Sunday, January 29, 2006

Open House

Almost two and a half years ago, my husband and I decided to buy a home. Prices in the DC market were skyrocketing, homes were going under contract less than 24 hours after they were put on the market, and we knew that if we wanted to buy, we needed to act fast before we were priced out of all the DC suburbs that weren't an unreasonable distance from our jobs. It was a somewhat impulsive decision, but one we've never regretted.

When we finally found our condo, we both knew it was the one for us. The day we closed and our realtor handed us the keys was one of the happiest days of my life. Also one of the most stressful, since signing a mortgage feels vaguely like you'e signing away everything you'll ever own, but mostly it was just really happy.

We've done a lot of the usual home improvement projects--painting, adding a mantel to our fireplace, replacing flooring--to make it exactly the home we wanted. There are still things I'd like to do, like adding new countertops, but we won't be able to because we're moving. In a little less than four months we're going to be packing up to move to Texas, and as such we're having to sell our condo. Two people have come by since it was put on the market last weekend, and the first open house is today.

I should be happy about this. Over the summer I started having anxiety attacks when the housing market here dramatically slowed down. I worried about what we'd do if our place didn't sell before we had to move. How would we pay two mortgages? When we met with our realtor for the first time two weeks ago, we told her that we'd be fine if our place sold quickly--we'd just move into a month-to-month apartment for awhile. Then, last weekend, three units in our neighborhood went under contract. Three units in one weekend in a development where nothing had moved since last summer.

Like I said, I SHOULD be happy about this. Selling our unit quickly will mean that we'll be able to seriously look at (and possibly make offers on) actual houses in our new Texas town when we make our real estate trip there in April. All I can think about, though, is that I'm not ready to leave this place. I'm not thrilled about this move period, but at the top of my list of things I'll miss about the DC area, in addition to all the great friends I've made here, is that I love our home.

My husband and I talked last night about what we'd do if we got an offer today. It's a long shot, but not totally out of the realm of possibility after what happened last weekend. "I'd freak the eff out," I told him. He agreed that he'd be shocked, but mostly just happy.

That's one of the big differences between us--I'm really bad with change. Hate it, and would rather stay in a less-than-great situation rather than change. He, on the other hand, doesn't really mind it much. I wouldn't say that he loves it, or that he likes changing per se, but it just doesn't bother him.

In any case, our first open house is this afternoon. We have to amuse ourselves somewhere else for three hours while strangers take a look around our home and try to decide if they'd like to make it theirs. Wish us luck!

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