In life, we apparently hit milestones.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes trying to buy a flat or house in the obscenely expensive Bay Area . Yes, this is all before the baby in the baby carriage. Because if you don’t, you have no where to put said tiny human.
If you aren’t familiar with the Bay Area housing market (specifically San Francisco and Marin County), let me fill you in:
SF is the most expensive housing market in the country (yep, more than NYC)
Median rent in SF is $3,475
Median house price is $1,500,000 (12% year-over-year increase)
WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE (and house hunting).
Hubs and I have (luckily) lived in a very rent-controlled apartment, in (in my opinion), one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city for the last 8 years. We’re a block from the water, and the Golden Gate Bridge is essentially our “backyard”. (You get what I’m saying).
It’s something I entirely take for granted while constantly bitching about how tiny our actual home is.
Seriously - we’ve shared 600 square-feet of space for almost a decade.
SANS DISHWASHER AND WASHER/DRYER IN UNIT.
I’ll accept our prize for couple-of-the-year(s) now please. Thx.
Recently, we’ve started planning to start a family. Only you can’t fit a large stuffed animal in 600-square feet of space with two adults and all the shit that comes with them… much less a baby and all the shit that comes with them.
Just when you feel like you’re making good money and are actual adults, you get knocked upside the head with a 1200-square foot condo listing that’s going for OVER A MILLION AND A HALF DOLLARS.
But yet, the hunt is on. I also cannot BELIEVE I’m saying this but I’ve recently come to the realization that it’s not so much San Francisco I detest, but rather the impossibly small amount of space we live in. So we’re looking in both the city and Marin County. In very specific, and highly desirable areas that make this hunt even more (read: less) fun.
Sometimes we watch Fixer Upper after an afternoon of open houses. Most times I over-dramatically weep. Every time I ask how Chip and Joanna finagle a bathroom renovation for $3K. THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE.
(Also if you’re reading this Chip and JoJo and want to do a fixer-upper in the Bay Area, we’re available entirely on your schedule/timeframe. Slide into my DMs.)
Something I’ve learned re: house hunting? Aside from EVERYTHING? That it’s really fun to scour Zillow. It’s less fun when you read the disclosures and realize there is literally no perfect home, or that HOA’s are approx $1K a month or the house’s foundation is sliding down a hill in Mill Valley or that a flat in SF hasn’t been seismically retrofitted.
SUPER FUN ADULT THINGS. Yay.
House Hunters is a lie. Open floor-plans with large back yards for <$1M are a lie.
Even more fun is the whole mortgage/lender thing. When you have to pull together every financial document from the past couple of years to get pre-approved for a mortgage and then go through under-writing so you can waive all your contingencies just to submit an offer when some 23-year-old techie will likely roll in with a briefcase full of cash and swipe your dream house that you can “totally see yourselves hosting Christmas and Thanksgiving in” right from under you and you realize you’re probably going to have to move to somewhere winter exists to be able to actually close on a house.
HONESTLY THAT’S NOT EVEN ME BEING (THAT) DRAMATIC.
But I promise we’re having fun with it. It’s also been a real eye-opener thinking about the reality of increasing our monthly expenses x3 and actually sticking to a budget.
(Which, for a house, I will cut ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING/EXPENSES FOR SO HELP ME GOD).
What ya think - rent, buy, squat?