October marks three years since we purchased our condo (it's a town home to everyone who isn't in the midwest). It also means that the residency requirement for our first time home buyer's tax credit has been met.
In short, it means we can sell our condo.
Nate and I have always known that this isn't our forever home, or even our stay-for-a-decade home. Regardless, it's been good to us over the last few years, and it was exactly what we needed, when we needed it. Heck, we bought it during Nate's deployment, and it still worked out pretty darn well. And over the last few years, we've made it ours, and I'll actually be quite sad to leave some of the rooms we've created behind.
For the last year or so, we've kept our eyes on the local real estate market. For fun, we've been scoping out open houses on the weekends. Over the last few years, there hasn't been much that piqued our interest.
Until a few months ago when we went to an open house just outside of the city limits. It was the first home that we really liked. It didn't meet all of my dream house criteria (let's be honest, nothing ever will - unless we build), but still - we liked it. It's in a quiet neighborhood on a wooded acre. My favorite part is that only the top floor is finished - it has two bedrooms and two bathrooms and a beautiful open layout. The bottom floor is a walkout basement, and it's framed and studded for an additional two bedrooms, one bathroom and a large playroom or living area. In my mind, this house had what we needed now and it had room to grow. The realtor mentioned that the sellers were highly motivated - the owner had just got a job in a different city so the house had to go - and quickly.
At the time, Nate's job didn't allow for us to move outside the city, and coupled with our existing residency requirement and the sellers' urgent timeline, we tried to put it out of our minds.
Nate has a new job, and we no longer need to stay in the city. And as I browsed the properties for sale recently, I saw that this house is still for sale. And the price had dropped.
We have an appointment to see the house tonight.
Sadly, I think it's still the wrong time. First of all - it's August, not October. So we have another 8 weeks or so that we need to be living in our condo. And we haven't even put our condo on the market.
Second - we would need to sell this condo. When we purchased this home, it was only on the market for a few weeks before we bought it. There were other offers in addition to ours so we really didn't worry much about resale. But now? Now, THREE of the ten units are for sale - and they have been for months without much activity. I think listing a fourth unit would look really bad to potential buyers. We have the end unit (meaning we only share one wall and basically have our own lawn) so we think we might be the most attractive unit to a potential buyer. Listing our unit would also piss off my neighbors royally (not that I care, I don't particularly like most of my neighbors - they are part of the reason we want to leave).
Is it wise to list your unit when three are already for sale? What if the others don't sell for a year or more? Do we sit here and wait? We were upfront about our situation with the realtor showing the home, and in return, he was upfront with us and let us know that there's already an offer on the table - but this offer also has a contingency, so it'd be a race to sell our homes in a rather stagnant market.
Third - We aren't really planning to buy a house a right now. Its always in the periphery of our minds, but we certainly aren't actively trying to make things happen.
In conclusion - the timing is wrong. Way wrong. Which is disheartening because as I said, we haven't liked a home this much in a long time.
Maybe when we go look at the house tomorrow, we'll decide we actually hate it.
Or maybe it won't sell for another 6+ months, and the timing will be right.
You never know, right?