So, the house. Well, it looks like it is in pretty decent shape (especially given its age) but there are certainly no end of projects - small and at least medium sized. It is small - smaller than I realized. (The bedrooms are particularly small) The basement would be difficult to make into living space, but it could be a good storage/workshop space. The lot is smaller than is listed on the real estate listing - it is supposed to be about .42 acres, but is actually only about .3. It used to be .42 or .45 but it was subdivided in 1997 and the other lot was sold. That lot was recently purchased and people are trying to get permits to do something with it - which could be an issue because it is at a lower elevation and to the south, which could easily block the sun to the garden area in not too many years, especially if they started planting trees for privacy. The house does have a lot of personality though, I just wish it was bigger. Given how the house is laid out, it is hard to see how it could be easily enlarged - it looks like it would be quite an undertaking and would require some pretty major reconfiguration of some of the existing rooms. I like the personality the house has though, and it has a nice feel to it but I'm not convinced that it is the right place for us.
I also looked at 4 other properties and they aren't worth talking about. Suffice to say they look a lot better in the pictures than they do in person. Three were on really busy streets (and had some other issues too) and one definitely had moisture problems (eww - not a good thing!!) But, still, it was good to see them just to get some idea of what is available at that price with a larger lot.
At this point I'm not real thrilled with what the amount we'd like to spend would get us there. To me it feels like we'd be settling - moving all that way, away from friends and family just to live in a house that is less (perhaps even a lot less) than what we want. I think that if I'm going to be in a town sort of setting, I'd like it to be at least somewhat walkable. I feel like if I have to get in the car to do everything, I might as well live further out on more land.
Something else dramatically different has also come up - my parents want to discuss a potential investment opportunity with us, but they only thought of it last night and left this morning for London for 10 days... so we can't really sit down and talk about it for awhile. But the gist of it is that they would sell the condo we are currently renting (which is mostly paid for - good for them!) then we would go in on a property in this area which would mean we could buy something here with a mortgage that we could still afford/qualify for. Then they would still be invested in the market, and we could get into it and be somewhere bigger and with a bigger yard and still stay this area. How much do we want to stay here though? I don't know. Would we just plan on living here for another 5-7 years then used our (hopefully!) increased equity to buy a bigger/nicer house somewhere else entirely? (that's when my parents are planning on leaving the area - when my step-dad retires and they move to Tahoe) I doubt whatever we would buy here would really be our forever home, but it could certainly be a very strong step in that direction. (But then again, the kids will be that much older, and we will have rooted ourselves more here and and... *sigh*)
So, yeah, I don't know. I'm tired and I feel completely drained. Another thing I'm wondering - is all this so intense because I'm pregnant and nesting? Granted there's still an underlying desire to settled down and buy a house, but is it so intense right now because I'm 30 weeks along and filled with all sorts of interesting pregnancy hormones? I dunno, but something to think about.