Got cheese?

by - Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Warning: whiny post ahead. Feel free to skip.

Has anyone been following the housing bubble/fallout? I have, and I'm still waiting for the fallout. What recession? My area is practically immune. Reading articles, following message boards hardly makes me an expert, but I do know what I want. And I know there's no way of getting it unless I compromise. All I want is a garage townhome with 3 bedrooms, a place I can live in the rest of my life. Semi-newly built? Good schools? Prime location (for a decent commute)? Move-in ready? Right size? I'd be lucky to get 3 of 5.

Sure, I can easily increase my price range and possibly get everything I want, but I'm too cheap to be paying off a mortgage into my 50s/60s. Who in their right mind expects to buy their dream home (really, a garage townhome is my dream home) in their 20s as your first house unless you're a millionaire?! I know I'm being difficult and not following the traditional path of buying a starter home (ie, condo) and using equity to move up the housing ladder. I honestly can't foresee housing prices going up significantly in the next few years where it'd be easy to move up to the next tier. But what do I know? People are still snatching up houses left and right that I feel are overpriced (as in, out of my budget).

Then you ask, if you're not happy with these prices, why are you even looking to buy? A part of me is ready for the next step, owning a home, starting a family, etc. Sure, lots of people do that in rentals, but it isn't what I want (and I realize I'm being greedy and wanting too much). The logical part of me believes housing is a good investment in the long run, when you're free to live in something you own without any more monthly payments. Plus, there's the help of inflation. Oh, and I also hate moving. The realistic part of me knows that I'll never be satisfied with prices and my budget. Every generation probably feels that housing is expensive and adjusts their budget according to the market. It's only looking back that we'd say, "You had it so lucky to only pay $X for a house when nowadays we're paying three times that amount for the same house. I'd snatch up $X for that house in a heartbeat." Well, if I was in that situation back then, I bet I wouldn't feel $X was cheap and rather budget according to the norm then. It's a lose-lose situation.

Sometimes I half-joke to bf that we should up and move to Atlanta or Texas, the land of cheap housing. If we didn't have family ties or steady jobs, I wonder if we really would have the guts to do so? ...probably not as I'm a wuss at heart.

Nope, don't feel bad for me. In fact, I know I come across as bitter, entitled, and unreasonable. Someone who wants too much (used 'want' 7 times in 4 paragraphs?!) and am too stubborn to compromise. Eventually, I'll grow up and realize the error of my ways. I hope to come back to this post in the future whenever I'm moody and remind myself: wake up, life isn't fair, learn to compromise.

Did you have to make compromises when purchasing your home? If so, how did you prioritize?

Thanks for putting up with me. I promise this won't be the norm. *deep breath* Knock some sense into me and bring on the honest feedback. As bf likes to say, "do you want some cheese with your whine?" :)

top: Gap
belt: J.Crew
coat: Express (currently sold here)
bracelet: disney couture
bag: Chanel

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  1. You are not alone, I was house hunting last year too but ran into the same issues you are facing now. I am taking a short break from that this year...maybe reevaluate in a while.

    I wear that coat to work everyday, haha I never take it off. It's so cold here!

  2. That coat is so the camel color. That scarf looks great- you don't know what kind it is?

  3. Ah, I know what you mean about buying...I'm the same way. I want everything my way in it but for a price that makes me happy. We found one a while back, perfect for us but it sold shortly after being posted. So we stopped looking...for now.

    Love your outfit, that coat is fab!

  4. let me know if you need help finding a townhouse. I do real estate research. Probably in your area even-though I don't know exactly where you live, but we cover a large part of the US. I can just get a list going for you before you start hiring agents that will charge you for the same list. not saying it will work out cuz i'm only giving you a list, but if you're interested in scouting out some active listings, mb drive by it, and scheduling an appt w/the selling agent to see it on your own, let me know:

  5. "All I want is a garage townhome with 3 bedrooms, a place I can live in the rest of my life. Semi-newly built? Good schools? Prime location (for a decent commute)? Move-in ready? Right size? I'd be lucky to get 3 of 5. "

    ^^also, to respond to this part, it's ok to want what you want in your dream home. I can actually customize it to fit all these crteria; only problem...there's no promise that the market has what you're looking for at this current part of getting what you want is being patient.

    ^^Gosh now I sound like my mom when she discusses my love life with me, instead of real estate. hahahaha.

  6. cant believe that coat is from express! its gorgeous! xx

  7. Wow beautiful coat!

    I don't really know what to say as I'm in Canada and I'm sure the real estate market is completely different. I don't know where you live but a lot of the time one of the sacrifices you have to give up (especially for your first home) is location. I don't mean moving to a "bad" neighborhood but a neighborhood that's perhaps not as convenient and put up with commuting for the first year. Then as you said as you build equity in your home you can move on to something more desirable in a few years. We lived in our first home for 6 years then bought another house when the market was low and in the meanwhile rented the previous house for a year and waited for the market went up. I know not everyone is able to do this but we had this in the plans for a while and we were just patient and kept our eyes open. When the opportunity presented itself we took it.

    Good luck!

  8. Are the prices in your area that high, even for a 3 bedroom townhouse? You must live in a popular city. I live in an area in the southwest that was voted most boring city in America last year, and the housing market seemed to have sunked these past 3 years or so, and my family's been bugging me to buy my own house this year due to lower interest rates. Even then, the most affordable homes (like under 200k) are in creepy neighborhoods or ones too far from work and still need a few more thousands to fix up. It's daunting for me to think, that I'm still paying my hefty student loans, and to top off mortgages, once I get a house, it's pretty scary in the short-run. There always seems to be a trade-off of some sort. I hope you do find something close to your dream home. Most people I know do compromise a lot in home-buying, like living 2hrs away from work (where houses are cheaper and nicer) or like moving to the most boring city in the US ;)

  9. House hunting / buying is a pain in the butt. Hubby and I moved to 4 different states within 3 years (thankfully, we've stayed put for the last 3) and bought something in 3 of the 4 thinking we would stay there for 5+ years. Our first house was a garage townhome in PA. Are you planning to stay where you are permanently? Sometimes it can be hard to gauge (but I'm biased). I can sympathize with wanting to get out of an apartment and start putting your money towards something that is "yours". Best of luck in finding your dream home!

    Love the outfit - that scarf is fabulous! I love the print and colors - looks very classic and luxe.

  10. @Elle - I think the coat is my best purchase this season. <3 it! Good luck with your house hunt too, Elle. Also, check out Aubrey's post above.

    @ReallyPetite - The scarf is a no name, I bought it from eBay awhile ago. Let me know if you're interested and I can dig through my inbox.

    @Lilly - I think timing is also one of the hardest things to deal with. All the great ones seem to get snatched up real quick. Good luck with your house hunt too!

    @AubreyOhDang! - That's so nice of you, Aubrey. Once I sort out decisions on my current lease, I'll definitely shoot you an email. I've been using Redfin and FranklyMLS, which have been super helpful, but the more resources the better :) And your mom is one wise woman ;)

    @diana kang - I couldn't agree more :)

    @curls-and-pearls - Thanks for the words of advice. The more I research, it does seem like location is the #1 difference in price, with everything else being equal. New resolution for this year, learn to be more patient!

    @olyvia - Yeah, I live within proximity to our nation's capital. The few locations I've got my eyes on, the garage townhomes range anywhere from high 300s to low 600s. Of course, I want the 600 home for 300. I can dream, right? ;) Good look with your search and I hope you find something you love. Keep me updated!

    @SewPetiteGal - Bf and I have pretty stable jobs and we have no reason to move elsewhere, so I really can see ourselves staying in the area for a long time. I can't imagine what a hassle it must have been to move that many times in such a short time span, but it must've been a pretty neat experience to live in all sorts of different places :)

    It's funny because the scarf is a cheapo no name brand. I think it photographs way better than it looks in real life ;)

  11. Cute bracelet. My daughter was looking over my shoulder and noticed it said "Disney." I told her it wasn't just plain ol Disney, it was Disney Couture! And she smiled. She hasn't a clue what that means, but someday she will.

    As for house hunting, I know it can be frustrating, but it can also be fun at the same time. I've lived in my home four 8 years now and when I was looking to buy, my price range was $150-$200K as I did not wanna be a slave to my house. I know many people who lost their jobs and lost their homes 'coz their payments were too high. So you're definitely doing the right thing by waiting for the right home at the right price. Maybe try looking at short sales or foreclosure or fixer uppers? When we 1st bought our home it had many imperfections, but we slowly remodeled over the years. Anyways, I'm rambling, so I'll stop :) Happy House Hunting, it's just as much fun as shopping :)

  12. I can totally relate to this post. Hubbs and I always ponder moving to some place with rediculously cheap real estate like Dallas or some place in the South, however, we are just too attached to where we are at. It is a stressful thing, but time will tell. I really love those wedges. I definetly plan on getting some for Spring.

  13. @Lisa - Hehe, disney couture is Disney for grown ups ;) Not having the $ to pay for a mortgage is my biggest fear too. Bf and I've talked about it and we plan on buying a home with one person's salary... that way if something unexpected happens, we'll still be able to handle it. And you are so right, I should be having more fun with this. Treating it like shopping might be my answer :)

    @Mama Marshmallow - I need to quit thinking of these what ifs too. I bet if we did end up moving, I'll want to move back soon after, haha.


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