Zach and I left last Saturday to look for a house in VA. 27+ houses/townhouses later, we have not found it. We were out day and night looking, and in our price range in that part of the country, it is very difficult to find what we want. We either want to live in downtown Fredericksburg (rent or buy) or far away in the peaceful countryside and commute. We were shown a lot of foreclosures that were not in great shape. I’m not afraid of a little house work, but since I’m expecting now, it may be a little more difficult to do the things I’d want to do. We were shown a lot of houses around the mall and central park shopping area. We decided that we didn’t want to live in the midst of all that traffic and consumerism. It is a mess down there.
So, we ended up looking out in an area called Lake Wilderness, which is a development surrounding the Wilderness Battlefield. It is super nice out there, and you can get (a little) more house for your money. But it’s still expensive. We found a few houses we like out there. The issue is that we have one car and the commute would be about 30 minutes each way for Zach. We’d be spending twice what we’d budgeted for gas, and we’d probably want to get another car so that I can be somewhat mobile out there. But the surroundings are beautiful, and just what we envision for a peaceful lifestyle.
The other option we are considering is renting in downtown F’burg for a year. We want to live someplace close enough and not across any major roads so that Zach could bike or walk to work. We would not get as much space for the price, but it would be super convenient and we would be able to delay getting another car for at least a little while. We’d save about 400/month over what we’d be spending if we lived in Wilderness. The problem is, we didn’t look at any rentals downtown when we were there…we focused on buying. So we have no idea what shape these rentals are in…it helps to see them in person. And since we’re 11-12 hours away, it will be near impossible to make a trip up there again. It’s hard not to think we’ve wasted that entire week and we have nothing to show for it.
I guess we didn’t waste it. It was very very exhausting and I’m glad we’re home now, but it is frustrating not knowing where we will live. Megan and Mike offered to drive down and see a few places for us. We learned what areas we do/don’t want to live in. That’s good. And by this time next year, I may have already started working again, and we’d have that income to supplement a house payment. But if we don’t buy now when the market is good for us to buy, will it mean we can’t afford something next year, even with my extra income? Who knows.
We are waiting to hear back from our realtor about a house in downtown for rent. We need to know if they’ll accept our 80 pound dog, if they have non-carpeted floors (for our allergies) and if they have washer/dryer hookups. Here is the house we’re looking at downtown: Charles Street. You have to click on number 5 at the top. It’s at 1412 Charles St.
Here is the house we’re looking at in Wilderness.
So, I’ll leave you with a photo of me at 17+ weeks along, talking with my sister Megan last night.