I could put my house on the market just to enjoy the spectacle of people crying out to pay me more than the price they charge me.
I wouldn’t actually sell it because then I would have to move, which means paying someone more than their purchase price.
This is the Catch-22 of the area’s hot real estate market: if the value of your home skyrockets, so does the value of the rest. You may sell high, but you certainly wouldn’t buy one.
Of course, buyers won’t hear it. 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 and I’m still thinking about the house he left. He had a good closet.
But we soon found another one to fall in love with. In love with its dimensions, we did not see the defects of the house during our ardent search. It was only later (e.g., half an hour after closing) that we started to think about it. Why didn’t we notice the hump under the carpet in the family room? Is there something buried there? (No, it was just a bad leveling job, which I managed to fix 27 years later).
I have owned three houses. In each case, they have seized it, despite obstacles we can scarcely imagine. “
It occurred to me after buying the first one that I really should have bought a garden. I loved the freedom of digging holes in the ground and planting things without permission.
But the house? Too complicated, too deteriorated, too demanding. Outside, you can work miracles with an annual floor and a bit of a roof. Inside, every improvement is expensive and you can’t trim the carpet into shape or transform the tired decor with bushes at half price.
After every home purchase, we felt immersed in poverty almost by the size of the mortgage payment. And then it would relax and we would start to feel cramped in the space available.
The second house had a basement, a great desire of ours. The third had a bathroom and a half more than the second, which seemed essential at the time.
Now the children have grown up and, just in case, we have too much space. If we moved now, which we are not, it would be to a smaller place. But hey, it would come at a great price.
Joe Blundo is the columnist for Dispatch.