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House Hunting

31 Mar

More like “House Stalking”…
A few months ago, Mr. Bee & I realized that, because of how we had balanced some of my student loans from law school, the amount we pay monthly now for our P.O.S. 70′s house is the exact same as we could pay for a brand new home in a community that we both love. We like where we live now but we never intended to be here more than 5 years and this month is our 5-year anniversary! The community is fine, but I’ve lived in this area for the last 26 years (minus 5 years or so for college and grad school) and I’m totally over it. The whole neighborhood is slowly becoming a retirement home with hardly any families with young children. With Baby Bee, we need a new hive with young families. The next house will be our long-term home, probably for the next 15+ years (kinda freaky!).

So, anyway. When we realized that we could move and pay less in this horrendous housing market for a kick @ss house, we started looking around immediately. Since we don’t want to live in Seattle proper (want to raise Baby Bee somewhere safer), don’t want to live North of Seattle (commute and communities), don’t want to live much more South of where we are now (commute and communities), it didn’t take long to find where we want to live. It’s a great planned community up on a ridge. The whole area is based around it’s own elementary school (which, ironically, Baby Bee wouldn’t be going to because our “house” would be right over a city boundary line). There also is a whole shopping center with a grocery store, ice cream, hair stylist, restaurants, fast food, and, most importantly, a Starbucks!

We went up to tour the model homes about a month ago and I absolutely fell in *love* with a particular house style (see above photo). It totally fits our budget (after my cold-as-ice negotiations) and would hopefully includes a whole bunch of fabulous upgrades like hardwood, travertine floors and countertops in the bathrooms, etc. I pretty much want to put in my order for the exact model home we toured! I wish I could even get it with all the designer-chosen wall colors and furniture!

Now we’re just trying to play it “cool” with the housing developer. They keep on telling us, “Well, we have a lot of interest right now,” and I’m *this* close to calling bullsh!t on them. We’re trying to not show too much interest and let them know that we really don’t *have* to sell our house right now (and, because of the market, would probably get more for the house if we wait). I’ve also emailed the guy who is our contact at the homebuilder and let him know that “we’re not totally sold on purchasing new construction and there are some other areas we are looking at.” If I were honest, I’d write, “I love this house. We will buy this house. It is simply of matter of when and how much. We completely have our hearts set on your community and this house. We are *totally* in your pocket, Mr. Salesman.” But instead I have to bide my time by longingly staring at our photos from the model home walk-thru and checking the homebuilder’s website religiously. We are currently working on our house to sell it and have made a lot of progress the last month! I’m dying to know what it could sell for (but worried for what it will sell for!).

Question of the Day
Because it has been so long since Mr. Bee and I have been house hunting, and since we really had no idea what we were doing the first time around, do any of you have any tips on home-buying and/or negotiating for Mama Bee? I know a lot of you have purchased new homes in the 5 or so years and hopefully your experiences are fresher in the mind than mine!

Yikes!

27 Mar

This just happened right down the road from our house! Luckily, I don’t recognize either car, but how scary!!

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