I know it's been a long time, but at least I got a warning out ahead of time that Brawl would probably consume all my free time. In reality, it's not just Brawl. Beth and I are now starting to see about getting a house together and, well, the search has been a mixed bag. We've seen a few decent houses right at the cusp of affordability, but even some of those are already under contract. We saw a couple of decent ones this weekend but the bad definitely outnumber the good. The most common complaint we have is simple disrepair. I'm amazed at how little effort people are willing to put forward to even clean their houses before showing them off for sale. If you were going to sell clothes at a yard sale for $5 each, you'd wash each article first, right? Well if you're trying to get someone to drop several hundred thousand dollars on your house, maybe it'd be a good idea to run through with the vacuum cleaner.
But of course, we're not running away from houses just because they're a little dirty. But those houses are usually the ones where you'll clearly have to rip out the linoleum floors from the upstairs bedroom and put in something more appropriate. Or repair all the water-damaged panels in the finished basement. Or repaint every room because the last painter obviously had never heard of painter's tape. Or we get some sort of warning about needing to replace the roof in a year or so.
For the time being though we're just going to have to keep looking. Bergen County, New Jersey isn't a cheap area and we've come to terms with the fact that we're not going to get much house or lot for our money. Our goal now I think is to keep our eyes open for anything promising, but to also hold out as long as possible and try to negotiate prices down. Thankfully we're looking in a depressed market, but I'm optimistic that the housing market will collapse a little more before our target date (sometime in the fall).