Strike One

So, the delusional sellers of the house we love(d), which is WAY out of our price range, countered our extreme low-ball, but still realistic, offer with a completely laughable offer. And so we bid them adieu and moved on. Their loss! No, seriously. We are SO not going to play the real estate games from the over-inflated market of two years ago.

As first-time home buyers, we refuse to shoot ourselves in the foot right out of the gate!

NEWS FLASH: The real estate market is not going to bounce back in the next 6 months...or 9 months...or even 12 months.

The predictions for 2009 are not swell. Their house has been sitting on the market since June, and is overpriced by AT LEAST 10% in this market. They are either playing the ostrich or have no real desire to sell. Whatever. I'm over it.

Moving right along, Friday evening we put an offer in on another house. A house we love equally well as the last one, but which needs considerable updating. This house is a bank-owned foreclosure property for almost dirt cheap in an up-and-coming, but still somewhat transitional, neighborhood in East Nashville. It's much more urban than where we live now, with sidewalks, older houses, mature landscaping, and cooler architecture, but totally out of our comfort zone in a fairly unfamiliar part of the city.

That's been one of the major dilemmas in house-hunting: deciding on which type of area would suit us best. We are both familiar and comfortable with the suburbany safety and comfort of the Bellevue area (which is about as far west as Nashville goes). Our work commute is minimal. Our location, right now, is very convenient because...well, mainly just because we've both lived here for years and know where everything is. Despite the big box stores and chain restaurants, the complete car-dependency, and the cookie cutter architecture, the 'Burbs do have some positives. For instance, we like trees. And there are many trees out where we are, including the two best (in my opinion) parks in Nashville.

But, deep down, we're not really suburban types. No really, we're not. Daniel and I both love older mature neighborhoods, with older houses, sidewalks and alleyways, walkable conveniences, public transportation, and easy access to downtown. We dislike Home Owners Associations who tell us what kind of mailbox we have to have, but love Neighborhood Associations who organize urban neighborhood gardens, outdoor concerts, and charity drives. We much prefer spending our money at local independent shops and restaurants rather than at Wal-Marts and Applebees.

While we're not exactly the hippie, new-agey, musiciany stereotypes that are common in East Nash, neither are we the church-going, conservative, mini-van stereotypes of the 'Burbs. And honestly, we lean more towards the former rather than the latter.

Even though technically I didn't grow up IN the city (the bustling metropolis of Erie vs. the quiet township of Harbor Creek which is directly to the east of the city limits), it never felt like I lived out in the suburbs. We lived in an old 1930's house, with a front porch, in an older neighborhood. We were within walking distance to a grocery store, a post office, a hardware store, a bank, an ice cream parlor, the fire station, a church, a couple of restaurants, the high school, and the public beach. And yet, it was safe; we went to good public schools, we had lots of trees around us and plenty of open outdoor space in which to play. It was, looking back, an ideal environment. Oddly enough, Daniel grew up in almost the same conditions, 500 miles south. I guess that's part of the appeal of this house we put an offer on - it represents those elements we value in a neighborhood.

Still, IF we end up getting this house we put an offer on, it will mean some fairly dramatic life changes for us. It's a little unsettling to think about. But exciting. Ya know?


I Heart Bullet Points

Okay, not especially, but bullet points are about all I can handle today. Busy at work. No internet at home due to water damaged equipment (see below). And just not feeling very wordy at the moment. I know, weird, right?

Saturday: Water pipe burst in our basement. Not good. Not fun. Could've been worse, but very annoying nonetheless.

Sunday: Looked at houses with our realtor. Fell in love with a house that is WAY over our budget. Naturally.

Monday: I don't remember Monday, so as far as I'm concerned it never happened.

Tuesday: Watched the inauguration from work. Loved President Obama's speech. Hated the invocation. Was amused by the benediction. Am hopeful.

Wednesday: Put ridiculously low offer on house we've fallen in love with (seriously, like, 12% below what they're asking). Am STOKED for tonight's 2 HOUR LOST season premiere!!! OMG - I can't even contain my excitement!! (I think I just peed a little)


Oh Happy Day!

Did I say "fuckers"? Uh..no, no...I meant "fine folks". Yes, the fine folks over at NACA approved us for a home mortgage yesterday evening. And last night, we had a meeting with our mortgage consultant and our real estate agent and we are GOOD TO GO! It's all very exciting.


Okay, I'm Back

So I've been on a blog strike. I planned to continue the strike until the fuckers at NACA approved us for a home mortgage. However, the one major flaw in this brilliant plan is that the fuckers at NACA don't read my blog. And even if they did, they probably wouldn't care. Why? Because they suck. Duh.

My patience is wearing thin. Oh, who are we kidding here, my patience ran out a long time ago! Which is why for the past 2 weeks I've been pissy and tense and in no mood to blog. The fuckers at NACA keep asking for more documentation and more verification and by the time this oh-so-tedious process is over, we will be so thoroughly vetted, that Obama can hire us immediately for any Cabinet position he wants!

I just want to buy a house and move on with my life. Is that too much to ask?

Apparently it is, since it doesn't seem to be happening anytime soon. In the meantime, I'll just bitch about it here occasionally. Mm-kay?

Moving on...

Remember when I told you about all the women my age suddenly either being pregnant or trying to be pregnant? Since then, one of my close friends announced over Christmas that she is due in June and ANOTHER one of my co-workers' wives (that looks funny...I don't think that's grammatically correct but you know what I mean, right? I don't work with someone who has more than one wife - as far as I know) is pregnant and due in August. Maybe I'm just more aware of people being pregnant because my own clock is becoming louder by the minute, but I don't think so.

Currently, I know 8 (EIGHT!) women who are pregnant. I know 5 women who have had a baby within the past 6 months. And who knows how many more are out there trying to get knocked up!?

And then I came across this article online from MSNBC:

Pregnancy and Birth Rate Declines in Weak Economy
by Terri Potratz, January 14, 2009

The US birth rate is expected to decline in the face of a weak economy, as couples postpone becoming pregnant until they have a bit more financial stability. The severity of the birth rate decline will be directly linked to the severity and duration of the financial situation.

Birth rates do tend to drop in times of economic uncertainty. There was a dramatic decline in fertility rates following the Great Depression in the 1930s, when, for the first time in U.S. history, women went from having an average of three children the previous decade to two.

In each year after the country’s last four recessions, general fertility rates — calculated as the number of women of child-bearing age per thousand who gave birth — dipped slightly. For example, in the year following the 1973-1975 recession, fertility rates dropped from 68.8 in 1973 to 65 in 1976, according to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Similarly, following the 1980-1982 recession, the fertility rate fell from 68.4 in 1980 to 65.7 in 1983.

As a result, doctors are receiving more inquiries about birth control options, and seeing a decrease in new pregnancies.

Without a doubt, in good economic times or bad, raising a child is an expensive proposition. According to “Expenditures on Children by Families,” an annual report put out by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a middle-class family making more than $77,100 will spend nearly $300,000 raising a child from birth to age 17 — and that doesn’t even take into account college tuition or inflation.

Clearly Terri does not run in my social circles.

And, DAMN! did you read that last bit? - kids are expensive little suckers!