I can put my house up for sale just to enjoy the spectacle of people clamoring to pay me more than I asked for.
I wouldn’t actually sell it because then I would have to move, which means paying the other person more than the asking price.
This is the Catch-22 of the area’s booming housing market – if your home’s value is skyrocketing, so is everyone else. You can sell high, but you certainly won’t buy low.
Of course, buyers will not listen to this. I know I never did.
We had a less intense version of the current market when we last bought a house in 1993. There were no bidding wars like now, but there were bidding skirmishes. We lost one of those, and I still think about the house that got away. It had good closet space.
But we soon found someone else to fall in love with. In love with its dimensions, we didn’t see the faults of the house during our ardent search. Only later – say half an hour after closing – do we begin to have doubts. Why don’t we notice the bulge under the living room carpet? Is there something buried there? (No, it was just a bad floor leveling job, which I decided to fix 27 years later.)
I had three houses. In each case, I thought I would die if someone caught them first, and then I realized I didn’t love any of them very much.
After we bought the first one, it occurred to me that I really should have bought a yard. I loved the freedom to dig holes in the ground and plant things without permission.
But the house? Too complicated, too deteriorated, too demanding. Outside, you can work miracles with a plain of annuals and a little mulch. Inside, every upgrade is expensive, and you can’t just trim your carpet or transform a tired decor with shrubbery for half the price.
After every home purchase, we feel plunged into near poverty due to the size of the mortgage payment. And then that would make it easier and we would start to feel limited in the space available.
The second house had a basement, a great wish of ours. The third had a bathroom and a half more than the second, which seemed indispensable at the time.
Now the kids are grown up and gone, and at the very least we have plenty of space. If we were to move now – which is not the case – it would be to a smaller place. But wow, that would come with a high price.
Joe Blundo is a columnist for Dispatch.