Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Housing Woes
This housing slump has sure been a nasty time for those of us with a house up for sale. Yesterday, I had to make the agonizing decision to again lower the asking price of my house before the spring buying season (and the weather) really heats up.

In life, as in poker, timing is everything. We really needed to buy a bigger house and decided to take the plunge last May. We closed on our new house in June and spent the next four to five weeks fixing up and cleaning the old house. We had lived there for almost 13 years. When we moved in, we had a two-year-old child and a newborn. In another 20 months, we will have three teenagers!

Our old house is a passive solar envelope house, a style that was somewhat popular in the 1980's. It scares off some people, which certainly hurts in a slow market. The house is in a great neighborhood and the back yard is nice -- decent sized with some mature trees and a fenced yard. We unfortunately missed the spring buying traffic and a lot of the summer traffic, so I knew we were probably going to have to wait out the winter once the house had not sold by the time most schools started in August.

I had always been a pretty careful guy finance-wise all my life, so fortunately my thrifty habits, along with the salaries from two professional workers, has kept us okay. Not great, mind you, but at least we didn't have to worry about having enough money to buy essentials or pay our monthly bills. These past eight months have been a reminder, however, at how lucky we have been to be able to absorb the cost of two homes when some people are in deep doo doo.

Of course, that is where we'll be if we don't get this house sold in the next several months. Hopefully, the renewal of spring and the discounted price will finally help in getting the place sold.


Blogger PokahDave said...

Oh man, we were running in parallel with the same situation. I actually had 3 mortgages under my name for a brief two weeks last September :(
We were OK with a six month coverage for the two houses until it finally sold at the end of Feb. I had to give the guy all the breaks in the world and 5 diff. closings were fucked including the last one.
I think you guys will do well in the Spring with your house. I can't believe that the 'passive solar' thing is scaring people away. You'd think it was a selling point lately. Anyway, I wish you all the luck in the world....

3:28 PM  

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