M. Giant's
Throwing stuff at the internet to see what sticks

Friday, April 12, 2002  

Every day when I come home I check the "For Sale" sign next door to see if there's a "Sold" sign hanging from it. Every day I'm disappointed.

I say "disappointed," but the truth is that I'm actually ambivalent about the whole thing. If the house next door actually fetches its huge asking price, we're going to have to start seriously thinking about selling ours.

I say "seriously thinking about" it, but the truth is that we pretty much already are.

The way property values have been acting, we wouldn't be able to afford a house in our neighborhood if we didn't already own one. We've joked about cashing in on our equity, but selling our old house would require us to buy a new one. Because no amount of cash is going to make a U-Haul a home. And selling a house at a ridiculously overinflated price doesn't seem like such a shrewd move when you have to turn around and buy another house at an equally ridiculously overinflated price. So that's not such an attractive option.

Or so we thought.

Turns out there's a neighborhood on the other side of town that shows all the signs of being the Next Next Big Thing. Except it doesn't know it yet. So our friends Dirt and Banana (not their real names) were able to buy a house there that's as nice as ours for a price that in our neighborhood would be a downpayment on a storage shed. Which got Trash and me going, "hmmmmmmm."

We say "hmmmmmmm," but we actually mean, "what if we unloaded our house for five times what we paid for it, eliminated all of our debt, and moved into a bigger, nicer house in a cheaper but just as nice neighborhood?" Where's the downside? Well, obviously having to pack up and move is a big one, but aside from that?

Actually, that might be enough of one.

The possibility that our house might be on the market by the end of summer has helped speed up our efforts at fixing the place up. We've got some momentum going, which is good. On the other hand, it seems like the house is in a constant state of what I call "stuff spread all over the house where it doesn't belong because the room where it does belong is having something done to it right now." It's getting to the point where we barely notice the mattress on the dining room table or the contents of the medicine cabinet in the hallway any more.

You think I'm kidding, don't you?

The situation has also changed my mindset when working on projects around the house. I used to do a shitty job and think, "that's good enough for us." Now I do a shitty job and think, "that's good enough for a potential buyer." It's a total one-eighty, and I'm not sure when it happened.

Plus I've unconsciously gotten into the habit of mentally identifying things around the house that could go into offsite storage if we did decide to try and sell the place. You know, to make it look more spacious. Christmas decorations? Storage. Half of my guitars? Storage. Cats? Storage.

So I'm clearly mentally preparing myself to move. Sure, I'd miss being able to walk to the movie theater, but we've only done that a few times in nine years anyway. Mainly because that theater shows predominantly rotten movies.

In any case, we should do okay marketwise, because the house is in way better shape than it was when we bought it.

And I say "better," but that's quite an understatement considering that it includes the fact that unlike the previous occupant, we took the art off the walls before we painted them. Consider that a free tip to you DIY-er's out there.

posted by M. Giant 12:41 PM 0 comments


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