Saturday, October 06, 2007

The House Bug

Chris and I clearly have a case of the House Bug. Translation: We want a house! We currently live in a pseudo-1929 craftsman in Santa Ana which is lovely because it's a 2 bedroom/2 bath home with a 2 car garage and a large yard. It's great. But we don't own it. That means I can't touch the icky kitchen cabinets or the fake wood flooring in the pantry. This house would benefit from some major TLC. So, although a move isn't in the market for us at the moment, that hasn't stopped us from thinking about houses. The housing market down here is pretty atrocious and frankly, it isn't that much better in Seattle. Oregon is a bit more moderate and there are some great old fixer uppers in Portland that can be found for reasonable prices. Thankfully, things here have gone down drastically: this yellow house (below) has dropped by over $100k.
Still, paying $450 for a tiny house still seems like a stretch. The saying in California is: If you don't like the real estate here because it's too expensive, move to the midwest, where you can get a lot of house for half a million. Of course, then you have to live in Kansas or Nebraska or someplace like that. (Apologies to all of you that are from there. In my defense, I will say that I know a lot of people from the Midwest and they all moved house here for a reason). People are willing to pay a lot for homes here because it's a fun place to live with a great climate. That said, we're not sure we want to live down here forever. The weather is nice (actually it's a bit cool right now: 60 degrees) but the traffic is horrible and the smog is depressing. Plus, the housing market is outrageous. A friend of mine at work just paid $400k for a one bedroom apartment with a small yard in Huntington Beach. Yikes! Huntington Beach is near the ocean and she's a surfer, so essentially she's paying to be within a couple miles of the water.
Ok, here are a couple of my favorite from our searches. These include houses up and down the west coast:

This house is actually probably one of my very favorites. It's in Washington.

I think both Chris and I would like to try our hand at a remodel. I love looking at pictures of houses that have been completely redone but I'd like to have a go at it myself. Of course, I think the house would have to have a basic "Style" that you liked; it would be difficult to do a remodel that required a drastic reconfigurement. I think these two (below) would be good candidates, especially the first one.