I could put my house on the market just so I could enjoy the spectacle of people asking to pay me more than my asking price.
I wouldn’t actually sell it because then I would have to relocate, which means I’m paying someone else more than the asking price.
It’s a catch-22 of the glowing housing market – if your home value is rising, so will everyone else. You may sell high, but you certainly won’t buy low.
Of course, customers will not listen to that. I know I never did.
We had a less intense version of the current market when we last bought the house in 1993. There was no bidding as is the case now, but there were quarrels. We lost one of them, I still mean the house that escaped. He had a good closet space.
But we soon found another one we could fall in love with. Fascinated by its dimensions, we did not see the flaws of the house during our fiery search. Only later – say half an hour after closing – did we start thinking. Why didn’t we notice the coat of arms under the carpet of the family room? Is something buried there? (No, it was just a bad floor leveling job, which I managed to fix 27 years later.)
I owned three houses. Anyway, I thought I was going to die if someone else picked them up first, and later I realized I didn’t love any of them that much.
It occurred to me after we bought the first one that I really should have bought a backyard. I loved the freedom of digging holes in the ground and planting things without the necessary permits.
But the house? Too complicated, too aggravated, too demanding. Outside you can do wonders with flat annuals and mulch. Inside, any improvement is expensive and you can’t just trim the carpet into a shape or transform a tired decor using a hump at half price.
After each purchase of the house we felt immersed in almost poverty due to the size of the mortgage repayment. And then it would make it easier and we would start to feel cramped in the available space.
The other house had a basement, our great wish. The third had one and a half bathrooms more than the second, which seemed necessary at the time.
Now the kids have grown up and gone and, if nothing else, we have too much space. If we moved now – which we did not – it would be a smaller place. But wow, would you come with a great price.
Joe Blundo is a Dispatch columnist.