Tuesday, August 28, 2007

the story of Bob and Flo

It seems we have a decision to make. We have found two houses we love - we'll call them Bob and Flo ("A" and "B" is so predictable, don't you think?). Bob is on a picturesque street in a historic district. He's a sweet little brick house with a side porch and a picket fence (yes, they still exist). Bob has huge bedrooms and an updated kitchen. Seriously, Bob is CUTE. He's two blocks from the park and coffee shop, and Montgomery can't boast many parks and coffee shops. But he also has the price tag of a historic district. We can technically afford Bob, but thinking of a budget with Bob's mortgage included makes me need to take a deep breath. Even so, there's no question of resale with Bob. Not that we'll move anytime soon, but eventually we'll want more house than we intend to buy this time around. And Bob will always do well, because of his location and his undeniable charm.

On the other side of the road we have Flo. Flo, she's a doll. She has a great backyard with a brick stove, a sun porch with built-in bookshelves (I LOVE built-in bookshelves), a newly remodeled kitchen, and a great lay-out. She also has a working fireplace and is clean enough to perform emergency surgery in the living room. In terms of layout and usefulness for a family, Flo is our gal. She's just as historic and just as maintained as Bob, but she's on the other side of the road. The side that is just as stable, but doesn't sell or appreciate quite as readily. She isn't Cool, but she's adjacent to it. Cool Adjacent Flo.

Truthfully, Flo has my heart. And Flo has a pricetag that makes me want to throw a party. But Flo is a little riskier when it's time to sell. Bob won't let us down later, but he stresses me out now. Flo is SWEET for now, but she could stress me out later.

If you think of it, say a prayer for us today. We can always decide not to take Bob or Flo, of course. But we'll probably pick one. If it were you, which risk would you take?


Liz said...

Always follow your heart. If you are so worried about what MIGHT or MIGHT NOT happen in 5 years, then you are going to miss out on the blessings of today. I'll be praying for you. :) Keep me updated!!

haha-side note, my word verification looks suspiciously like the word "real-estate"!

Cindy said...

I think you are doing a great job weighing your pros and cons. One thought (this isn't me, this is just the books I have been reading about buying a house) is that if Bob appreciates faster than Flo, in the long run Bob may cost you less to own, even with the higher payments. A lot depends on how long you plan to stay, but if Bob's not right for your family (layout, monthly payments, etc.) it may not matter how much you make in the end if you don't enjoy your time in the house.
Also, what's your market like? If it's a buyer's market like here, and the house likely isn't going anywhere, I would take a month to live on a Bob budget and see how it goes. Also, I'd probably low ball an offer on Bob before I bought Flo if it was about the price, but that's just me.
If there are no changes in price, and all things are equal, I'd want to have some savings on the side if I went with Bob, otherwise I'd probably lay awake at night sick that Murphy might move in, but that's just me.

It's exciting you have two choices! I can't wait to hear how it all turns out.

(and I love the Bob and Flo thing by the way...)

Stephanie said...

Cindy, it's Murphy who makes me need to take deep breaths in a paper bag.

M'elle said...

I'd go with your heart and your pocketbook! It is great that you have something you love and that is affordable.
I know how those Bobs are though.... nice side of the street, so cute, easy resale... higher pricetag... I have had 3 Bobs in the last few months (hee! sounds funny, doesn't it?). They all let me down. Plus, I don't have the stress of a higher payment, which could be done, but it is so nice not to have that extra bit of stress.
I am staying put with my own dear Flo!
By the way, I would be happy to "check out" Bob and Flo anytime!

Madame Rubies said...

Flo sounds like a member of the Brian and Stephanie family. Please, buy Flo, so that I can come read on your sun porch. I want one of those so badly. Bob sounds nice and all, but, really, you already HAVE a Bob in the family. ;)

Nick M. said...

I attempted to comment earlier this morning but was rebuffed (rebuffed I say) on several tries.

I say Flo is the way to go (it rhymes it has to be good). I could take the time to write why but it would be a lot of comments that no one cares about.

Go Flo, Go Flo Go!!

Emily said...

Ooo. Tough one. We have been stuck with a house before. Here's the thing -- is either of you in a profession that might make you need to move? We keep thinking we're staying somewhere and buying dream houses that need a lot of work, and then getting STUCK with them halfway done and needing to move. Next time, we're buying something with easy resale. (But, full disclosure here, I am probably talking with the side of me that is freaked out that they want to move us to L.A. next -- as if London wasn't bad enough.)

Jason said...

For what it's worth I say Flo....
but I am praying for yall and the decision

Mary said...

I have to say I agree with what everyone is saying about Flo IF you are fairly certain you guys are set staying for a while. I have been in Emily's boat and we even bought our house MAINLY for it's resale-ableness (is that a word?)
I know you guys had that experience in Montgomery a few years back and it is absolutely no fun. However, you both seem really happy and settled where you are so if its going to be a few years, it's worth the risk I think. ww

Valerie said...

I have never bought a house, and cannot possibly add any more advice to this blog, so I will just say that I thought this was going to be a story about things that happened on a river.

But I like Cindy's idea about living on the Bob budget for a while. Worst case scenario you have some extra money at the end of the month...