I can put my house on the market just so I can enjoy the spectacle of people asking me to pay more than my asking price.
I don’t actually sell because then I have to move, which means I pay someone else more than his asking price.
That’s the catch-22 of the area’s hot housing market – if the value of your home is rising, so is everyone’s. You can sell a lot but for sure you will not buy low.
Of course, buyers will not hear that. I know I never did.
We had a less intense version of the current market when we last bought a home in 1993. There were no bidding wars as there are now, but there were bidding skirmishes. We lost one of these, and I still think about the house that escaped. It had good closet space.
But we soon found another one we loved. Fascinated by its dimensions, we did not see the flaws of the house during our eager pursuit. It was only later – say half an hour after closing – that we began to make second thoughts. Why didn’t we notice the bump under the family room carpet? Is there something buried there? (No, it was just a bad job of leveling the floor, which I managed to fix 27 years later.)
I owned three houses. In any case, I thought I would die if someone else came to them first, and then I realized that I didn’t like any of them so much.
I came to mind after we bought the first one that really touched me I had just bought a yard. He loved the freedom to dig holes in the ground and plant things without any necessary permits.
But the house? Too complicated, too deteriorated, too demanding. Outside, you can do miracles with an annual flat and a little mulch. Inside, any improvements cost a lot, and you can’t just prop your carpet into shape or transform a tired decor with half-price bushes.
After every home purchase, we felt that we were plunged into near-poverty by the size of the mortgage payment. And then it eased and we were starting to feel uncomfortable in the available space.
The second house had a basement, our great wish. The third had a bathroom and a half more than the second, which at the time seemed indispensable.
Now the kids are grown up and gone and, if anything, we have too much space. If we move now – which we are not – it would be in a smaller place. But, wow, it comes at a great price.
Joe Blundo is as a columnist for Dispatch.