Friday, August 8, 2008

We did WHAT?

We just bought a house. Or, rather, we bought the idea of a house. Or, rather, we bought the promise of the idea of a house. The house itself doesn't really exist yet. It's only there on paper. In fact, most of the neighborhood doesn't exist yet either. But we put a deposit down and signed a contract to have a house built just for us. Now some folks may wonder why in the world we would want another house when we have a perfectly fine house already. Well, I'm wondering that too. Is it a vacation home? No. Is it in a different metropolitan area? No. Is someone changing jobs? No. Does it put me or my wife closer to work? A little bit. Are the schools better? No, they're about the same. Is it smaller or less expensive? No, actually it's a bit bigger. Is it on lots of acreage? No, the lot size is about the same. Well, then why would we do this? Primarily because we want to. But also partly because we like "new" and we don't like what has become of the area around our current house.

We first moved to the Atlanta area in 1996, two weeks before the Atlanta Olympics. When we moved here the road from the entrance to our neighborhood to the closest highway had one stop sign. Now it has four stoplights and lots of construction to widen it. When we moved here the road to the closest highway had a Baptist Church on it. Now that same road has the same church (but expanded), a hospital, a medical business building, three strip malls, a day care, a retirement home, a gas station, and a McDonalds. And there are two new roads that intersect with this road. Traffic is substantially worse than it used to be, we have been incorporated in to a city of over 70,000 people, and it just doesn't feel right anymore. So we decided we would move. The new town is much smaller, has been around for a long time, has a quaint little downtown area that we could ride our bikes to, and a large park nearby. Oh and it has a much more rural feel, kind of like the way our current area was 12 years ago. Of course in another 12 years it will also be spoiled, but by then we will be ready to move again.

Can we sell our current house? The real estate agent says yes, and houses in our neighborhood have been selling, albeit slowly (typically around 90 days on market). So I'm a bit worried, but excited too. Now we have to deal with the mortgage industry in its current mess to get approved for our next mortgage. Oh yes this will be fun.

UPDATE: the new house will actually reduce my wife's commute from its currently wicked 80-90 minutes (each way) to a merely intolerable 60 minutes. At least we believe that she should be able to make the trip in 50 to 60 minutes. We won't really know for sure until we start living there.

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