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NewlyNested: $300,000 for a Miniature House


a blogumn by Debra Goykhman
Yes, this is a dollhouse kitchen, but you get the point. Photo Credit: vintagecat

Yes, this is a dollhouse kitchen, but you get the point. Photo Credit: vintagecat

As previously mentioned this Nester is looking for a new nest.  Like most people we are sick of paying rent that is higher than a mortgage for the same house, so we are now looking into buying a home.  I thought house hunting was going to be super fun—like shoe shopping– but I was wrong.  Instead house hunting is much more like the dating scene.  Here is why.

1.    I have never lived in one apartment over a year and there is no easy way out of a mortgage. The thought of committing doesn’t just scare me, but it makes me question myself and what I like.  Do I like the floor plan?  Can I see myself living in this amount of space forever?   Will I like the neighborhood?  Will I get along with the neighbors? When dating these questions are guy focused.  Do I really like him or is it lust?  Can I really stand to spend so much time with him?  Will I get along with his friends?  It’s all pretty much the same.

2.    First impressions are important.  With a house, I have to hope that I will look good on paper. When I want something so bad, like our hypothetical dream house I worry that the seller won’t like the “image” I present?  Kind of like impressing a crush and trying to make that killer first impression.

3.    Then there is panic.  How many times do I have to search for a house before I see something I like?  Why do all the ones I like get snatched up by someone else?  How many times do I have to have my heart broken before I find the one?  Similar to the frustration of endless first dates until you actually go on one you like and settle down.

4.    Finally, trusting a realtor is like getting a matchmaker.  You really have to trust that they are keeping your best interest at heart.

I’ve also learned through this process how different Southern California still seems to me.  I know what price to expect from what neighborhood in my hometown, but I’ve only been in California for a small amount of time, so I’m clueless when it comes to expectations.  The biggest shock I have experienced is how small the houses are for so much money! This is even with the housing crash.  We looked at a $300,000 home with a kitchen the size of a closet and another one that didn’t have enough space for both a TV and a couch in the living room.  It’s all very strange to me.  I’ve also gone into some open houses for places out of my reach and even in the 2 millions they are still often only 2 or 3 bedrooms, that just happen to have “sitting rooms” in the bedroom.

I am still hopeful to find a home even though I am always second guessing committing to San Diego and beginning to wonder if I’ll actually be able to find a kitchen that will fit some dishes.  Luckily I think time might be on my side.  I’ve heard rumors from people who keep up with the financial situation (I’m not so good at following the numbers), and I hear that it’s expected that the housing market will decrease another 10% before going back up.

Anyone else out there looking to buy?  Do you have any advice?