Adventures in Real Estate

What a crazy week. We flip-flopped so much on our housing situation, I felt like John Kerry by Sunday night!

Faced with the likelihood of stretching ourselves unacceptably thin to afford a decent house in Bloomfield, we started working on Plan B, an apartment in a Manhattan neighborhood with a good elementary school. Our logic was that the rent would still be cheaper than the mortgage and would include such things as heat and hot water, and was partially driven by issues connected to India’s speech-delay and the difference in available services between NY and NJ. She’s been progressing noticeably over the past few months since we finally acknowledged the delay, and our evaluation meeting last week left me relatively confident that with therapy, she’ll be fine in short order, but there’s still the niggling concern over whether or not it’ll happen before or after we move, and whether the move will have any adverse affect on her.

It’s things like this that make me cringe a bit when getting unsolicited housing advice from friends without kids. Kids change everything and if their well-being isn’t the number one factor in the major decisions you make, you’re fucking up. Plain and simple.

So anyway, by Friday, it was looking like we were noticeably leaning towards Plan B, but we’d scheduled a few Bloomfield appointments for Saturday which ended up being a litmus test for us. If we weren’t still excited by the house option after looking at a few, it stood to reason that our minds were made up and Plan B – with the appealing benefits of cheaper transportation, convenient access to all the things that make living in NYC worth the hassle, and not having to get a NJ license…again! – was the way to go. Instead, we saw a couple of houses we liked, one we came to love, and the scales were once again almost even, tipping slightly back over to Plan A.

The good thing is that it’s always preferable to have a tough decision to make based on pros rather than cons, something that’s not usually been the case in our previous housing adventures that often left us choosing between the lesser of two evils.

We talked it out, slept on it Saturday night to see how we really felt about it, and by Noon Sunday were calling our realtor to let her know we were ready to bid on the house, a small 100-year old colonial with great wood trim and floors throughout and a huge backyard. There’s some compromise involved – the kitchen is awkwardly laid out, the kids will still share a room and we’ll have to finish the basement in order to accomodate my sister – but the pros definitely outweigh the cons, among them the fact that it’s a full $50k cheaper than the other house we were considering two weeks ago, but has one and a half bathrooms and a 3-year old roof.

Now it’s fingers-crossed time as we’ll head over there tonight to submit our bid and hope for the best. If it’s accepted, we should be closed and moved in by the end of July, just in time for a nice barbeque to celebrate my birthday!


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