Need a house?

exterior.jpg Yeah, I know. It's not the best time to be putting a house on the market. Unfortunately, it doesn't change the fact that the house we've been hanging onto in St. Louis needs to go. Don't get me wrong; we've had a good run of it. There are no hard feelings. It's just that our current renters are moving out May 1 and I don't want to do the long distance landlord thing anymore. Long distance is just too hard. You feel me?

So we're putting our little blue house o' love up for sale and I am, of course, a tad worried. Every time I read the news there's another horror story about the housing market. I'm worried about months of paying rent here and mortgage there while we wait for someone to snap up our little home. Fortunately, our realtor tells us that houses in certain areas of the St. Louis market -- including Maplewood, where our house is -- are still moving. If it's cute and clean (which he says ours is) and priced right, which we hope it will be, it should still sell. Gulp.


We still have some work to do on it before it can go up and we're currently debating whether to update the kitchen before selling -- in the hopes of getting a little more for it -- or selling as-is at a lower price. As you can tell from the pic above, it's pretty old. The cabinets were pretty shabby when I bought the house and there's no dishwasher, which can be a dealbreaker for some. I probably need to stop watching HGTV shows that bellow "the kitchen sells the home!" Part of me wants to renovate but the thought of trying to coordinate it from here or having to camp out in the empty house for weeks in St. Louis -- and disrupt my life here to do so -- sounds like a huge headache.

And while I'm eager to sell the house and let it move on to its next relationship, I'm also a bit sad about it. I bought the house myself when I was a mere 27 years old and it was the biggest, most grown up thing I'd ever done at that point in my life. I made a lot of changes to the inside -- new floors, painted walls, details here and there... I really loved living in it. It's no doubt a starter home, but it's a sweet little one.

Once we sell it, we'll be able to start thinking about buying a house here. Well, let me rephrase that, since I've been thinking about buying a house here for two years. It's true that we've seen housing prices here drop drastically in our time in Ann Arbor, but they're still far above what we'd pay for comparable dwellings in St. Louis. Although my HGTV watching does remind me that St. Louis is a low-housing-oasis and that houses in the rest of the country go for ridiculous amounts. We've been spoiled and lucky and it's hard to adjust to this market.

We need something bigger than our little house in St. Louis, since Chris and I now both work from home and each need an office. And recent visits from friends and family have me convinced that we definitely need more than one bathroom. But that means we'll be paying around twice what we think we can sell our St. Louis house for. Yikes. It all gives me such a headache.

And we're not there yet, so I should probably just keep breathing for a while. I have faith that the house will find a buyer and that we will find the right house here when the time is right. But I figure it doesn't hurt to get things moving, so if you know anyone looking for a house in delightful Maplewood, why, I might have just the thing!