Headed back Tuesday morning after a nice restful, productive, and joyous time here in the Fort Collins area.
Restful because the traffic is about 90% less by volume than back in SoCal, productive because my wife has finally realized all the things I've been telling her about the real estate market out here is true, and joyous as we got to spend some time with little Noah, the kids, and Diamond, Coco, and Obie, the three dogs the kids took when they moved here.
We're expecting to walk away with around $275k from the sale of the house in SoCal, and my wife has finally realized we're NOT going to be able to buy a house with just that amount. Well....there are houses out there at that price point, some with very large lots, but the houses are best described as "livable, but need a bit of updating". So, she's raised the house finding price cap to $400k, and that means it's a whole new ball game.
I've been trying to pound that into her head the last two years, but she was completely deaf to my "research findings".
Sunday we met with a different realtor, a very nice young guy who appears to know his stuff, and she listened to him. The little light bulb in her head finally started to glow a bit, and by dinnertime she'd accepted the fact that we're going to have to get a mortgage of about $140k to really make this happen.
So I was up until well after 0100 last night / this morning going over the results of my modified search parameters on the real estate sites I use so we'd have some addresses to go check out today.
The Nice Young Guy had her convinced that we'd find paradise in either Wellington or Loveland (I know better, but she flat-out ignored my advice), so today we checked some properties I thought were good matches for us at $400k and under, and then blew the rest of the day bu first going up to Wellington, and then South down to Loveland. She declared Wellington to be "desolate" (huh?) Loveland to be "too far" (no shit, Sherlock), but was absolutely bowled over by the places I found.
Then she started babbling on about "Well how come YOU can find these houses and the agent can't?" at which point I told her she had the agent searching for stuff at $350k and under, AND searching in Wellington and Loveland, etc, etc, etc, but she still didn't get it.
Several of the places I found were out off Mulberry where it crosses Interstate 25, and they were knock-outs. Big lots, very well maintained, big trees, and just a very nice, livable looking neighborhood.
And I found a couple of places in the Laporte area at the new price cap, but we didn't have time to see them after wasting THREE HOURS going down to Loveland even though I knew she wouldn't be happy AT ALL going that far away. There's some nice houses down there, but that area is exploding with new growth and houses, and the roads are NOT capable of supporting the volume of traffic that's going to come.
So, it'll be back to dumping more of my stuff on eBay, giving some to the Iowa, some to friends, and some to the recylce / eWaste people.
She has three weeks until retirement, and then I think she'll really start chomping at the bit to get out of SoCal.
I'd post some of the pix I took, but I can't get them off my phone and on to this blasted laptop. It sees the phone, and that's it, even when I switch the phone from "USB Charging" to "File Transfer Mode".