Sooo Dong and I are embarking on the epic quest of buying a house in Syracuse! We had to do a lot of soul-searching and discussing… but it just seemed more realistic to buy a house in Syracuse rather than in NYC. Although I miss NYC greatly… the idea of living there isn’t so attractive to me. High cost of living, expensive housing, high-ish crime rates and lack of an easy-going job like the one I have now are definite cons in my book. Of course, there’s also the many pros of NYC – my family and friends, tons of great food, hub of culture, and just so much stuff going on…
But for the time being, I think Dong and I will be settling in the ‘Cuse for at least 5 years – therefore, it seemed like a good idea to invest in a house rather than throw our money away on rent. But we discussed that at length too… because apartment living is so nice and maintenance-free (have a problem? Call the 24-hour maintenance people!) and living in a house inevitably means maintaining a house and fixing things, which neither Dong nor I have any experience in! But I guess we’ll have to be quick learners.
One of the huge major pros of living up here is that the housing prices are ridiculous! Ridiculously cheap that is. It’s definitely not as desirable a place to live as NYC but you can get a really nice house in a good location with good schools and very safe neighborhood. Of course, with good schools comes high property taxes… one of those things you just have to live with! But then we can get into tax exemptions and all that other financial stuff that Dong will inevitably be dealing with. Ugh!
We went on our first house hunting trip yesterday and although it was only 4 hours, it was a very draining 4 hours. We saw 5 houses in total with a teaser of another one (the owner’s dog was still there so we couldn’t go inside) and at the end of it I was exhausted and zoning out in the car. We even had to stop in the middle for a quick coffee break in Wegmans (very conveniently located in our preferred neighborhood) because we were all fading out. There’s just so much to take in about each house, although a few we could knock off our list pretty quickly – too small and cramped, way too big and outdated, etc. That said, we were left with one or two really strong contenders that would fit our needs pretty well.
Since we’re living with Dong’s mom for at least half of the year, we’ll probably need a 3+ bedroom, 2+ bathroom house with also room for an office/study for our computers. I do like that most of the houses have finished basements which adds a lot of useful room for hanging out or putting gym equipment. And I’ve discovered I love hardwood floors, and we saw quite a few with pegged oak floors (learning something new everyday) and also we learned the difference between cedar siding and pine siding. Total information overload!
We’ll be going again on Friday so we’ll see if there’s anything else that strikes our fancy. Wish us luck and keep warm!