Sunday, April 29, 2007

Premature Escrowization

We changed our minds. And the bank declined our offer. In that order. Sorry, folks. I know we got everyones hopes up, and now I am eating my hat because of all complaining I did about the annoyances of apartment living in the last post. We are still looking and open, but a monthly payment quote from the lender was so shocking that we had to sit down and really think. With condo association fees($315!), property taxes, mortgage insurance, homeowners insurance, and the actual mortgage, the payments would be $3200 a month. And this is on the cheapest, littlest, beat up old condos in foreclosure. Most nice new condos are starting at $600,000, and houses start at $750,000. We could do the $3200, but we would have not much money left over each month. No trips, no dinners out, no new shoes, no art supplies, no yoga classes, no funky neighborhood. Jeesh, why is it all so difficult? Why can't I be making more money?
So we will wait and hold out for a place that we can't live without. And hopefully prices will go down to at least $300K (please!), and in the mean time we will save all that extra dough that we would have been spending on the condo, and in 5 years we will have over $120,000, which will be a small downpayment for something then. So we are very happy either way.
What would you do in this situation?

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Make Me An Offer

We made an offer on this condo, which was very scary and fun at the same time. The pictures are not all that great, I apologize. For some reason all the blinds were closed when we were there.

So far this has been the nicest one. All the others had one or more things with which we decided we could not live. Like a bedroom with no windows. Or a labyrinth of hallways to reach the door, or someone living above you. I mean, seriously, you would think that $400,000 would at least buy you the privilege of quiet ceilings.

This one had two floors, like a real house. A private entrance, like a real house. And it is a lot bigger than most condos. 2 1/2 baths, 2 bedrooms, a seperate dining area, walk in closets (2!) with a private bath off the main bedroom. It is close to bakeries, groceries, and liquor stores, and a very short drive to Whole Foods! And the kitchen is an actual room, where more than one person may fit. All for about $40,000 less than all the others we looked at. (foreclosure)

All of a sudden, though, the things we will miss about our current neighborhood seem so nice to us. We will miss the funky coffee house around the corner, the walks to Trader Joe's, walks to Thai, Mexican, Greek, Japanese, the best bagels, or the best soup and sandwich cafe, a quick walk to the bank, our fantastic, awesome neighbors, and so many trees.

But we absolutely will NOT miss the dreaded trips to the laundromat that smells like sewer, the complete lack of hot water pressure, our next door neighbor with the extra loud motorcycle that he like to take out on Sunday mornings, the arranging of our lives and days around parking nightmares, having to run out first thing in the morning in your jammies to move the car because you forgot it was streetsweeping day, carrying groceries or laundry across the busy street, coming home to find NO parking anywhere, so you get a $50 ticket because you HAD to park on the next street.

Most of all, we will be so happy to not send our landlord any more of our money. He has enough of it already.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

What My Cats Do All Day

They lounge and give you annoyed looks when you take their picture.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Condo Hunting

Well, maybe it's Christy and Amy, who are both looking for houses, that really got us started. Mark and I spent last weekend looking at condos. Yes, we are tired of sending our lousy landlord money every month and seeing nothing in return. We have lived here 2 and 1/2 years and the only thing that has been done is a termite bombing. I am pretty sure it is the only thing that has been done since the building was built in 1938.
It is a tough to get over the fact that our only option is a condo. My lovely friends have the sweet fortune of actually looking at houses. I have lived in a house a total of maybe 3 out of my 35 years, so maybe that's why I yearn for one so much. That and the fact that now I can't have one. Most of the condos here are apartment buildings from the 70's or 80's that are termed 'condos' because they are for sale. Here are some pics of one we saw. It was about 700 sq. ft. It had one window total on the bottom floor with the world's tiniest kitchen. There wasn't even a space for a couch or a TV, but there was an ugly fireplace with Three's Company mirrors and fake brick. It can be yours for $400,000. That's $3200 a month with all the fees, etc. Actually, if it was bigger we might have considered it. The horrible carpets, windows, and fireplace could be remedied. (We are thinking that we should just wait for an earthquake; They bring down costs.)

In spite of this, I am very cheerful and hopeful! With patience, we will find a great place, in a nice neighborhood, on a quiet street, with many windows, and a patio! Wish us luck!