Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Colder feet.

Everything seems to be a "go" on this house, EXCEPT...
We found three more houses on that block with similar configuration and pricing within our range. This has changed things considerably.

1. We feel less rushed. Our "upgrade" is still priced the cheapest, but it doesn't suddenly feel like it will be snatched out from under us.

2. The outdated wall coverings, light fixtures, and sinks/showers bother me now a bit more.

3. We are wondering if the good feeling we had about this house was due to comparison to the crappy houses we had seen before it.

We will look at one of the "upgrade"'s competitors, let's call it: FSBO because both owners have been long term unemployed but don't really want to leave and have recently sunk a lot of money remodeling it to the gills so can't go down on price with an elaborate garden that is frankly conservatory-worthy and therefore intimidating to people like us who can barely get our trash out on the proper day and is on the very upper limit of our willingness to pay but could be a great investment.

Or let's call it the "stretch" for short.

Stretch is about $20-$22k more than upgrade, but has a full basement (more sq ft total) and nearly 3/4 acre land in the city (upgrade has 1/3 acre) more bath than upgrade, and one less car garage. Stretch might afford more flexibility in closing, i.e. be willing to tolerate a "we sell before we buy" contingency than upgrade.

And our real estate agent is pessimistic about the sale of out house. This hasn't changed much, but its sinking in now. We are getting a bit of cold feet right now.



  1. PUI,

    A tough one. For what it's worth, here's what I think:

    Scenario 1: I understand you are upgrading to accommodate baby #2, and you have a 3 bdrm house now. I think you can probably get away with a 3 bdrm for another year or 2, till you get tenure and you and hubby decide where you will live. You don't stretch too thin financially and can instead invest in more time together or go other fun places with hubby while you still live in two cities.

    Scenario 2: You love the new house and absolutely must have it. Unless that's true, and it looks like it may not be, perhaps consider scenario 1?

    Good luck, this is very tough.

  2. Ehhh. We just upgraded, too. Not in your part of the world but also in a stagnant market.

    Buying before you sell is risky. You don't really know the changeover cost because you don't know what your old place will get. Committing to a contract which is enacted only if your current place sells is a good option, if you really need to buy. This might be the best option if you have found a once in a lifetime place.

    If you are likely to find a place relatively quickly once you sell your own place (unconditionally), because you are interested in a largeish area and there are lots of places on the market, you would probably be better off doing that. If you can get a good deal on a conditional contract, you will get a better one on a fast, unconditional transaction.

    We did this, and the worst part about it was that we felt lost for a while- we had nowhere to live, and we didn't feel secure. But that was for a short period of time, and it turned out well for us.

    Best of luck!

  3. Here's hopefully some practical advice: find out how long houses take to sell in your area and your price range (both upgrade and current houses). Question 1: Which house, upgrade or current is most likely to sell first? Question 2: If upgrade will likely sell first (making the decision to buy now sell later more important), can you pay all bills on both houses until current house sells?

    I made a somewhat similar decision. My partner and I found a great upgrade, bought it, and are now waiting for old house to sell. Bills are a little bit of a stress now, but if grant money runs out and I lose my job (which is possible in the next year or so), and old house doesn't sell, we will have serious problems. Old house hasn't been on the market abnormally long but still...