When I moved here in December 2014 I was looking forward to being a renter for the foreseeable future. I’d been a homeowner for over 15 years and was glad to let go of the responsibility of maintaining a property.
Except I never completely got into the role of renter. Maybe it’s a case of just not being able to let go of that homeowner mindset, but I’ve been looking at properties for sale in the my neighborhood pretty much since Day One. It’s easy to keep an eye on sales listings since I walk the dog around the neighborhood nearly every day.
Getting used to the price of real estate in the Bay Area is something I still haven’t mastered, but it’s getting easier for me to imagine ponying up half a million dollars for a small house. And in the immediate neighborhood where I’m living houses are generally small. If a house has more than two bedrooms it’s an anomaly; if the house has more than a single bathroom, that’s nearly a miracle.
The small rooms are the downside of older, vintage housing stock, but there are many other advantages to this neighborhood. It’s extremely walkable. I can (and do) walk to the public library, the post office, the little hardware store, and the restaurants and drinking establishments in downtown Napa. There’s a big park about a block away with lots of green space, picnic groves, and big trees. I also have gotten to know the neighbors here already, and have made some good friends.
Just last weekend I visited an Open House on a property that was along my walking route to the library. This tiny house had a 625 square feet floor plan, including two bedrooms and one bathroom. I paced out the larger bedroom and noted that it wouldn’t hold my queen-sized bed.
However, there is a house for sale on my block that I’m seriously coveting. Yes, it only has two bedrooms and one bathroom, but it has a lovely floor plan. Both bedrooms are larger than average (meaning the larger room could easily hold a queen-sized bed, plus a dresser or two), and they are in the back of the house where there is practically no street noise. (Another pet peeve of mine is that most of these vintage floor plans have the larger bedroom in the front of the house where there is more noise from chatty pedestrians, cars, and trucks.) The house also has a large living room, dining room, and a small breakfast nook. It’s a rare property, and I’m sure someone with a lot of cash in hand will snatch it right up so they can enjoy it as a vacation home they’ll visit about once or twice a year. *sigh*
Still, I have to take a crack at it, so I’m putting in my paltry offer. If by some slim, slim chance I even get a chance at the house I’ll basically become a house slave with the majority of my income going to pay the mortgage and taxes. I’ll also be required (really, truly REQUIRED) to get a housemate so I can afford that monthly mortgage and tax payment, but…well…what the hell. I still feel like I need to pursue this silly dream. Too bad my lottery tickets were useless last week.