Well we did it. We sold our current house and put a contract on a new house near Buffalo. It's not a grand "old" house like we would have liked, but it's a nice house.
We honestly couldn't afford any of the older homes near campus (starting around a half-million). It's a
sellers' market in Buffalo right now and a not only did we have to deal
with a brisk market, and higher prices, but we also had to find a house
with a first floor master suite because M's parents will be living with
us eventually, and it's really hard to find a first-floor master suite in a 100 year old
house. Apparently living "in town" is the thing in Buffalo. They said it started about 5 years ago, people began buying up the older houses and remodeling them. I must say, the neighborhoods are gorgeous! I've never seen a city with so many older houses that are so well-kept. People there have discovered what we did 10 years ago, it's wonderful to be able to walk to work, school, stores, and events.
So we spent last Friday and Saturday looking at countless houses that we had looked at on-line over the past couple of weeks. Unfortunately, a lot of these houses looked good on-line, only to discover they were a mess in person. A number of the houses were not well maintained, they had peeling paint, water stains and leaks, trees growing in gutters, and who know what else that we couldn't see. A lot of the houses were horribly over-priced. A number of the houses were so outdated and hideously ugly that it would take tens of thousands to update everything. Three houses were sold within 24 hours of making an appointment to see them and then showing up for the appointment. One owner had an appointment to show us his house, but when we got there, he insisted the appointment was for Sunday, not Saturday and wouldn't let us see it. So it really came down to this last house.
Nothing else would work for us. We were pleasantly surprised that other than painting in a couple of rooms, we could live with everything else until we could afford to make other changes.
Eventually we will want to rip out all the carpets and put in hardwood floors, plus the bathrooms are all outdated and we will have to do that as well.
This last house was scheduled for an open house on Sunday, and we saw it on Saturday. We knew we had to put an offer in right away or risk losing it. So we offered below the asking price. Our realtor wasn't happy about that. She thought we should offer his asking price because she was certain there would be a bidding war and the house was worth what he was asking.
We didn't want to pay as much as he was asking. As it turned out, the owner had already moved to California and was eager just to sell the house and be done with it, so he accepted our offer. Now we're awaiting the inspection on the house, and if everything checks out, we will close on this new house on July 1st. It's starting to feel real now. I've got so much to clean out of our current house before we move. I also went on two job interviews while we were there. Ugh, starting a new job is stressful too. No job offers yet, but at least the housing situation is moving forward.