Wayne's Weekly Reader

by Wayne Klick

April 14, 1999

Diary of a House Shopper

I'm sorry that I haven't written lately.  Actually I only missed one Wednesday, but it seems like it's been quite a while since I've done a column here.  That's because Lucy and I have been in and out of many houses over the last couple of weeks.

Ever since we (she) decided that we should buy a house, our lives have been a whirlwind of bedrooms, backyards, fireplaces, garages, and meeting our kind buyer's agent to view the same.  We even made an offer on one last week.  Can you believe they accepted a lower offer from another buyer?  It's no coincidence that the other buyer was the seller's next door neighbor.

Albuquerque, New Mexico is quite a buyer's market for homes right now.  A friend told me the other day that there are 4500 homes for sale in this city, but there are only 500 buyers.  I cannot vouch for the accuracy of that statement, but it at least gives you an idea of what it's like.  And with interest rates as low as they are at present, you can hardly afford not to buy if you are currently renting.  We're pretty sure we can actually reduce our monthly payment from what we are paying for rent right now.

The web makes home hunting easier.  If you have the street address you can look up a house here and at least see what the asking price is and a few of the specs.  Most have a photo like the one above.  We're going to see that house on Thursday evening.  4 BR, 1.75 BA, FP, 1300 SF, and either a REF or W/D, for US$96,900.  It sounds like a hell of a deal but we haven't seen the inside yet.

I turn 40 this Saturday, but only recently had I begun to open up to the idea of buying a house.  That old C word has always messed me up.  Committing to mortgage payments for the next 30 years?  During all this post-adolescent time, I don't think I've lived more than 2 years in the same apartment.

However, I must admit that now I like the idea of having my own yard to mow.  I can get into doing some touch up painting when it's necessary.  I have indeed grown weary of moving every couple of years.  I'm ready to settle down, call a place my own, and stay there for good long while.  We don't see this market changing anytime soon, so we don't intend to buy something and then decide to sell it.  After residing in Albuquerque for 15 years, it's time to realize that I live here.

Shopping for a house makes it hard to keep up with the weekly schedule of this column, but I will do my best.  And when we settle on a house, you'll be the first to know.  There will be a full set of photos here.

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