Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Living for thirty minutes at a time with a break in the middle for adverts

I suppose that sooner or later I'll have to mention that Mr. Pants and I are separating. I won't go into any details here except to say that it wasn't my idea. So there.

There reason I figure it needs mentioning is that this blog is likely to become a "Finding a decent home for under $150,000" blog, because I need to embark on a house hunt. (First question out of everyone's mouth is "Do you have an agent?" because folks love to recommend real estate agents. Yes, I'm going with the agent that we used when we first to Durham and then later for the mother-in-law's house, just because she really knows us and was spot-on in steering us to the properties we now own. But thanks anyway!)

I reckon my days as a Trinity Park resident are numbered because there's not really anything in this neighborhood I can afford (in which I would actually want to live). Besides, I spend at least three evenings a week and lots of weekend time out at the dog training facility way out on Farrington Rd., so I may just move closer to it. Or maybe I'll find something cute around Northgate Park, which I might even like better than TP because I'm always taking the dogs there anyway--it would be great to be a short walk away. Fortunately there are a few nice neighborhoods in Durham where I can get a decent house with a bit of yard for less than $150,000, so I'm not worried. (There are people in the Triangle who think that absolutely none of Durham is a nice neighborhood ... which is precisely why people like me can still afford to live here. I think the fact that those kind of people choose to live in Apex and Cary is what makes Durham such a nice place to live.)

Trinity Park has remained hot (and maybe even gotten a bit hotter) despite recent blips in the housing market, so our cute little 1920s bungalow should sell quickly once we put it on the market (we have to spiff up a few things first). There's no question of either of us staying in it--it's gone up so much in value that neither of us could possibly come up with the scratch to pay the other half the equity. A house up the street just hit the market for $360,000, but it's going to be supersized first (it's currently smaller than ours but will end up bigger ... but uglier).

SIDE NOTE: When a neighborhood gets so hot that people are trying to squeeze McMansions into every possible crevice (like an old graveyard, for example), I think it won't be long before folks start buying properties like ours in Trinity Park as teardowns. When someone has upwards of a quarter of a million dollars to spend (not that we know how we're going to price the house yet, but sheesh people are getting a lot of money for little houses around here and we certainly don't want to cheat ourselves), they usually want a little bit more than a 1,600 square-foot, 3 bedroom 2 bath house with a tiny kitchen. Or hell, why not build multi-unit and maximize the revenue? So I think those of you who are planning to remain in TP need to get on the stick and work on getting historic district status or soon you'll be living in Chancelloryville, but without all the cute houses that used to make the neighborhood special.

12 comments:

htrouser said...

People are such fucktards about housing, but as you point out, in some ways it can work to the benefit of non-fucktards. Our house in Atlanta was only affordable because it has one bathroom, which apparently constitutes major deprivation for modern-day Americans. In fact we're in the in-town municipality of Decatur, where people often move for the schools. Hence houses here need to be attractive to families, and apparently people don't want to piss in the same toilets as each other. Which means we could afford a house with a cool outdoor fireplace.

Lisa B. said...

Yeah, I don't get the "need more bathrooms" mentality. I mean, OK, two is nice and can be convenient if you have guests, but you don't need one bathroom per bedroom (or more!), and after a while don't you get sick of cleaning so many toilets? Oh yeah, I guess if you can afford so many toilets to begin with you probhably pay someone else to clean them.

He who dies with the most toilets wins!!

spacegrrl said...

damn, girl.

i'm hoping OND is high on the list under Northgate Park. my house is currently in the $150k range and there are many comparable houses in the 'hood. plus i think the folks in OND would suit you a lot better than those in TP. although i can totally see you in NP.

there's one particular house in NP that i would steer you away from should it be available. some friends lived there and finally had to move because the neighbor behind them was so utterly obnoxious. i can get the address from them if you want.

Lisa B. said...

Oh yeah, I want to avoid obnoxious neighbors. Our current neighbors have been nothing but neighborly (plus it helps to have an alley behind the house so you're not butting up against anyone).

And yes, OND is on the list.

Christopher said...

Obviously, I endorse NP...it's like the poor cousin to all your fancy-pants neighborhoods in TP, OND, and other places south of 85. I'm pretty certain I'm not the obnoxious neighbor Miss 'grrl heard about, but you might want to check first! And since they opened that dog park, there are more canines roaming the neighborhood than Lizzie can keep track of.

I don't know house prices, but as long as slum lords like mine keep neglecting their properties, they'll be kept relatively low!

Christopher said...

Oh, and also... since I know how much you love children... we've got mostly young childless couples and old retired people. And lesbians. Boy, do we have lesbians.

Lisa B. said...

Few children! That's a bonus. Trinity Park is infested with 'em. But then who would bring me puppies?

Anonymous said...

Trinity Park will miss your original voice, afflicting the comfortable and comforting the afflicted.

Lisa B. said...

Thanks, anon ... I think I'm allowed to stay on the e-mail list even after I move ;-)

Barry Ragin said...

There are actually a number of 2/1s in Duke Park on the market right now in the 100k range. Don't know if that's enough room for you.

And none of them are next to my current asshole neighbors.

Lisa B. said...

2/1 would be fine for me. If they're still on the market when I'm able to buy (I sort of need the money from the sale of this one for the downpayment) I will definitely take a look.

christa said...

as i'm currently shopping for homes here in portland, i find i'm having extreme nostalgia for the neighborhoods in durham. the place i just put an offer on is 715 square feet (2/1) and is listed at $245k. unbelievable.

also, my condolences on your separation. :(