The soul sucking process of house hunting

I haven’t been house hunting for 16 years and the fact I’m doing it again in my 40s pretty much sucks rotten eggs.

We need to find a house closer to my husband’s new job (and my parents) and finding one that is in our budget and not 200 years old is almost impossible in this county it seems. This is an old county, without a lot of old people and old houses, which I love, don’t get me wrong. But some of these old houses are about ready to fall over and the amount needed to fix them up again well exceeds our budget at this season in our life.

It’s depressing not only to look at house after house online, or in person, and either hate the house or love it but either not be able to afford it or losing it to someone else. One house was perfect for us and only five minutes away from my parents and we rushed to set up an appointment to see it but before we could even have a tour they accepted an offer from someone else. I threw up my hands and swore off looking at houses for a while after that one. I won’t lie, I’m still in mourning over losing that one and keep praying the financing falls through for the buyer.

Then there are the houses you think might be great until you realize there is only one bathroom and it’s on the second floor, which would be fine for now but if anyone injures themselves or we are still living there when my husband and I get old it wouldn’t be pleasant. I don’t want to be hauling it up the stairs 50 times a day if my bladder falls apart on me in my old age like the bladders of many female family members in my family.

Looking at the real estate websites in our area have been painful, not only because there aren’t a lot of nice houses to choose from in our budget, but because agents around here apparently have no idea how to take photographs of homes for their websites. The photos are often either blurry or only include images of the outside of the house. If there are only images of the view from the house or the outside we usually guess that the house is a complete dump inside.

My 13-year old son and I have been looking at some homes online and here are some of his best lines after viewing some of them:

“And here is where we keep the hostages …”

“What’s with that wallpaper? People if you’re going to put it up fully commit and add it to the whole room.”

“That house looks like somewhere they’d film a horror film.”

Needless to say, this house hunting journey has not been fun. It is also not lost on us that selling our house, which we haven’t been able to fix up as much as we would have liked over the years, has the potential to be equally soul-sucking.

Written by Lisa R. Howeler

As a writer, photographer and former journalist, Lisa R. Howeler writes a little bit about everything on her blog Boondock Ramblings. She self-published her first novel, A Story to Tell, in September 2019 on Amazon. She's a wife and a mother and enjoys a good John Wayne movie and a cozy Jan Karon book. She's also a freelance writer and photographer who is a contributor to various stock agencies, including Lightstock and Alamy. Her photography work focuses on documentary and photojournalism.

7 comments

  1. That is so stressful, I hope something comes up that you all love. I have been watching a lot of YouTube tiny house clips and they are so cute. It is amazing all they can fit into such a small space. Some of those tiny house aren’t so tiny with their outdoor living areas and lofts up above, they look huge. There are a lot of tiny house people that put their homes on friends and relatives properties so they are close to family. Homes here in Arizona are very expensive. The only reason my husband and I were able to afford the home we live in here in our city is because it was in foreclosure when the original owners died and their kids stopped paying the mortgage and taxes on it. They got really angry and trashed the place when they were kicked out. They drilled holes in the pool and used a sledge hammer to knock out chunks. They turned on all the facets and flooded the house as well. We had so much work to do when we got it. Old homes have good bones though so it was worth it to us. This home in the city was built in the 1950’s. I do hope you find a home you love and is close to your parents, that will be good for the kids and them as well.

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  2. I remember a lot of those same thoughts when we went house-hunting 15 years ago! I guess it’s still the same: just needs a “little” TLC. hmmm…. our realtor finally broke down laughing as he said that with so many houses that obviously needed a LOT of TLC. But I sure feel the same way about our house now–we are unable to do a lot of the “fixing up” that seems to be the norm now-a-days, so when we consider that we will need to downsize eventually, we’ll have to just sell “as is” for a lower price also. Whew. So many ins and outs to consider. I am praying for you and your family through this process!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “and here is where we keep the hostages..” HAHAHA!! That cracks me up because I keep saying the same thing about some of the houses we’ve been looking at! It’s crazy how expensive some of the houses are when they’re falling apart. I mean, shouldn’t they be paying us to fix it up? I wish you all the best!! It’s frustrating, I know, but God’s got the perfect house just waiting for you guys. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m amazed the prices people are trying to get for these homes. We haven’t had the funds to fix our house up so we don’t expect much when we go to sell but some of these sellers are charging ridiculous amounts for homes that need a ridiculous amount of work. It’s hard trying to wait and figure it all out but we will eventually.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ever considered building? That’s what I did 15 years ago, when I couldn’t find an appropriate existing house. It doesn’t take long, and you could better meet your aging-in-place needs with a floor plan of your choice. My son and I are getting ready to build again (closer to his job): this time a disability-accessible retirement home for me which will also be a starter home with expansion potential, for him.

    Liked by 1 person

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