spectating participant

July 10, 2006

housing adventure continues

Filed under: family, life — suzanne henderson @ 1:41 pm

Yet another update of the ever changing wind of where we’ll live in the immediate future. The idea of staying in a one-bedroom basement apt, while had it merits, is not to be due to the requests of the homeowners. I’ve no problem with it cause it isn’t really what I wanted, just a response to the dire situation of not being able to find anything to rent that we can be comfortable in.

But, as of July 1, Chris has a raise and the minimal contribution it will annually provide has provided us an additional 35K of purchasing power. So, back into the housing quest because it is so obvious that it will be cheaper for us, monthly and maybe overall, to purchase versus rent.

We spent Sunday morning looking at 6 or 7 houses — I started to lose track. We found one, a four bedroom house with full basement, a spacious addition, and large yard for less than $200K. It was certainly the best of the bunch, but we’ve got concerns about the water and odor in the basement that we’re going to pass on pursuing. Our loan product requires that the house be in decent condition and we’re not going to spend almost $1K to find out that we won’t be able to get the house. Plus, it is not a neighborhood I was fond of and the middle school is quite poor.

The second to last house we saw was quite small. It is listed as a one bedroom house but has a finished attic currently being used as a bedroom. The attic is even finished properly as it is well insulated and quite cool versus all the other “finished” attics we’ve seen which are sweltering hot. This house is quite small, extremely small — but it suddenly grew in size upon our final house inspection when we saw a house even smaller (and for $12K more). The “one-bedroom” house is our pick of the litter and by no means a dream house for either of us. However, it is in great condition and it will provide us rental income when it comes time in a few years to move. It is in the UMBC area and is quite convenient for students so maybe we’ll rent it out to a graduate student family or something when we feel it is time to move. The house provides a decent school for Alex and a neighborhood that we’ll be happy to be in for a while. Also, we couldn’t afford to rent in this neighborhood for this much space, as limited as it may be.

Of course, we’ve not put a contract on it just yet — so I could be counting way too many chickens before they hatch. As soon as our agent gets back in town today, we’ll be in business to pursue it further. Hopefully this evening even. Also, while we now have another 35K of buying power, we’re only looking to use about 10K of it — just enough to actually open up some possibilities for us but not enough to hang ourselves financially.

Finally, what was our previous compromise to fit 3 people into an 1,000 sq. foot one-bedroom apartment seems reasonable to justify 3 people in a 1,112 square foot (not counting attic & basement) one-bedroom house.