Friday, February 22, 2013

George and Weezy redux

This weekend marks the one year anniversary of when the Mister and I got on a plane to California to find a place to live.  The Mister stayed here in California and started working while I went back to New Jersey to pack up our lives. Moving to California was our ninth move in ten years.

I am tired of moving.  I want to buy a house. I want to stay in that house for a period longer than a year.

Its more than a house. I want to be home. I want to set down roots that won't be ripped up in 18 months. I want to have friends that I won't leave soon after getting to know them. I want to have a place we belong.

I don't feel like we belong here, really, yet.  I don't really feel like we belong in New Jersey anymore, either.  On our last few trips back to New Jersey I have had a weird sense of unreality--I used to belong here, but I don't anymore.  I don't belong anywhere, at the moment.  As my friend Linda once told me, "I'm just passing through here...for the past thirteen years."   

We have started house shopping.  I am simultaneously thrilled and terrified.  Thrilled because holla, new house, new decorating, of course.  Having something that is mine.  Building equity rather than paying a gazillion dollars a year in rent into someone else's pocket.  Terrified because the last time we owned a house we sold it at a significant loss and had to come to the table with a really large check to get rid of it.

The cost of housing where we live is INSANE.  Like, one billion dollars for a three bedroom house.  And prices are rising, if you can believe that.  There is so little inventory here that houses are selling for many thousands of dollars over asking price.  Every house we looked at last weekend was in escrow on Tuesday.  We are looking in four towns and there are less than ten houses in our price range.  We looked at a house that had twenty-three offers over asking and is currently in escrow for $30,000 over the list price.

This may take a while.  


  1. I'm so sorry, Lisa. Your story is so similar to mine. I don't think history will repeat itself again. You won't sell this one (whatever it is) at a loss. I know this doesn't help at the moment, but it really does all work out for the best. You could do what I do...tell my husband to work harder (it's a joke, people). Isn't is funny how the saying "you can never go home" is really true? At this moment, we should both be glad that we are not living where that horrific snow storm is :) go sit by the pool.

  2. A book I just finished that you might like is Megan Daum's Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived in That House. She bought in California in 2004. Bad timing, for sure. But her book is a nice exploration of what home means and how we find it.

    I certainly relate to and sympathize with your dilemma. Mine was not quite the same, but trying to sell at the bottom and buy in response to a job change made me see all kinds of things differently.

  3. Oh, I also enjoyed Megan Daum's book! I mentioned it on the blog.

    I didn't realized your family had moved so frequently. I can only imagine your craving to put down roots. And yes, OC real estate is crazy. I wish I could help. I assume you're looking around Tustin, Irvine, Costa Mesa? That is why I'm out here in the I.E., as we would've only moved horizontally if we stayed. But I do miss it.

    Good luck! :)

  4. Good luck. I know it will all work out. Keep the faith.


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