Here's an interesting development: We almost bought a house this weekend. Sure, you know we've been sort of looking a bit here and there, and that lately there'd been a few interesting possibilities.
But most of those were not realistic possibilities. They were major fixer-upers, which is a polite way to say "tear downs." The houses we'd looked at previously tended to have listings that read, "Contractor's dream," or, "The land alone is worth double." This one had none of that. It could use a little work, according to the inspection report, but it's quite livable as is. Even more amazing is that we could afford it.
I don't know what that says about either our rising personal economic status, or the general community's falling economic status, but we went so far as to get pre-qualified for the purchase - without any problems or warnings.
In the end, we've decided to pass on this one for now. We were going to buy it only because it's the first decent property that we could afford, not because we like the damn thing. Being idealistic dreamers, we want to like the house we buy as well as have it be practical.
The hope is that there'll be more listed after the new year, or in early spring. A lot of folks hold back their listings (we're told) during the holiday season, so this is not too unrealistic. That also keeps us from trying to make a decision on a house during this time of year that is stressful enough without spending hundreds of thousands of borrowed dollars.
Meanwhile, it's just bizarre that I'm walking around with a piece of paper that says I'm "pre-qualified" to have some idiot lend me that kind of money. But I'll get over it.
Back to work this morning, and I've got my annual review at 10:00 AM. It's probably best that I didn't put an offer on the house until I know whether I'm getting a raise, or being put on probation.