Finding A New Home
By Erica and Karen
We both decided to sell our homes and move to new ones. We had ideas of where and how we wanted to live, but making that happen is not so easy.
It starts with the hunt on the internet. You put in your search parameters and become addicted to the alerts of a new listing. It could be the one. You need to be first. Zillow and Streeteasy and the New York Times real estate apps take over your life. You are constantly sending messages to your broker. "What about this?" Often, she tells you that it has no light, or it's in terrible shape, or the rooms are even tinier than you thought. You keep sending the messages, even though you know she is quite on top of it all and sending new listings she thinks might work. She is patient. She understands the addiction.
You see what seems like a gazillion places, many of them staged to perfection. Nothing in your price range is as good as what you already own, so what in the world are you doing? You adjust your parameters. Obviously, you need to spend more, so your current home will need to sell for more. But that’s not happening, your broker tells you. It is a conundrum. Maybe forget the whole idea.
Then you start reconsidering the notion of move-in ready. You see some places that could be exciting, and affordable, because they need work. You talk to an architect, which is fun. Then you start to remember the execution part. You have been there, done that. It is not fun. You know that. And it is going to take many months (maybe years) longer and cost far more than you ever could imagine. You know that too. And, so you think, maybe you don't want to do that again after all. And the hunt continues.
Finally, you find someplace that you could actually call home. Likely, it needs some work. You know what that means too. Negotiating with your new building, getting permits, hiring a contractor, and actually getting the work done, much of it tedious and not so thrilling, like wiring for lights. But you get what you want, so it's worth it. In the end. You suppose.
Why are we engaged in this torture?
Oddly, we do think it makes sense. Change comes at a price, for sure. But we have been in more or less the same homes for decades, and even though we love them dearly, thirty more years in the same places seems unreasonably static. So off we go. To wildly different places--more about that later.
We hope by winter to feel at home again. And we swear we will never move again. Unless we do.