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Archive for August, 2011

When was the last time I posted? (Looks at site.) Oh yeah, April. How depressing. I guess summer is blog hiatus time, then, huh? Well, I think it is time to raise this thing from the dead, zombie-fy it, if you will.

Where has my summer gone? I would really like to know that as well. It’s not like I’ve been on a real vacation or anything like that. Maybe I’ve been uninspired to post because it sometimes feels like the world more or less shuts down during the summer months? Maybe it’s because distractions abound? Or maybe it is just falling into a daily grind which results in sheer laziness? In truth, it doesn’t really matter which reason it is; the end result is the same: no blog updates.

So what has been going on these past few months? The biggest project we’ve been undertaking is trying to buy our first house. I’ve felt kind of strange talking about it because there is so much uncertainty intrinsic to the process.  We started seriously looking into financing in early May. Throughout June, July, and August we’ve been looking for houses. We are looking to move out of the farthest-tier DC suburbs to the small city of Frederick in more Northern Maryland. We are deciding to move farther away from Joe’s work in order to lead a more relaxed life. Although the DC suburbs have been fine, I’ve found myself missing a place with a real sense of identity. The area we live in currently was developed only over the last twenty years or so. It is not a terrible place, don’t get me wrong, but it is a more or a less a series of strip malls divided by apartments and subdivisions. There is nothing wrong with this; it is just not the place for me. Having grown up in a small town, I find myself yearning for living in a place with a sense of self; a place where people take a real pride in their community as a unique place. And I think I have found that place in Frederick. Frederick is a more rural community, though many people now commute from there, but the people who live there really seem to want the city to succeed as a real entity, not just as a place to sleep at night. The downtown is beautiful, historic, and walkable.

Just a taste of downtown

So within that parameter, Joe and I have probably looked at 30 houses, basically everything that is on the market that fits our needs and our price range. It has been, needless to say, an exhausting process. Back in June, we thought that we had found “The House.” Good location, good price, fit what we were looking for. We liked the place a lot, spent Saturday talking to neighbors about the neighborhood, checked it out at night, checked what schools were associated with the neighborhood, figured out our negotiation plan. Early Sunday morning we called our Realtor to make an offer and were disappointed to find out that someone else had made an offer late Saturday night. We were beaten to the punch by only hours. I will admit I cried a little bit hearing that and kind of needed a week or so to regroup afterwards.

We got back on that horse, though, and kept looking, even though our options seemed to be dwindling more and more. At the beginning of this month, we found a house that we liked and made an offer. At this point, we have accepted a counter offer from the sellers and are waiting for the paperwork to be completed. Next week (hopefully) we’re going to be getting our inspections done and so forth, and barring major issues, we are hoping to be closed on the house sometime this fall. It has been hard for me to be in a sort of ambiguous area. The house we may be buying is old, and with an older house comes problems. Part of me wants to get excited and love this house, but the other part of me is trying to be more reserved, fully willing to walk away without heartbreak if there is something seriously wrong with the place. Being in house purgatory makes me feel ambiguous towards the place. I don’t love it, I don’t hate it, it just kind of “is.” And although I am a big fan of shades of gray and ambiguity in movies and books, I don’t really love those feelings within myself.

So just like expected, house hunting has been a real roller coaster of emotions. It has been a lot more mentally draining that I thought it would be. But regardless, I will try to update more often!

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