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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

house hunger, again

Oh, as if there is not enough going on right now...
I went and fell in love with a house.

And I didn't pine in silence and privacy, either--
I dragged each of my family members to see it, one by one.
It is sitting empty, a little Japanese-styled jewelbox
half a mile from my boys' schools.
Full of windows, soaring ceilings, tatami mat room, an office studio for Minou
and yes, three bedrooms.

No yard to speak of--but between full time work (at a new & wonderful job), finishing my BSN nursing degree, and helping P'tit Minou Deux with homework, I am not finding much time for farming these days.

And it just dropped $50,000 in price.
To be what we could just ever so barely afford.
With a personal loan for the down payment offered by a dear family friend.

What to do.
Stretching financially like that goes against everything I believe in and feel comfortable with.
I don't believe in debt, I don't carry debt (except a small mortgage).
I like the security of an emergency cushion.
To know that even if the worst happened, we would be OK for a while.

Yet--it's a great investment, close to the university and a park, sure to appreciate in value.
It is a gem of a home.
Not for everyone--no storage and no carport (or garage).
Perfect for a minimalist!
(a real one).
My boys could walk to school.
And did I mention how beautiful it is?

Sometimes it's handy to have an architect in the family.
While I rhapsodized about the light, the lines, the Japanese soaking tub, the open floor plan,
Minou noticed the cracks in the major beam, the water damage on the ceiling,
and crawled under the house to see the falling insulation and floppy HVAC pipes.

My bubble was burst.
I still want to buy it, though...for someone with the money to put into fixing into it, it would be a wonderful investment.
The problem is, we don't have the money.
But we almost do. With no cushion.

What do you think? What would you do?


  1. I'd run away from it as far and as fast as I could. There is a reason this house has been reduced by so much, and it isn't just for a quick sale. Please, please think long and hard before committing to buying this property. Before you commit have a structural survey done and get estimates from professionals, even if you decide to do the work yourself, so that you know exactly what you are taking on financially. You sound such a nice person, I'd hate for you to land yourself in a financial hole that would be difficult to climb out of. Obviously the choice is yours, just make sure you have as much information as possible before you commit. I know this isn't what you want to hear, sorry.

  2. Thank you for the voice-of-reason comment. You're right, it isn't what I want to hear...but it's true. We are thinking about making a very very low offer contingent on passing inspection-- if that is not accepted, we (the house and I) will part ways. And I plan to cease and desist with my guilty real estate searches. What I really want is to learn to be content with less!