Another thing that has been going on for the past few months (and to a certain extent, why I've been absent from the blog) is that Ben and I are searching for a new home. While I wouldn't necessarily say that our search is active and aggressive at this point, I can say that it is extremely frustrating. And overwhelming. So because we are frustrated and overwhelmed, we get caught up in that and second guess everything.
I realize that most people out there say "this is a buyer's market", "interest rates are so favorable", and "its a great time to buy!". But let me tell you, that simply isn't true. It isn't. There is plenty of inventory out there and some really good deals to be found, that is a fact. But those deals are most typically in a foreclosure or short-sale situation. We're not opposed to either of those but short-sales typically take a long time to close and your typical foreclosure, well, more often than not they were trashed by the previous residents and we really want something that is move-in ready. And the homes that aren't foreclosures or short-sales? There is usually a reason why they haven't sold. Either they are priced above the market, in a bad location, in a subdivision that isn't built-out, or a whole host of other things. It just seems that the good homes are not on the market right now**. Probably because those good homes are selling fast and we miss them due to the fact that we're not scouring MLS every 10 minutes. We have a Realtor, and she's doing a good job with the information that we have given her but we seem to change our minds every 3 minutes so its a tough job she has.
Another issue is our commutes. Basically, Ben works in-town and I work on the northeast side of town so we're working with a fairly limited area here. Neither of us wants to spend 2+ hours/day commuting to and from work so that is a major consideration as well. We love the area we are in now, but the school system sucks. We were both raised in the public school system, and my sister happens to be a teacher and huge proponent of public schools. Therefore, private schools aren't really in the cards. Oh and also the fact that they are expensive. That plays into it as well!
It is no secret that Ben and I are complete opposites in many respects, but for the most part we agree on what we are looking for in a home: reasonable commute to work, good school district, decent back yard, and room to grow into. We also agree on the aesthetics of the homes we are looking at, and pretty much want the same thing. So I guess that is good. This would be an entirely different shitstorm if we wanted opposite things.
Anyway, I don't really expect to find a solution right now so I guess we'll just keep looking and hope that we find something we love and can see ourselves in for a long time.
** That said, we do currently have a good home on the market. I'd like to say I am willing to make you a sweet deal on a condo right now but frankly that would just make Ben and I homeless, so I'm not so sure!