Sunday, March 16, 2008

There's always something happening and it's usually quite loud

I haven't blogged because honestly I have one thing on my mind and I'm just afraid it's getting really boring: where the hell should/will I live? I'm rather obsessed. I'm not going to get what I want because my job pays crap and I have to keep the payments really low. My mortgage broker ran my numbers and presented me with the reality: even if I plow every bit of what I get from the sale of our current house into a downpayment, I absolutely must stay under $150k. Or I could, like, quit doing dogsports because I won't be able to afford them. I think I'd rather try to cheap out on a house.

But in my price range, there is something really wrong with everything I look at. It's tiny, it's hideous, the neighborhood looks crappy and depressing, the yard is tiny, the yard is too sloped for dog training, it will make my commute to work longer ... Or it's fine but unless the owners will take a lowball offer, I can't have it (which is the case with my favorite house which, egads, is also in Raleigh). I'm really depressed. And obsessed. I can spend hours and hours on Trulia or Zillow.

Also, I've become obsessed with cleaning. I never know when someone will be coming through my house, so I have to keep it spotless. That's not easy when you have dogs, especially when one of them is still a puppy who likes to shred her toys. Or sneak a stick into the house from the yard and then chew it on the carpet. Or dig in the backyard and then track dirt and leaves into the house. Then again, I harbor the hope that even after we're not showing anymore I'll retain my neat-freak habits and my next house will always be pristine ...

Anyway, gotta go make a spreadsheet comparing and contrasting my front-runner houses ...


spacegrrl said...

if the main problem with parkwood is that the house might be hard to sell later on down the line, that seems less important than, say, having no where to live. or living next to a crackhouse.

Heather said...

Hey Lisa - Heather from Trulia here...thought I'd stop in with a quick tip. Try asking the community on Trulia Voices for advice as you conduct your search. You already have your network of friends/family/your agent/etc, and this could be another sounding board as you plan your move. Good luck on your search!

Here's Trulia Voices in Raleigh:

Lisa B. said...

Hi Heather, here's the deal: I already asked about Parkwood on Trulia, and I only got one not-very-helpful reply ("sounds like your mind is already made up." Well, uh, no, if it were would I be wasting my time asking the question on Trulia?) It was an agent, of course ... and no real estate agent wants to say anything potentially bad about a neighborhood online, because tomorrow s/he could be trying to sell a house in that neighborhood. Seems like the only people who answer questions there are agents trolling for customers. "I'll send you a list of houses if you like" seems to be a favorite reply ... when if we are using Trulia correctly we don't really need their list of houses.

So in short, it wasn't very helpful. But thanks.

Anonymous said...

I lived in Parkwood while I was in high school here (class of '90). It was a very safe neighborhood at that time. Some of my friends' parents still live there. If it were really becoming unsafe, I think they'd move on. Try driving through on a weekend night and see if anything feels off to you.

Heather said...

Hmph - sorry to hear it...we are now at 100K contributions on Trulia Voices, so hopefully the empty room problem in your area won't last much longer. While agents are the primary "answerers" on the site, we find that their opinions are often pretty diverse. Again, best of luck.

libby said...

hi lisa pants,

have you checked out homestead heights? it's across from durham regional hospital, between duke st. and hillandale. brick ranch homes from the 50's-60's, most of them around or below $150k.

we moved here in '04 because of the cool design of our house, the huge yard, the price and the safe neighborhood.

the majority of the neighbors are retired folks who mind their own business and keep their yards pretty, but it's gradually filling up with artists, lesbians and lots of young couples with dogs (all good signs in my book).

there are 3 homes for sale in homestead heights right now. one of them has been on the market for over a year, so it probably needs a lot of work, but the homes are low maintenance, well-built and come with really big yards.

it's not as hip as duke park or northgate park, but it's pretty, friendly, quiet and safe. really close to the northgate dogpark as well.

just thought i'd throw our 'hood in to your tip jar.

(if you'd like more info, my email is libbylynn@gmail.)

Lisa B. said...

Hi Libby,

I'm interested in a home near there--the listing sheet calls it "Dogwood Acres," though. It's just north of Carver between Duke and Guess. It's a ranch on almost half an acre. I like the neighborhood.

Generally I've made Carver Street the northern boundary of my search, because I don't want to lengthen the time it takes me to get to I-40 every day. I know there are lots of houses I would like in that area, but I just don't want a longer commute to Raleigh if I can avoid it. But it seems like to get an affordable house, I'll have to spend more money on gas. The problem is, a house payment will stay the same every month, but gas prices will probably go up. So if I make my commute too long, I'll pay more for it later.

Thanks for the tip, though! That is indeed a very nice area.

libby said...

my boyfriend commutes to raleigh every day via hwy 70. it's right off I-85 at the roxboro exit, and a lot faster than I-40. i think his drive time is around 35 minutes.

good luck!

Mamacita Chilena said...

can you look into finding a house in a city with lower costs of living or are you not willing to relocate?

good luck with the search, I do not envy you that stress! Hope you find something quick!!!

Lisa B. said...

I like living here ... plus I have a job here. I don't have a job somewhere else ;-) I don't really want to move away from a place where I have a lot of friends and a job just to have a cool house.