A disappointing turn in our house-hunting: the house we'd found appraised for way under the asking price, so we're back to looking for a place to live in Germany-the-pseudonymous. Politica has been househunting this week, and the options are:
- a very expensive house in one of the best of Germany's neighborhoods. Very large (over 3000 sq ft.! more house than we need), but just beautiful, with a huge yard. Good things: lots of space, lots of light, lots of public and useable space on the first floor, all new windows, lovely kitchen, we could walk to work and walk to CG's school. Bad things: it's expensive, we're not sure we can get it for what we can offer, and it might require a gardener for the backyard. So some house maintenance costs might be in a higher bracket than we're used to. Price note: this house is expensive, but it's huge, and in terms of price-per-square foot, it's actually the second cheapest.
- a not-quite-so-expensive house in a very good German neighborhood, same school area as the expensive house. Large house with 6 bedrooms (more than we need, but 2 are in the attic and we could just close that part of the house off or use it for storage). Good things: Politica just likes this house, it seems to call to her. Walkable to our work and CG's school. bad things: asbestos in basement, it's overpriced (one of the most expensive houses per square foot even if we make a low offer). What I forgot to mention in the first version of this post: this house has a lot of windows, and they're all old. The current owner spent $6000 on gas last year, and her reported electriciy bills are way higher than the other houses we're looking at. Replacing all the windows in this house would be a significant expense. Plus it's on a busy-ish corner.
- a not-expensive house in the neighborhood we originally wanted, in our top choice elementary school area. Good things: location (right across from a walkway to a park, in the elementary school area we wanted originally). bad things: we are never going to love this house, and it's likely to have inspection issues. It doesn't seem well-built or well-maintained. but it's $100,000(or more) less than the other two houses.
- a modern house in the suburbs. Good things: excellent value (the best value-for-price of all the houses Politica saw--way cheapest per square foot), lots of public living spaces, great master bath soaking tub, protected land behind the house. Bad things: suburban living (with apologies to suburban readers!): no sidewalks, need to drive everywhere, and just not what we envisioned when we thought of moving to Germany.