Thursday, January 10, 2013
House buying is hard work.
These past two weeks of dipping my toes into the real estate market from the buyer's side have been most enlightening. and frustrating.
I've never looked for a house to buy before. My ex-husband found both the houses we bought before we split up. I stayed in the second for 24 years before selling it so I could go on my adventure.
I thought it was easy. You look at the listings, pick the top ten in your price range, go look at them, and buy the one you like the best. Somehow, it never occurred to me that I'd not be able to find ten I'd even want to consider, or that the first four I'd look at would ALL be unsuitable. I mean, of course I know people that have had problems finding the right house, but I somehow just figured they were too picky. or something.
I knew real estate only from the seller's side (in a down market at that). The sprucing the place up to appeal to buyers. Making my bed EVERY morning, lest they call to schedule a showing that day. The nervous tension when the real estate company called to schedule a showing. The disappointment when the house didn't meet their needs - again. The self-doubt about the price the paint the floors the kitchen, as the months passed and the house sat on the market.
I never thought about the buyer's frustrations. What they call a second bedroom, I call a porch. Those stairs could more accurately be called a ladder - I can't imagine carrying groceries or laundry up and down. You access the master bedroom off the back porch? Really? One house had some appeal, until I looked at the surrounding places, and the junk they'd stored on their handy front porches. Nix that one, too. **sigh**
I know, I know. I've just started looking. Good thing I started before I HAD to move. (I have new-found sympathy for people who relocate and have to find a house in a weekend or two of touring.) There are three more houses on my short list; I'll look at those sometime next week.