Tuesday, November 1, 2011

On the hunt

Woodpiles along the street in Portland, Oregon, 1939
Dorotha Lange via the Library of Congress

So, remember how I said that D$ and I were going to try and stay still for a while? Yea, turned out to be a total lie.

We are house hunting. Have been since July. It's been a process.

First we had to have a huge fight about where to look for houses. We are committed to being in the city so this mostly meant that I had to deal with several days of white guilt about my choices of a) choosing an already wealthy neighborhood with really good schools but limited diversity or b) choosing a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood where I would loathe half of my neighbors (white hipsters in faux native American head-ware) and fear that the other half of my neighbors (primarily low-income minorities being pushed out of the neighborhood) hated me.

Once that was done we had to decide a budget, the amount of which hangs precipitously on whether I think that I'm going to want to stay home for more than six months after we have a baby. (Cause that's such an easy thing to know in advance). Then we had to make a spreadsheet of "must haves" and "would likes" and compare that to our budget and other life priorities.*

Finally, we got a Realtor. She is a truly a wonderful unicorn of a person. She gives us great advice, points out potential flaws, and makes jokes about key parties. Unfortunately, most of the houses we'd looked at have had some sort of fatal flaw: rancid stench of cat pee, weird leaks, hideous renovations, etc. We fell deeply in love with one house only to have our Realtor look at me sadly, put her hand on my shoulder, and tell me that the the "vintage" brick foundation would crumple to dust in the earthquake for which Oregon is 300 miles overdue.**

By late October we were starting to get depressed (and, grouchy).

Two weeks ago we found a perfectly great house that was priced really reasonably and was within two blocks of a  well-ranked elementary school. It also had three offers within a day of listing. We decided to throw our hats in the ring and made an offer late on a Sunday night. We spent the next 36 hours not-sleeping and willing our phones to ring. Tuesday morning we found out we hadn't gotten it - we were the runners up.

The search continues.

*The jury is still out on the whole "time home with hypothetical baby" versus "pricier house with two bathrooms so I can poop in peace" debate. I mean, think about it this way: if it turns out I can't have kids anyway I'm going to be mad as fuck about giving up that second bathroom.
**Two days after we looked at the house (and were mooning over it) there was a presentation from a geologist at my work. She basically said about the earthquake:  it is not a question of if, it is a question of when. Then she told me to make myself an emergency pack and showed me detailed slides of how fucked Portland will be when the earthquake hits. I went home and told D$ that I'd had a sign from God not to buy the house. 


  1. Oh man - good luck. They say house hunting (and moving) is third on the stress level charts, right behind death and divorce.

    Although, sometimes I feel death and/or divorce could stem from house hunting. Ha.

    I'm keeping you guys in my thoughts. You'll find the perfect place; I know it!

  2. Eeeeeeeeeeeee! I mean, obviously you don't feel this way, and I'm sure it's incredibly frustrating. A process, fo' shizzle. But can't wait to hear more about it as you go along.

  3. Oh gawd, you're living my future worst nightmare. The thought of house hunting makes me want to yak. How nice that it sounds just as bad as I think it does. Oi! A secondary thought: I hear they make them babies portable now... go for the second crapper!

  4. I am willing that our fucking horrible luck with houses has not somehow transferred via interwebs to you guys. I mean, on my knees and praying.

    And? Your earthquake is my tornado. I asked everyday during the house hunt: who the hell builds a house in the Midwest without a damn basement? You should not start asking these kinds of questions. I imagine that once I did, I never enjoyed the answers, and viola, therein started our troubles.

  5. @shannon: I can't believe you are commenting while caring for baby Taylor. You are fucking amazing. So far we haven't killed each other or discussed divorce, so I think we're doing okay.
    @Kimberly: Thanks! I have a few more posts up my sleeves, if I can ever get around to actually writing them
    @thebluemuse: it isn't THAT bad (but mad props for using the term "yak"). I don't know if I'll get the two bathrooms, but I think I'll survive.
    @BIP: thanks, dear (but don't hurt your knees). I hate asking the questions, too! But scary questions are D$'s speciality, which is both REALLY ANNOYINg and REALLY SMART. Mostly annoying, though.