Tonight, A. and I had different reaction to our latest round of house-hunting. She passed out. I sat down and looked over even more listings and crunched even more numbers. To put it bluntly: the Burlington-area market is nasty and stilted and tough. The feeling I get is that properties are over-valued but the supply/demand conflict gives buyers next to no negotiating power.
And this is “levelled off”, apparently.
Maybe it’s partly the price range… I mentioned before how it seemed like everything we’d seen so far was the double sticker shock of asking price plus what it would need in immediate work to be habitable. (Maybe this Barre house really has spoiled us?) So we made some adjustments to our assumptions and thought about fudging our numbers up a bit. If we could put the squeeze on ourselves but not need to put any work into the place up-front that would work out OK in the end. Right? Not so much. Those places need just as much work, they’re just cosmetically in better shape.
The remaining alternative: townhouses and condos. We’d decided at first to avoid these for a couple reasons (chief of which was our bad experience from our Colchester place) but with things going the way they are, we seem to be running out of options. Problem is, condo/townhouse livin’ doesn’t seem too compatible with folks that enjoy outdoor activities. Seems there’s some wiggle room but it’s hard to tell on paper sometimes.
It’s turning into a frustrating exercise and not just because of the above-mentioned sticker shock. Inspired by stories like that of the Durning’s (and not to mention our own battle with car expenses over the past two years), we’ve decided to go down to one vehicle and minimize the usage. That considered, we start to run really quickly into limitations on our search radius. Striking any kind of happy medium seems next to impossible.
Argh. No conclusions yet. Just a whole lot of clenched teeth and felt-like-wasted time so far. Sigh? We’ll see how tomorrow goes.
About Rob FrieselSoftware engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →
One Response to the great Vermont house hunt
wow, at first i thought that A like passed out while looking at a place. ieee!
great news about the car though. good for you!