There is a couple around our age that moved into a large, beautiful home down the block a few years ago and JB and I spent a lot of time jealously wondering how they afforded such swanky digs. Maybe it was the side heroin-import business, or the internet porn, or her fame in Tijuana as a maestro de pelota de ping-pong . . . we had many theories.

Now they’re moving again, apparently to a bigger, better location — because 2300 square feet is not enough when you’ve got all those smack-smuggling pay-per-view vaginal-table-tennis activities to manage, I’m sure — and when we saw the open house sign yesterday afternoon JB and I decided to stop by. Their agent let us snoop around and I left lustful sluglike eyeball-trails gaze over the formal dining room, gorgeous staircase, gourmet kitchen, and giant windows. Every inch was spotless and nicely decorated, they had actual art on their walls instead of sweet-potato fingerprints, and I swear I wasn’t rifling through their walk-in closet but . . . well, I couldn’t help but notice that their clothes were neatly arranged by color.

Listen, I know you’re not supposed to covet thy neighbor’s goods, but damn.

Anyway, we only did this to be nosy, because god knows we can’t afford such a fancy place, but, well, it turns out we kind of CAN. JB ran some numbers and given the fact that we have a 15-year fixed loan from our remodel and our house value isn’t high enough to get a new combined loan that would drop the monthly payments, we could actually in theory use the equity in our current home to buy a new house at a higher value and pay the same amount per month, maybe even less.

We think our neighbors are asking too much for their home, but it got us thinking about what else is out there for a similar value. And you know, there’s a lot. Housing prices are down right now, even in Seattle’s crazy market, and we could definitely upgrade. Get some more living space, maybe even a view.

There are all kinds of questions, of course, like whether our house would even sell right now, whether we could get a new loan given JB’s brand-new job, and whether or not it’s a good idea to make ANY big financial moves like that at the moment. Also: schools, commutes, the unbelievable ass-pain of showing a house while living in it, and the associated costs of moving. Oh and the probability of ANY place, no matter how amazing, looking trashed within one month of housing two small children.

It’s just interesting to think about, I guess. Also, as long as I’m dreaming, I would like someone to buy me this house IMMEDIATELY.

:::

PS: Oh! I almost forgot: I participated in the Big Climb yesterday, and I posted a bit about it here. To those who sponsored me or sent encouraging words, thank you so much!

Comments

88 Responses to “Mulling”

  1. amy a. on March 23rd, 2009 10:14 pm

    I’ve ben reading here for awhile, but I can’t remember if I have commented. High comment counts make me shy.

    Anyway – I have to tell you that a couple nights ago I saw a blurb on the news about the sterilizing keyboard you told us about and I blurted out to my husband, “Hey, I know that guys wife!”. Even though I don’t. Isn’t the internet cool?

    So, congratulations. I hope you guys do really well and that you get a vacation home on top of the bigger home you are looking for now.

  2. Gwen on March 23rd, 2009 10:14 pm

    Also, holy crap, that house is amazing! The views! The deck! The VIEWS! Think of all the money you’d save because you’d never want to leave the house unless absolutely necessary.

  3. Julia on March 23rd, 2009 10:23 pm

    Are you in my computers looking at my houses? I was browsing houses in my old neighborhood (used to rent in the neighborhood when I was in college) just the other day and stumbled across this gem. God, it might not be my style, but I would love to live in that neighborhood. Would love love love it.

  4. ginger on March 23rd, 2009 10:58 pm

    I think people are trying to make you feel better about the fact you might not be able to have this house by sour-graping it. You know? They aren’t hating on it to say you have bad taste – they’re hating on it because they don’t want you to feel inferior or whatever.

    That amazing water view through all those windows totally looks drafty to me. Yeah, that’s it, drafty.

  5. danielle on March 24th, 2009 5:17 am

    We are in the exact same boat as you guys! Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering taking the real estate plunge. First, your sweet little boys aren’t going to be little forever. You’ll want (need) space for both of them (and their buddies) to hang out (and play Playstation 2020). Secondly, you make money when you buy, not when you sell. So if you can find a great house at a good price then it will be worth it in the long term.

  6. bad penguin on March 24th, 2009 6:59 am

    My husband and I have been talking a lot about buying a house but just put it off again because of layoffs at my company last week. I’m still employed, but I don’t know, it felt reckless somehow to keep looking right now.

    Let’s say we pool our resources and buy that dream house together. The kitchen looks a little small, but wow, those views are spectacular. I’m sure we’d all fit, really ;)

  7. Donna on March 24th, 2009 8:01 am

    Hey, if I win the lottery, I’ll buy it, and then you guys can come visit all the time!

    And got the word about the Mister, I am really sorry, he was so funny and sweet, (from his writing anyway). Hug up your aunt for all of us K?

  8. Jennifer on March 24th, 2009 8:45 am

    Now is a good time to move up to a bigger home if you can afford it. Despite the scary housing market we just moved to a bigger home with a bigger yard in Maple Valley without selling our house in Des Moines first. We got a great deal on a foreclosure that just needed a little more work. And by pricing our old house right and spending a lot of time making it look sharp, we signed an offer 4 days after it was listed. We should close in the next week.

  9. Jenny on March 24th, 2009 9:08 am

    We’re actually looking to downsize right now. We don’t have to — nobody’s lost a job yet — but my husband would love to retire early, and we’ve got a smidge too much house (damn the seductive qualities of new construction!) But moving is expensive, and in this market, who knows if our house will sell? It could take a year. It’s a bummer, looking at dream houses you just *know* will sell before your own house does. (I want to know Jennifer @8:45am’s secret!)

  10. Sarah on March 24th, 2009 10:04 am

    I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t fully understand the current controversy, but there’s big problems a-brewing with Seattle Public Schools assignment plan right now. The final assignment plan revisions will be released at the end of April (I think). You’d be on the very edge of the John Rogers Reference Area, which, in my understanding, means that you get put lower on the assignment preference list than people closer to the school. Of all the NE Cluster schools, John Rogers seems to be one of the least desirable (preferring Wedgwod, View Ridge, Bryant and Laurelhurst instead). Also, I’m pretty sure the kids would then be bussed to Eckstein Middle, which is way down by my house. Eckstein is also due for a MAJOR renovation. Nathan Hale HS is a good school, but the local opinion seems to like Roosevelt HS more and Roosevelt was just completely gutted and is beautiful and much better equipped now.

    The major problem with SPS is that you can choose to go to whichever school in the city you want to and there’s this crazy complicated assignment algorithm that is being reworked right now under the new superintendent. What that means for us in the NE Cluster, where we’ve recently had a massive baby boom, is that there aren’t even enough seats in our reference area schools let alone enough to accommodate the “free-choice” aspect of the SPS system. So a lot of kids who live in the reference areas for NE Cluster schools aren’t getting in.

    If you’re seriously considering a move anywhere within the SPS boundaries I would read up on it. Of course, you could always send your kids to private school and avoid all this ridiculousness. Lakeside is near you (and University Prep is near us if you feel like a little bit of a drive).

  11. Sarah on March 24th, 2009 10:09 am

    And by “near you” re: Lakeside, I meant near the pretty pretty Dream House. :)

  12. misguided mommy on March 24th, 2009 10:23 am

    Okay seriously that bath tub. I’m going to need that STAT, and that laundry room with counters and a sink and ROOM, yes please!

  13. Debs on March 24th, 2009 1:13 pm

    You know, I would have to agree with Jennifer on the purchase. I just put a contract on a house, and I am going to settlement on it next week. Luckily I had some things going in my favor (low interest rates, been 3 years since I owned a home – tax credit, and a small amount in savings for the down.) There are loads of people buying houses here. If you can make it happen, I say make it happen.

  14. Amy on March 24th, 2009 1:23 pm

    Screw reality! The Dream House is fab and why not DREAM!! The view is amazing, the kitchen, ahhhh, everything. Enjoy the dream.

  15. Andrea on March 24th, 2009 2:05 pm

    I’m always on the lookout for a new house. We gutted and renovated our current digs and now I’m ready for the next one. My husband is trying to tame the neuroses given the economy, but interest rates are low! Happy looking, sometimes the looking is just kind of fun, and it makes you feel like you don’t need to move afterall.

  16. Josh on March 24th, 2009 3:15 pm

    Damn Linda, you’re such a woman, with your posh interior decorating, and your color matching. Why do you women folk love that shit so much? I would be very happy to live in house that just had a bar, a kitchen, a shitter, a bedroom and a garage. (and maybe a workshop or two) And none of those would be interior-decorated, just neon beer signs and Halloween decorations up all year long. But my woman does the same thing, with the painting and furniture selection and all that. There must be some kind of color palate gene built into the vagina.

  17. Jennifer on March 24th, 2009 6:09 pm

    Wow! That house is amazing. I’m surprised it’s so “cheap” but I guess things are priced to sell these days. It’s gorgeous though!

    We’re pretty happy in our house but I’m always jealously wondering what the husbands of the stay-at-home-mothers and housewives in our neighborhood do because it ain’t cheap to live in midtown Atlanta. We barely scrape by with two incomes and no kids.

  18. Meagan on March 24th, 2009 9:21 pm

    My husband and I are always looking around for our next house, even though we just bought ours a little over a year ago and there’s no way we can afford what we want. And if the dream house is any indication, it looks like you and I have the same taste in houses. Good luck working everything out.

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