Monday, October 23, 2006

Rootin' and Tootin'!!!!

The spouse and I have been preapproved for a mortgage...a mortgage larger than we expected to be qualified for, by about 100K. This means that yes, soon, though I can't promise to get it together to do it before the holidays, we will actually become real grown-ups and say 'adios to renting.

Yesterday, we went to our first and second 'open house,' and looked at a couple of single family homes in Watertown in our price range. Both of them 'inheritance' type deals, tiny old things that need a lot of work, but the kids inheriting are trying to sell quickly and cheap. If they were under 300K, we would have given them both serious thought, because then we could have put about 100K into absolutely GUTTING them, and it would have been worth it. As it is, for 350K? Meh... I'm not spending that so I can steam the 50 year old wallpaper off the walls myself, or spend 6 months without a kitchen because it's being rebuilt from the basement up.

Any of you out there who knows my husband will understand when I say that he's...well...not exactly what you'd call a 'do-it-yourself-er.' And though I'm pretty handy with a hammer and nail, power drill and a paint brush, you DO NOT want me fiddling around with electrical systems, floor sanders, and plumbing. Nothing good can come of that.

But it was a useful experience, because I now know that A) 1000 square feet doesn't amount to shit, and B) it will be far better to buy a duplex or condo that's in decent shape than a single family home that's a 'fixer-upper.'

So I say to the town of Watertown - show me your duplexes, your condos, your half houses. Send me your listings, your agents, your deals. But goddammit, don't show me anything under 1000 square feet, or less than 1.5 baths, or basement rot, or with only one electrical outlet per room. I didn't wait till the age of 40 to buy a house so I could end up remodeling the house on The Young Ones.

Heeeeeyyyyy...speaking of the Young Ones:


Blogger fatmammycat said...

Congratulations missus, and welcome to the 'orrible wold of DIY. It reeeeeks. But maybe you'll be luky and find a place that doesn't need a lot of work.

23 October, 2006 16:49  
Blogger ExAfrica said...

COooh, congratulations. And good'll be needing it in the Boston area. $$$ !

Buying a house sucks.

Packing sucks.

Moving sucks.

Unpacking sucks. (at least so far as I've gotten, might be Spring before I am fully unpacked.)

23 October, 2006 20:09  
Blogger SheBah said...

The only problem with condos and duplexes is that the neighbours are even closer - which is OK if they're great, but not if they live above you and have wooden floors. At least with a fixer upper house its all your bit from ground to sky and you never have to talk to them next door if you don't want to! (Here I am, speaking as somebody living in plaster dust, with no kitchen at present, builders all over the place, and nothing but dust, dust, dust - how I long for a bit of luxury and comfort!!)

24 October, 2006 06:39  
Blogger Andraste said...

Thanks, all.

FMC -yes, the market around here is dropping, so between now and March, if we see plenty of places and don't pull the trigger on the first decent thing we see, we'll find it.

Ex-Africa - You are correct, except that I like unpacking. I like figuring out what goes where and arranging furniture. I LOVE arranging furniture, in fact.

Shebah - you're right about the neighbors, but we're both used to apartments, so owning, even if the neighbors are still fairly close, is still better than renting. Plus, this is a starter home, just to get us into the market and build some equity. I don't expect we'll live there for more than 3-5 years, and then...THEN we'll find that 100 year old farmhouse that I'm after...

24 October, 2006 07:37  
Blogger Amy said...

Yer livin' the dream! Congrats. I am never going to own anything, ever. Mothergoddamnfucking student loans.

24 October, 2006 11:32  
Blogger Andraste said...

Amy - Here's what I did with my student loans: Citibank sent me an offer of a balance transfer, for 3.9% interest, until the balance was paid off. I had them write a check to the student loan company, and asked them to put a big old middle finger on the check for me. I've been aggressively paying off the Citibank balance, at 5% lower interest than the loan was... Heh. And I ONLY use that card for car emergencies, so though the interest is higher on those charges, I'm still getting the 3.9 on the bulk of it.

24 October, 2006 11:51  
Blogger deadpanann said...

Be wary, oh borrower! They always approve you for more than you can actually afford.

24 October, 2006 21:20  
Blogger ExAfrica said...

Andraste - you are welcome at mine anytime! The wine's cold and the boxes need unpacking. Door's always open....

24 October, 2006 21:24  
Blogger Amy said...

Ah. A credit card, or a loan?

I owe a bazillion dollars, so I can't get a credit line that big anyway. Frankly, I'm shocked I haven't won a large sum or found out I have a trust fund and this whole lower-middle-class family thing was a funny funny joke.

27 October, 2006 13:18  

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