House Hunting

We are thinking about moving. Well, I have been thinking about moving since we bought this house, but now we are really thinking about it. We moved to the northwest 3 1/2 years ago, and the only way for me to get out of California was to just shut my eyes and jump, before I thought too hard about it.

I knew leaving was the right thing to do, but my entire extended family lives in the same area, and I even lived only eleven houses from my dad, and half a mile from my mom. We were completely priced out of any house, even a miniscule condo was beyond our budget- who can pay 300K for a 900 sq/ft condo?? Not us! Anyway, knowing that we could move up here, buy a nice house, and be able to have me stay home with Jeffrey made the choice a no-brainer (for us). DFM flew up here one weekend, and picked this house, put bid on it, and took some pictures for me. Had we taken our time, dawdled, spent the money for me to fly up and look around, my family might have been able to convince me not to go, and I knew it. Leaving was really hard, but it is a decision I have never regretted.

So the very first time I saw my new home was as we pulled up in the moving van. Two solid days on the road with an 8-month old is beyond the pale, and waiting in the driveway was our across-the-street neighbor, holding some kittens that she wanted to give us. Welcome to Washington! (To say that I am not a cat person is being kind) I was a tired, nervous, homesick wreck, and all I wanted to do was see this house that was now mine. In California we were always surrounded by family, and loading our truck, there had been at least a dozen people to help, but unloading was a lonely affair, and did nothing to help me feel better.

The house was not bad, and other than some cosmetic things it needed, was a vast improvement on the place we had vacated in California. We went from a 3/1 post WWII concrete slab California shack to a 5/2 cedar sided, shake roof, detactched garage 1/4 acre yard with a maple tree in the front northwest home. And our mortgage, including insurance and taxes, was less than our rent had been. Now if you all have read any of my Notes from California, you know how I feel about it- it’s simply in my blood, and will always be. But, this was not a bad trade up.

The thing is, I never got to look or pick. While this is not a bad house, and has been very good for us, I really want to choose the next place we live. We always knew we were not going to stay here forever, which is why I was ok with not picking it in the first place. But now, well, now I am starting to itch to go house-shopping. There are a few things that I dearly want in our next home that this one lacks. Nothing really necessary, just things I would like. A mudroom- really nice in an area that snows; dragging muddy boots and snowy coats right into my kitchen from the backyard is really not something that I find joyfull. We already have hardwood floors, and I would like that in our next place, too. A bathroom in the master- we all share the upstairs bath now, not a big deal, but taking a bath without froggy-decals and floaty toys would be nice. A fenced yard, oh, how I want a fenced yard- any mom knows why… yes, we could fence the yard ourselves, but it’s huge, and we looked into it and could not justify the 4K it would cost!

These are small things, I know, and I am probably selfish for wanting more when we already have so much. We could end up staying here for several more years and be just fine- but its always fun to look and imagine. Oh, and a front porch; I would give up all the other “wants” for a front porch…

5 thoughts on “House Hunting

  1. I totally understand how you feel. We’ve been toying with leaving California for the past two years. We will never be able to afford to stay here – we barely can do it now.

    I say if you can afford it – go for it.

    Have fun!

  2. A porch would be heaven. I grew up in Oregon in an old house with a lovely wrap-around porch. It was one of our favorite spots and was used a lot – for sitting around, playing games, summer meals, and using the porch swing. The Northwest has great summers for porches, just bring the citronella (sp?) candles.

    Good luck! I hope you find something with character!

  3. Yeah but I bet that if you had bought that $300K condo it would be worth like $600k now. Then you would be able to afford a house. Some people just don’t realise you have to start small and move up. Not everyone can afford a house right out of the gate.

  4. Yup, that 300K condo is worth 5 or 600K now. But we didn’t even qualify for the 300 without two incomes, and I would have missed my childs baby years being at work. The trade-off is ok by me.

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