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Compromises

May 10, 2010

So, hooray for more income!

However, that will push us over the income limit for a variety of first-time-homebuyer assistance programs (just barely).

So, either we hurry up and find something before Terri gets her first check, or we switch over to a different type of loan.

With a higher monthly payment. Which, thanks to the new income, we can afford. Mostly. Sort of. Reluctantly.

But then… where? I mean, I knew the San Francisco Bay Area market was tough on first-time-homebuyers, but it sucks. It really, really sucks. We are currently just trying to figure out where we are willing to compromise, because our options all sort of suck in one way or another.

Do we move way far away and have a great house but a long commute for me?

Or do we live in the war zone of flatlands Oakland?

Or the ick that is Hayward?

Or do we buy a condo (which I really really do not want to do, and there aren’t that many in our price range anyway, oddly)

Or do we just sit tight and save money and wait for a better plan to come clear? While housing price climb out of reach again?

So close, yet so far.

It’s very hard to decide what is the best thing to do. I love my job and it’s very stable, and so relocating altogether isn’t really an option right now.

We like our apartment but there’s no yard and it’s freezing, so it’s not ideal either. And we really don’t want to move again until we’re sure the next move is the last one for a LONG time. Seriously. I have lived in eight places since moving to California 12 years ago. Enough.

And I really, really want a house. A lot. It’s driving me crazy.

So. What to do? I calculate commute times and gas money. We look at murder maps and cringe. We do online research for other options.

This is going to take a lot of work no matter what. If we lived ANYWHERE else (except, perhaps, NYC) we could buy something with no problem. However, we don’t, and we aren’t moving away anytime soon. So, well. Crap.

Now I’m grumpy. I had goofy raw-food-restaurant food for lunch and my tummy hurts. I Am Not Grateful.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2010 5:14 pm

    from the sounds of this, it seems like you really dont want to move until you find the house.

    i really really hate giving advice, but (sadly) i feel this is an area i can realistically give it and not feel like im talking out of my ass. ahem. so here it is: really, really think before you compromise. because the thing is, if you buy a house, and the market gets cruddy again, you may be stuck with that house for a….. long…….time. and that one thing you compromised on, the one thing you thought you could handle and live with, will irritate the crap out of you and eat you up inside.

    look at it this way:: this will be the biggest investment of your life and you’ll be shelling out a TON of money…so why should you compromise on anything? dont pressure yourself (or let anyone else pressure you) into buying a house you dont 100% love.

    your dream house with the great kitchen and the awesome yard (and maybe even a window seat for kitty cuddling and reading) is out there. hang in there!

    and i know you know all this….but sometimes it helps to be reminded. πŸ™‚

  2. May 10, 2010 5:17 pm

    also….i really feel like the wordpress smiley smiles too big for me, my grin is more of a tentative grin. not nearly as toothy as wordpress wants me to be.

  3. May 10, 2010 5:21 pm

    ha! yes, the wordpress smileys are aggressive.

    thanks for the good advice. you’re right, we don’t want to move until we find the place that we’ll be happy being in for years and years if it works out that way. I’m just tired of being so dissatisfied with our living situation. We HAD to move last time, and didn’t have a lot of time or a lot of money, so we were lucky to find something as nice as we did, in such a great area. However, it’s freezing and there is no yard.

    Maybe we’re just being picky (probably) but since we spend so much time at home, it needs to work a little better for us. If we have to stay here again next winter, I am investing $$ into multiple heating solutions. It’s raining here today and cold, and the house is freezing. It’s just ridiculous.

    Anyway. ranty ranty.

  4. May 10, 2010 5:27 pm

    I know how frustrating it can be. Something will turn up though and you will both be happy. It’s best to wait and find something you really like instead of buying something out of frustration and desperation. Your realtor should be helping you find potentials, if s/he isn’t, then it’s time to find a new one. Good luck! It will happen πŸ™‚

  5. May 10, 2010 5:34 pm

    Stef: interestingly, we just got “assigned” a new Realtor. The old one did absolutely nothing for us, so that’s just as well. I think we might be ditching the company we’re going through and going somewhere else, actually. They were supposed to be first time homebuyer experts but I feel like we have gotten zero help.

  6. May 11, 2010 3:53 am

    I can relate….Granted we’ve had our home for 18 years now, but it was such work finding a house. We gave up and ended up building because nothing seemed right. It took us many years of frustration. But in the end, it was so worth the wait. Good luck.

  7. May 11, 2010 6:42 am

    I agree with Tammie. Compromise as little as possible, ESPECIALLY cause you want to be there a LONG time, and may have to be for one reason or another. It is absolutely critical that you LOVE the house and yard!! It is frustrating to wait and wait and wait, search and search and search, wanting to badly. Now that you can seriously look, you will find the perfect place, with a bit more time. Re-read, and read again Tammie’s advise.

  8. May 11, 2010 10:53 am

    (1)Glad you’ll have a roof over your head; many don’t (2)Find someplace that’s not freezing! (3)Since my era of interest is the thirties, I am constantly aware, as several people mentioned above, that you never, never want to get in a financial situation that can go wrong.

    Enough of my advice! Whatever you decide will have positives and negatives and will be better than what you have now.

  9. May 11, 2010 6:20 pm

    Jodi: I wish we could build our own house! Maybe if we ever moved away…

    Mom: Got it! Follow Tammie’s advice. Check!

    Shelley: you are right, we are glad that we have a roof over our head no matter what.

  10. Cathy permalink
    May 13, 2010 8:56 am

    Selfishly … I would LOVE for you to move out this way, but I know the commute would suck for you. Have you considered Castro Valley?

    It would be SO much fun to have you two closer!!! πŸ™‚

  11. May 13, 2010 1:44 pm

    Cathy: yes, we’re considering Castro Valley, as well as Pleasant Hill and Concord, which I know aren’t exactly closer. The commute from Livermore is formidable. But… it’s not ruled out!

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