On April 15, we marked our two year anniversary of home-ownership. We’ve learned a lot over the past two years: how the buying process worked, how to paint a room and trim and interior doors, how to install a little patio, and save your grass from being overcome by weeds (our best find: Scott’s Bonus S).
But we’ve also learned our lesson on a few not-so-fun things: that homeowner’s associations can have more politics than Congress, that you can’t pick your neighbor’s pets (or silence their incessantly noisy dog), that there’s only so much you can do with the feral cat population of your neighborhood, and that if you move into a place as an investment then you have to make decisions for resale—not what your heart desires.
And there’s one big thing that you can’t control, whether you buy for the long haul or investment, as we did: FORECLOSURE. I’m not talking about us, but about the houses around us. In the last year, our beautiful neighborhood has had three foreclosures, two of which are still on the market. On a whim, B recently looked up the comparables for our neighborhood, and we were incredibly dismayed to see how the home values have trickled downward. The flip side of a foreclosure is that it’s not in good shape, so you get what you pay for. But even still, this drags down the overall prices in the area.
This new-found knowledge has us inevitably thinking, What do we do? Do we sell now, and hope to get out with what little we can? Do we wait a while longer, hope things tick upward, and see what happens? We don’t have an answer. In fact, even thinking of going through the selling process in this market makes me feel sick. All we know is that we’re nearing the end of what we want to invest in the Russian Space Station, and that means that we have a decision on our hands. It means that the bigger projects I’d been dreaming of (replacing the floors, installing wainscotting in the foyer, screening in the back porch, building a deck/dock outside) will not be happening.
We don’t have to make a decision today, or tomorrow, or this year even. The only thing that’s for certain is that we’ll be watching those foreclosed properties like two hawks guarding the nest. After all, our nest is just down the street.