, going back for another tour, then coming in with a lower offer. Now you get one look (usually fifteen minutes, because there are four other buyers with their realtors waiting on the driveway). You get in, decide if you can live your life in this building (most half the size of what we’re accustomed to), smell for anything close to black mold (not really sure what it smells like), scope the neighbors to see if they have a saw mill or shooting range in the backyard, then submit your ridiculous offer, which is still probably too low.
So needless to say, when touring, I keep my focus sharp. Recently, one house held great appeal. It was tiny, but it faced a park. Charming! But being the wise shoppers we are, my husband suggested we make sure it was in fact a park and not a chemical plant run off zone. There was a sign next to a quaint little bridge over a creek so I figured it would identify the property. As we approached, I envisioned myself starting each morning with a walk through nature’s glory, becoming one with Mother Earth and all her beauty. But then we saw this:
As I jumped on my husband’s back, my mind started twirling. This wasn’t a neighbor’s handwritten note, warning others that she saw something scary while walking her dog. This wasn’t a sturdy, but temporary sign the park management put out to warn of recent sightings. This. Was. Metal. Posted in the ground. With concrete. The existence of venomous snakes had been going on for some time, and they didn’t expect the situation to change.
So as the clock was ticking on our offer window, I weighed the situation. The house was small, yes, but in great condition. The neighborhood looked to be well preserved. But when I walked out to commune with Mother Nature, would there be a rattler on my sidewalk? Did I really want to pay 30% more than market value so that I could go out to my garage and find a copperhead resting under my car. Hmmmmmmmm.
I loved this!
Good luck with the house hunting. I think I’ll just stay where I am.
No reason to leave if you’re happy. I think we’re looking for a change more than anything.
Great post Chris! Take heart. It took us literally 3 1/2 years to find the house we are currently in. We bought at the height of the market (ouch!), but I always say it was cheaper than psychotherapy. 😀 That being said, downsizing is a tremendous change. This craziness in the market should settle down, especially as more homes become available in the spring. Don’t let anybody push you into such a big decision. Texas is one of the places we loved living best, but when a scorpion crawls out of the box UPS just delivered, you realize there is always a trade-off for a great climate. Hugs!
Good to hear you survived a similar situation. Fortunately, we’re in no rush, except for being excited to jump in. Downsizing is keeping us occupied though. Eeek!