I’ve neglected you, blog. I apologize.
Fortunately, since I still have 8 steps to get through, my home search is taking quite a bit longer than anticipated. It’s not that I’m not looking. If you ask my poor, frustrated agent we’ve been out ten times and seen dozens of places. This is an exaggeration, but we have seen a lot. I am picky, but unfortunately I’m also unlucky. I’ve made two offers and both have fallen through for different reasons. But I’ll save those stories for the Make and Offer/Negotiating to Buy sections. I can talk about neighborhood information now though.
Since I am single, with no kids and a fairly centrally located job, my neighborhood concerns are not those of most house hunters. I don’t need to worry about the quality or proximity of schools or a good karate class. I don’t have to worry that it will take me 30 minutes to get to work (though I could find some place 30 minutes away there are good options much closer). I need only be concerned about the noise in the area, maybe the grocery store chain and how far I am from a movie theater and good coffee shop. I know you’re crying for me.
Ironically I have still been having real troubles. Part of my problem is that I had been looking in a very small area until recently. I had one zip code in mind, with an alternate that is, for all intensive purposes, out of my price range. While bored I wandered into some other zip codes and stumbled across a place that was $20,000 cheaper and much closer to tempting and useful locations I had never thought of. While the place didn’t work out (again, more on that later) it has opened my eyes to a whole new neighborhood, that may now even have become my first choice.
So I guess the moral of the story is don’t be blinded. Sometimes a higher city tax really is worth it. Sometimes a slightly longer drive means more house. Keep an open mind and always have your checkbook with you; you never know when that perfect place will pop up.