With our move to Boston in August, we began our search for a house to call our own. As first time home buyers we’ve been researching and reading a lot of information in preparation for probably the largest purchase of our lives. When we arrived in Boston, we got pre-approved right away and hit the ground running in the search for the perfect home. Our first task was to find what area of Boston we wanted to live. This task alone has proven to be quite difficult and time-consuming. Since Husband works from home and I’m not working at the moment, we can basically live anywhere. While some would think this may seem like the best scenario for purchasing a home, it actually makes it more difficult. At least with a commutable job, you would look in the general vicinity of your employment, however, we don’t have that concern so we’re left with finding the “perfect” community to settle down. We keep going back on forth on what we want, how far outside or close to the city we want to be. Obviously closer to Boston, the more expensive a home is and the less you get for your money. The farther out you go, the more suburban living you get but with a large piece of land and a bigger home. Being in/near the city lends itself to easily taking in a play, going to the museum, riding public transport or eating at some fantastic ethnic restaurants that you would never find in the burbs. In the country, we could have acres of land and even an updated antique farmhouse complete with its own barn and paddocks.
I think many home buyers in our shoes most likely would have found their house by now; but Husband and I are what people would probably call fussy (I like to think of it as having discerning taste) and indecisive. We find ourselves either wanting to be urbanites or country folk- not really the in between. We end up spending our time looking at both possibilities and unable to focus on just one preference. We struggle, somewhat, with also having to consider school districts as a factor in our decision on where to live. (I guess this is part of being an adult) Do we live in a town with excellent, free public schools or do we live in the city where we’ll have to shell out thousands of dollars a year for private education? And then there’s picking the “right” house- it has to be the right neighborhood with the right style. For city living, it needs to be preferably a brownstone with modern amenities and an open layout. For country living, we tend to like houses that have old charm with modern conveniences like an antique farmhouse or an old Victorian that been restored with modern amenities- a mix of old with the new. Right now, we’re not seeing these on the market and if we do see it, it’s literally gone within a day or two. We missed out once, early on in our search, on a lovely farmhouse and honestly, nothing we’ve seen since has compared. Then there’s the issue of, do we pay the same amount of money for a condo with the convenience of city living when we could have a 3-4 bedroom home with an acre of land but have more of the suburban lifestyle.
With the home buying process our desires for what we want in a community and a home is always being compared to what our lifestyle was like in Sydney. We had the entire package- a nice, modern flat in the city, right by three modes of public transport, water views, cute boutiques, shops and restaurants for our enjoyment and plenty of green space and parks. Sounds nice, right? In essence, we’re looking for something similar in Boston but it may be very possible that this is not going to happen and just doesn’t exist- unless we’re millionaires, which we’re not! I would hope we could find something comparable to what we had once in Sydney but who knows? Wishful thinking most likely. I think we need to throw in the towel and head back down under, ha!
So, we keep plugging on hoping to find something to call our own in the new year. Ideally we would have loved to have been homeowners before the baby arrives but that’s not going to happen at this rate. We’ll make due for now and keep at it. The home buying process has definitely been somewhat stressful and disappointing but I know our home is out there somewhere. When we find it, it will all be worth it so we’ll continue to be patient and keep on searching.