Monthly Archives: January 2009

House shopping is like clothes shopping (only worse)

I’m not a big fan of clothes shopping. If I need a new shirt, my ideal shopping experience would be as follows: A few feet into the entrance of the store is a rack of shirts. This rack would have the exact size and style I need. It would be unnecessary to try one on. A few feet from this rack of ideal shirts would be the cashier. There would be no one in line, and I would be done shopping after a minute or two. Alas, the clothes shopping experience is usually quite different.

Now that I’ve got a good offer on my condo, I’ve been shopping for a house. I’ve come to realize that shopping for a house is a lot like shopping for clothes. First you browse the listings, then find houses to look at. Once you visit a potential house, you spend some time walking around and checking its comfort, not unlike a new pair of shoes. Like clothes, you wonder how long aspects of the house will last before they might need some mending. Will those sleeve buttons fall off soon? Will I need to replace those windows? If the house doesn’t “fit right” you move on to another house. Or you might think the fit is okay, but wonder if there is a better fitting house out there. You try the next house. You might also hear of a new sale (house or shirt), and try that one on for size. Does it fit?

Right now I’m just looking for a good fit.

The waiting is the hardest part

When I put my condo up for sale, I never considered all the waiting I’d have to do. You wait for people to be interested, you wait for offers to be made, you wait for answers to counter-offers, etc. The deeper into the process you go, the more intense the waiting becomes.

Saturday a potential buyer came to see my condo for a second time in a week. That evening they did submit an offer, so I scheduled a meeting with my Realtor for the next day, and waited. Sunday we prepared a counter-offer and I waited some more. Monday morning we received a counter-offer from the potential buyer, discussed it, and decided to submit another counter-offer. This last period of waiting was the worst. I spent the waking portion of the next 27 hours second guessing my last counter-offer. I couldn’t tell you half of what I saw of President Obama’s inauguration, because my mind was on the counter-offer hanging out there.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this story. Late yesterday afternoon my Realtor told me the last counter-offer was accepted! In the end, I’m not sure if I was more grateful that we came to an agreement, or that the waiting was over.

Cold thoughts

A few random thoughts inspired by the brutally cold weather we’ve been having…

snow scene

1. I saw a few finches hanging out and chirping in a tree outside the building at work this morning. When I see small creatures like that surviving in sub-zero temperatures, I’m just amazed. How does such a little, warm blooded animal generate enough heat to keep from freezing to death?

2. Do you ever wonder about the Native peoples that populated this area hundreds and thousands of years ago? How on Earth did they get along in their wigwams during bitter cold spells? Makes it hard to complain when you imagine what they had to deal with, doesn’t it?

3. Often during bad winter storms, or below zero temps, some people invariably proclaim they’re ready to move south. When I hear that I think, “no thank you.” Moving in that direction means more heat and humidity in the summer. As bad as winter can get in Wisconsin, I’d rather deal with extreme cold and snow than extreme heat and humidity.