…more offers to come

….so we lost the lovely lake house 🙁

Trevor and I went through the most hilarious red tape making offers on this guy. The books we studied about first-time home buyers all warned us, or rather reminded us that there is no “one perfect house” and to persevere in our home buying experience. Probably because they are mostly written by real estate agents. The tricky thing about this warning, of course, is that in order to be serious enough to put an offer on a house, you have to picture yourself living there for more years than you have lived anywhere (outside of the house you grew up in). In fact, you have to picture starting a family in that house. So you find a house, you like it, you see your future there, you bid on it, and its lost. And you have to pick things up and move on.
…and it can be an emotional process, even when you don’t want it to be.
…but in the case of our last offer, they put us through so much red tape and stalled so badly, I think I’m just overjoyed to know something. And now that we know, we are ready to move on.

On this same day, I had an interview with a new graduate program I have been considering. This is a huge, intimidating commitment, but the interview went very well and the faculty of the program were just great people. I’m still waiting to hear more details about my acceptance, but in the mean time, it is a little piece of exciting news.

House Hunting

Trevor and I have been busy house hunting the last few weeks. Well, we’ve been busy with a bunch of stuff: we’ve both been traveling a lot for work, we’ve had several visitors come hang out/ stay with us, and educating ourselves about housing in DC and Northern VA.
Our initial plan was to find a fixer-upper in DC. I really wanted to live near the city and public transportation and the homes in Washington DC have amazing character.
After lots of seraching, and trying and number crunching we began to realize that this was not going to happen. Even though the real estate bubble is bursting, and people are coming to their senses in pricing their homes, the cost is still prohibitive. Lots are tiny, street parking is usually the only option, and the cost of rehabilitating some of these homes would be astronomical. Many are 100+ years old and we could not afford a rehabbed home.
Condos are not an option. They are so overpriced it is kind of a joke, and I hope the developers are going to be bit in the butt soon for the evil they have wrought. The market is totally flooded and unreasonable. A condo seems to be a more permanent purchase than a single-family home because they are getting to be impossible to resell.
We turned our thoughts back to the suburbs of Northern Virgina. At first, I was mortified because we thought we would have to settle for some way, way out there suburbs that were pretty desolate and lonely, in my opinion.
This was not the case, however, as we hooked up with a very knowledgeable realtor. He’s been great to work with and has shown us that we can afford something in dreamy Fairfax county. Fairfax is the second fastest growing county in the US and is known to have an outstanding school system. It encompases what I have heard refered to as the “Silicon Valley” of the east, and I buy it, there are tons of tech jobs around here.
Anyway- that is that. It has been like a second job trying to learn about a) all that goes into buying a house and b) what to do in this crazy, crazy, ugly market.