02 May 2008

German Houses Redux

Trying to move long distance is not a lot of fun. I'm expecting Politica home from a house-hunting trip any minute now. I haven't gotten the full scoop yet, but so far we have learned that I'm drawn to green spaces and she's drawn to more of a city neighborhood feel. That's OK: I rather like the city neighborhood she likes, too. Too bad we can't seem to find the right house. (Note to Universe: you could send a house anytime now. We'd be very grateful.)

At the moment, the options seem to be:
  • move to small suburb, which is very small, and very homogenous, both in terms of income and race, and have a short commute on a not-so-interesting road. The upside? A neighborhood full of kids, with reasonably spacious houses that are new enough to have modern conveniences like large closets and family rooms but old enough to be reasonably well constructed. Reasonable size backyards.
  • move to Germany (the pseudonymous one, which really needs a new pseudonym, but it so cracks me up to hear CG still making this confusion that I'm having trouble coming up with a better one), which is pretty diverse in terms of income, not so much in terms of race. The downside? so far, very hard to find a house we like.
  • rent, but finding a rental actually doesn't seem easier (although I've not yet tried very hard).
So far, Politica has seen two houses she's enthusiastic about: The One That Turned Out Not To Be For Sale, and The One That's Listed for $119,000 more than We Hoped To Spend. Then there's the bad floor plan on the busy road, the OK house right next to a crisis pregnancy center/transisional housing/rehab center, the perfectly functional and modern house in the suburbs, The Hobbit House in the suburb's little center....this is very frustrating, and I beg your pardon and indulgence for whining about it here. It's a mysterious housing market--the neighborhood we really want to move to seems to be FSBO central in which houses get snapped up almost immediately, and houses are for sale without really being listed (Politica saw two or three houses that she just heard about from someone while she was visiting around). Sigh. This too shall pass, right? People do manage long-distance moves all the time. But still, sigh.


Arwen said...

Oh, that's worth a whine. It's hard to be unsettled, and especially hard at a distance - I imagine especially if you're buying.
We're wishing the best for you. I hope the perfect house shows up for you.
I must admit that based on your description the little suburb sounds like a nice one.

chichimama said...

I just wrote a very long comment and it got eaten. The shirt version as the kids just woke up-

Good luck!

Renting might not be a bad idea if you can't find what you are looking for.

Are you using an agent? Although I guess in a FSBO town one might not be so useful.

Check out this blog post on packing tips, wish I had seen it before we had moved.


chichimama said...

Short version I mean...

Magpie said...

Argh. The house will happen. It will.

peripateticpolarbear said...

Well, I imagine she will be very jet-lagged once she returns from Germany. Perhaps it's a language barrier?

Seriously, I"m sure you'll find something soon.

Songbird said...

Those inside baseball neighborhoods are, well, like mine. Many families have moved "up" without leaving the street. They tend to be friendly neighborhoods once you're in, though, so worth persisting.

Phantom Scribbler said...

Our fingers are crossed for you that the right house falls into your laps (uh, metaphorically speaking) soon!

justenjoyhim said...

Oh, I wish you luck! It's been a LONG time since I looked for a place to live; wasn't fun then and the housing market was a lot better.

elswhere said...

laughing at the image of a perfect house falling out of the sky and into your laps. Ouch!

Aside from that...you know how much I empathize with this post. I have to say I've found the suburbs (well, near suburbs) much more livable than I thought they'd be. Go figure.

Luck, luck, luck (the good kind) to you. And do keep breathing!

Leighton said...

You know, when I'm feeling as whiny as I am lately, knowing that someone else is whining too is actually comforting. And I think your whines are plenty valid.

Hope they get assuaged soon, though!

kathy a. said...

when we did our last long-distance move, i lucked on a rental that was good enough. suburban, yard, near easy mass-transit to my job and so much more, and our goofy little pretty-diverse town turned out to be good for us. it was a few years before we bought, and we bought a house one mile away, same little town.

no one place is going to be perfect. and it need not be permanent. you have so many good leads and feelers out, though, that i bet you will find a good-enough place.

niobe said...

Germany and its suburbs may be immune, but my bet is that many, many places are going to see pretty big drops in real estate prices over the next couple of years. For that reason, I'd probably lean towards looking seriously into renting.

Unless, of course, you find the perfect house.

Jody said...

We found the long-distance move thing endlessly stressful. Spouse couldn't manage the uncertainty of waiting or renting, so we ended up spending about 100K more than originally budgeted and buying when one of us (that would be me) wasn't on the ground to help decide. I'm not a huge believer in moving for the sake of moving (I grew up in the house my dad grew up in, and the concept of "buying up" just doesn't come easily to me, sometimes to my frustration) but there are times when I catch myself day-dreaming, because I've only got this one life and I wonder what matters most to me in the house I inhabit.

All of which is just to say, this stuff is HARD.

I hope the FSBO house you're bidding on now works out -- argh, I hate having to deal with unprofessional sellers, it's endlessly irritating.