Wah! My favorite house is for sale.

louislinusJuly 29, 2014

I just need to whine for a minute. We just moved 7 weeks ago. I like our house a lot and it checked off everything on our list. But it was more expensive than we were planning (not by much but still some), and it needs updated. It is a very solid all brick home, the owners were fastidious and the house is immaculately maintained. However, the finishes and such are outdated pretty much all throughout the house. We have already painted the entire interior and have plans to do simple inexpensive upgrades to make it pretty.

Anyway, the house across the street I have loved for years. It is so darling. And it just went on the market this morning. omg. It is smaller than our house by about 700 sf but it has the number of bedrooms, bathrooms and finished basement that we wanted. And it has a great wooded lot and is cheaper than our new house by quite a bit. Our new house has an attached buildable lot that we have an option on to buy in 2 years. The house across the street is cheaper by far when you include the fact that we have to buy this additional lot. We don't *have* to buy the lot but we will because we don't want someone building on it.

CRAP! I need to remind myself of all the things I loved about out new house when we picked it.

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Any chance you could buy the house across the street and rent the one you are in now? Or sell the one you are in, take a bit of a loss, and get the other one? Will you be able to live across the street from your dream house and always wish you had attempted to get it, even though the timing was bad?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 12:46PM
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Can you go view the house across the street? Just take a look... it may be that, up close, it's not all that you're dreaming it is.

Or, perhaps it is. And, like joaniepoanie states, perhaps you can find a way to sell/rent your existing and buy the one across the street. Regarding your existing home, having to buy an empty lot just so no one builds on it doesn't seem like an ideal situation. (Unless you really need or want the extra lot--it will end up more maintenance and likely more in property taxes.) In the long run, even with realtor fees and other transaction fees, you may be better off financially in the house across the street.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:09PM
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I think almost everything that happens has a reason. I find houses I like all the time. I probably would like them less if I actually owned them.

This post was edited by palimpsest on Tue, Jul 29, 14 at 14:10

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:21PM
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Well, have you unpacked yet? Do you at least still have the boxes?

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 1:25PM
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Grass is always greener. Love the house your have.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:39PM
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Grow where you are planted.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 2:54PM
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If its financially feasible and your SO agrees - move. Life is too short and if the house you are currently in is an uphill battle to get happy in then just do it.
I spent 17 years in a neighborhood because I thought it best for my kids when what I really wanted was a farm. I realized this about 6months in.
We finally bought the farm everyone is happier.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:09PM
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^what missy said. If that is your dream house you will always be thinking about it. See if you can make it happen, if not then at least you tried.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 3:16PM
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Louis - Have you been in the other house? There are a couple that I have fallen in love with and when I actually got inside I felt betrayed by the house. How could you look so perfect and be so bad inside?

Kind of like the handsome cad.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:32PM
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Thanks all. I appreciate the feedback. I think my husband would flip out if we moved again. So we will stay where we are. I do love our house and once we do all that we want to it I know it will be amazing, even more amazing than the "favorite house." I just can't believe that this house is up for sale 2 months after we bought the other house. I mean what are the odds? Our neighborhood is very stable and people either die or retire out of it. Most of the houses on our street have 30+ year owners still in it so there is very little inventory in our neighborhood.

Oh well. Maybe I will go look at it just to put my mind at ease. There is an open house this weekend. I'm also certain it will sell very quickly so there is no way we could even begin the process in time to make an offer. Just wanted to commiserate with folks that would understand.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:35PM
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I wouldn't "close the door" on buying your favorite. If the real estate market is active there then it might make sense. And if it really is substantially less then the one you just bough then it makes financial sense.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:37PM
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I love your current house. A wooded lot is pretty to look at but your children will love the yard you have much more. We have a heavily wooded lot in back and there was never really a good play space for them that wasn't dirty or full of critters. I also love that it has a lot next door that you will own someday. That will preserve your privacy and give you options in the future that could be important later.

That being said, I'd look at the house. You may find that you like the one you are in better. That has happened to me on more than one occasion.

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:37PM
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I hope you hate it. ;)

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 4:39PM
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louislinus, I feel your pain!

My Mom fell in love with a condo when it was built about 15 years ago. A good friend of hers lives in the building, so she's seen the inside. She always imagined herself buying one if it went on the market (it's only a 4-plex).

But things change. She moved from her 4-bedroom house to a 2-bedroom apartment last fall. Six months later, one of the condos came on the market. She and I looked at it, and made lists of the pros and cons of the condo vs the apartment, and the apartment won out.

Had she still been in the house, the condo would have been a vast improvement; compared to the apartment, it wasn't worth the effort, not only of moving, but becoming a homeowner again.

Look at your dream house, and list pros and cons. You might just find it isn't all you imagined, or that you've got it pretty darn good right where you are.

Best wishes!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2014 at 5:12PM
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If you can make your house into one you will love more, than you are better off. Plus your house is 700 sq. ft. bigger.

I tried to get two other homes before I bought this one a couple yrs. ago. One house I had an accepted offer on and it was an amazing mcm home in a great neighborhood. The offer didnt go through because of some shenanigans on the seller's part. I was so heartbroken. The second house had amazing views and had a guest house I could rent. It was a foreclosure. I put in a bid (I believe the highest bid) but was beat out by a cash offer. Again, I was heartbroken...

This house was my third choice and I love it! I have been able to make it what I want. It is bigger than the other homes, and although I dont need the space, it it nice to have. In retrospect, I now see that I am lucky I ended up where I am. I see the downsides to owning the other homes - the first home was maybe too small. It was in a depression. No views. The second home was a long drive from work. I could hear the busy road at the bottom of the mountain. The architecture was nothing special. There are so many things I like about this house that while the other homes would have been terrific, I now see that this is the best home for me.

Maybe after you look at the othe house, you will feel the same way. Maybe not right away, but in time, I bet you will

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 2:54AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Yeah, what are the odds. So it goes.

Take a look and you may find it doesn't live up to your expectations....or get some ideas from it how to make your current home your dream home.

Most likely it will not pay to change houses given moving expenses and financing costs of both places until the other sells. 700 sq ft is a lot to lose if you've already got it filled and are using it....and it is more leverage as real estate prices rise...and it sounds like more land which is nice. That and the fact that you are already putting yourself into this house to make it your own means you'll probably be happier staying put.

So make friends with the new neighbors and you can visit if you like!

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 7:35AM
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The people across the street probably wanted to move for a long time - these things usually don't happen suddenly. They could have been afraid of or uncertain about the market in your stable neighborhood with few comps. When your house sold, it emboldened them.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 9:02AM
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Two stories:

1. I have friends who bought a house in a much desired older neighborhood that rarely had homes come on the market. They ended up buying a nice two story, but rather standard, newer home in that neighborhood. While working on the house, a beautiful old stone house went on the market in the same neighborhood. They immediately bought it, and then put the old/new house on the market.

2. My daughter and son-in-law are in the market for a new house in their current neighborhood. They had previously been interested in an older home with a large yard and very nice architecture (but couldn't afford it at the time.) That home never sold and eventually went off the market. The owners were smokers.

Fast forward to a year later when my daughter and husband decide they need a larger home. My daughter went to this house and knocked on the door. She mentioned that she and her husband liked the house and asked if it was going back on the market. The wife answered the door and said that she would think about it, but that the reason the home was taken off the market was because her husband was ill. The owner took my daughters name and number and said she would call. She did call once, and said that her husband was still ill, but that she had not forgotten about my daughter and husbands interest. She would call back later. Well, that call never came.

A couple of months later, my daughter took her then 1 year old on a walk and saw the lady outside. She went up to her and asked again about the house. The lady was so nice and relieved to see my daughter. She explained that she had lost her name and number. Her husband was dying, and Hospice was called in. She said that she would be selling her house eventually. A week later, my daughter received a note from the lady saying how she would love to have "such a cute young family" living in her house.

A few weeks ago, the lady's son called my daughter and SIL. He said that his father was still hanging on, but when he passed, he [the son] would be in charge of selling the home. They have communicated a couple more times. His father died this past week. :(

Now the problem! My daughter and her husband have listed their home and have only had 2 showings in a month. They are very discouraged.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:03PM
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Oh, I can relate. Gimme a zipcode, anywhere, and I will find a house i love and must have.

My 2cents.

1. It is highly unlikely, given transaction costs and timing, that this will make any economic sense. Your house is often one's largest asset. Only consider this if you can afford to be less than rational about your largest asset.

2. In the long run, you have more sq feet and more acreage (w the option). Those things are harder to come by then decor or charm or style. They are more valuable to the market, too. Whatever it is you love about the other house, try to find a way to -- not copy -- but draw inspiration.

3. You have a good view of it, enjoy that! I would not buy a house if I didn't like the view of the one across the street...

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 5:25PM
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I'd look at it and then remember life is short! If you love it and it will make you happier than where you are now, just do it.

I am moving right now myself and it is both financially and emotionally difficult. But I am looking forward to moving to a place that I truly love and that is all I have dreamed about. It is my forever home, I hope! Experience helps: I've had to make such major changes several times in my life so far and while always difficult in the short run I don't regret any of them in the long run.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2014 at 8:02PM
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