Maybe I’ll put my house on the market just so I can enjoy the sight of people clamoring to pay me more than my asking price.
I wouldn’t really sell it because then I have to move, which means someone else will pay more than their requested price.
That’s the Catch-22 of the area’s red-hot housing market – if the value of your home is skyrocketing, so is everyone else. You could be selling high but you will definitely not buy low.
Of course, buyers will not listen to that. I know I never did.
We had a less strict version of the current market when we last bought a house in 1993. There were no tender wars as there are now, but there were tender slums. We lost one of those, and I still think of the house that escaped. It had a good closet space.
But soon we found another one to fall in love with. Because of its dimensions, we did not see the flaws of the house during our pursuit. It wasn’t until later – say half an hour after closing – that we started thinking again. Why didn’t we notice the crotch under the family room carpet? Has something been planted there? (No, it was just a bad floor leveling job, which I got around with an arrangement 27 years later.)
I own three houses. In each case, I thought I would die if someone else got them first, and I realized later that I didn’t love any of them so much.
It occurred to me after we bought the first one that I should have just bought a yard. I would love the freedom to dig holes in the ground and plant things without needing any permission.
But the house? Too complicated, too deteriorating, too demanding. Outside, you can work miracles with an annual flat and some mulch. Inside, all improvements are expensive, and you can’t wind up your carpet in shape or replace a tired decor with half-price shrubs.
After every home purchase, we felt we were almost in poverty by the amount of the mortgage payment. Then that would ease and we would start to feel limited in the space available.
There was a basement in the second house, a great desire of ours. The third had a bathroom and a half larger than the second, which was essential at the time.
Now the kids are grown and gone and, if there are any, we have too much space. If we were to move now – which we are not – it would be to a smaller place. But, wow, would it come with a great price tag.
Joe Blundo is a Launch columnist.