September 28, 2021
Anyone trying to buy or sell a house over the last year or so knows that the market has been on fire. Whether that’s a good thing or bad thing depends on if you’re buying or selling! After our recent virtual and actual house hunting trips, here’s what we’re thinking all this might mean for us if the market remains the same next year.
The short answer: frustration!
When we first started looking at houses online a few years ago, our budget seemed good enough to get whatever we wanted wherever we wanted. In fact in one post here I even mentioned that, unlike my wife who wanted something smaller, I thought maybe we should go bigger. I was young and foolish back then! Today the calculus has changed. Now, even the smaller houses my wife liked back then are near the top end of our comfortable budget range.
Another factor that has effected pricing is proximity to the parks. Very early on in our online searches we found a house we fell in love with — look, location, price, and neighborhood. When we made our first research trip we visited that subdivision in person. We then drove to Animal Kingdom Lodge just to test driving distance. It took us six minutes to get there. Since then, we kind of compare every house we look at to that one. Back at the start of all this, houses in that neighborhood were at the bottom to mid-range in our budget. Today, we are almost priced out of there!
As you can imagine, it’s been a bit disheartening seeing things we thought we were going to be able to afford start to get beyond our reach. However, this move is happening. So we have to stop moping and keep moving forward.
As you might have noticed in some of our more recent trip reports, we’ve started to look a little farther out in our house hunting searches. And we’ve been pleasantly surprised at what we’ve found. No, you may not be six minutes away from your favorite resort, but twenty minutes away finds you in less trafficked neighborhoods in a not so tourist-y area with houses spaced a little more apart and a slightly bigger yard.
And there is a flip side to the market. We’re not just buyers. We’re also selling! So there is a good chance our house here in Tennessee may bring in more than we initially anticipated, which would in turn mean our Florida home budget could go up as well.
So, while there is a bit of frustration involved in having to change some of our expectations after all this time, there are still so many opportunities out there, both in looking at locations we might not have considered originally, and in what our potential budget might be after selling our current house.
You know, maybe the real frustration is about so much still being in flux with only 260 days left before we leave!