Wednesday, January 30, 2008

They want to make buttons out of my bones

Warning: If you don't live in/around Durham/RTP this post will probably bore you.

Maybe I should forget buying for a while and rent until house prices hit rock bottom. That way maybe I could afford something I actually want to live in. The housing look-see went well enough on Saturday. We went in to look at a couple of places, including a brick ranch that I adored in Bethesda. Mostly we just drove by places and ruled them out without wasting time looking inside.

It sucks ruling out a neighborhood that I think may be on the upswing because it's still pretty cruddy. For example I see lots of signs of rehabbing and construction going on in Walltown, which is a good sign, but everything I can afford there is surrounded by scary crappiness. If I weren't going to be living alone I might think it would be a good investment to buy in Walltown right now, but the truth is I don't want to spend years alone in a scary crappy place waiting for my investment to pay off. That would be scary. And crappy.

And while I really like Northgate Park, I feel like everything there is so microscopic. I don't need as much space as I've got now (1600 sf), but damn, 900 sf is really little. Put me and a couple of dogs in there and I just think the coziness will get old very quickly. The benefit would be that it would make us get out and enjoy the wonderful proximity of the park, I suppose.

My agent insists I need to buy something that will sell again very quickly because she says most people in my position, i.e. separating/divorcing women, move again within 5 years. So this means that I shouldn't buy where I actually want to live, but where I think someone else on my housing budget would want to live (this is the main reason she wants me to consider Raleigh). But that just seems so messed up ... so I should pick a place that's LESS convenient to me because someone else will like it better? That sort of seems like it's setting up a self-fulfilling prophecy; I mean, of course I will want to move within 5 years if I'm not living where I want ...

I'm sick of this already.


Marsosudiro said...

On this count, your agent is certifiably nuts.

Breathe well and choose something that will make you happy. Please!

Lisa B. said...

I think "certifiably nuts" is a little harsh! I think she is looking at this from a more economic perspective and she's trying to balance me a little.

Sarah said...

When I bought this house, the realtor told me all single female first-time home buyers sell within 3 years, and tried to steer me towards one of those mortgages that are really cheap for the first few years and then screw you if you hang onto it for too long. I ignored her and went with a safe, fixed mortgage from my credit union, and guess what? 10 years later I'm still in the house and have no plans to move. You know your habits better than she does, so go with your gut.

toastie said...

If I had to do it over again, I don't know if I'd have opted for buying in Walltown. Scariness and crappiness are variable, but there are too many little things that accumulate to make it just too unpleasant at times. I get kudos for buying in an "improving" area, but I'd rather forgo the kudos and have peace of mind. What I hate the most is that I feel I have to always walk my dog towards Duke rather than towards Club and Guess, because it's way too stressful for me and the pup to walk past all the chained up and caged dogs. That being said, I'd welcome anyone who moves into Walltown who helps make it less crappy and less scary.

And, personally, I'd drop any agent who persists in bringing up Raleigh if you've expressed that you don't want to move there.

Good luck.