House Hunters Part III

Sorry things have a little quiet here on the ol' blog. We have been pretty busy with the house hunt. The lender situation is under control! Once we selected the person we wanted to work with, it was simply a matter of handing over all the documentation. We have been pre-approved and are ready to make an offer on a house. The problem now...we can't find a house.

I was sold on the schoolhouse and Hubby wanted to love that house as much as I did. But he didn't. We looked at it again on Sunday, preparing to make an offer but instead we walked away. There were three main issues: electrical, foundation, and septic. The whole house would likely need to be rewired for three prong electrical outlets since it only has the two prong currently. The foundation (which was originally poured in two sections) is separating and the house continues to settle strangely. Lastly, the septic has never been pumped in 16 years. That not only is disgusting but a huge problem! The owner doesn't want to make any concessions on price or do any work, so he can keep his schoolhouse.

Our realtor showed us a second house on Sunday which made me want to cry. It was an older, charming home with a barn but the inside needed so much work that we wouldn't be able to move in. New carpet/flooring, appliances, cabinets, bathrooms, paint, roof, mold...the list goes on and on. I wanted to scream! This is what is available? These houses are unlivable!!

Our realtor stated "Well, this is what you get in your price range. You know, not everybody is meant to have the American Dream." Our realtor also told us it was "time to reset our expectations" and "consider moving into a suburban neighborhood" like everyone else. True, we are looking for a house on a little property. True, we are looking for property in the county known for its wine, and therefore more expensive. True, we are having difficulty settling on something that we don't absolutely love. AND WHY SHOULD WE? We have jumped from one rental house to the next for over 7 years. We have settled every single time we have moved: no yard, noisy neighbors, drafty windows, small square footage, etc. We have done this because we are renters and there isn't a lot of room to be picky. But now, we are looking to be owners and there are just some things we aren't willing to give up on.

And regarding the American Dream: as a couple we have aimed to do it right, we pay our bills every single month on time, we have limited debt obligations and live within our means, we have savings and retirement accounts, we are college educated, we didn't buy a home at the height of the market because we knew we couldn't afford it (even when the bank said we could), one of us is gainfully employed. If you can do all of this and still not obtain the American Dream than I am more deeply saddened about the state of our country than I was before.

Instead of giving up on the house and the American Dream, however, I think we should give up on the realtor. Our house is out there and we need to have an agent who is going to work for us, not against us. We need someone who understands our challenge and runs with it, not someone who thinks "it's too hard" and pushes us in a direction which is easier for them.