In the past few weeks my wife and I have forayed into the complex new world of home shopping. There's a lot to learn and decide. Although we hit the market at a good time, we want to make sure we don't get duped. We're also looking for a home that will fit our family after a few more children (heaven willing), while still being affordable in the not-so-cheap Puget Sound home market.
Interestingly, we found our best prospect for square footage on the dollar was to buy new. It seemed like the only other way to get a house meeting our size and price requirements was to purchase a fixer-upper. That may be the right decision for some folks, but we currently don't have the skill set or time to invest in a home that has fallen apart, especially when new ones are available at the same price.
So yesterday we found ourselves trekking out past the row of model homes (the interior of which will look nothing like our house) to affix the "SOLD" sticker on our own lot sign. You'll notice that this lot has already been partially developed, but I think we would get charged for an upgrade to keep the Honey Bucket.
The same afternoon we hit the showroom to start choosing the interior and exterior details. Our builder boasted that we could make over 700 free choices to customize our home. I didn't exactly think that was a selling point with two young children who barely kept it together during the paper-signing process (and are currently howling downstairs as I write this). How could we make 700 choices with them clinging on us? Luckily we learned that the showroom has a kids area with surround-sound, big screen Curious George. This gives me confidence that my wife will be able to peacefully make all our selections as I lounge in a beanbag chair with the little ones and watch that naughty little monkey fly, fly away with his bundle of balloons.
I think this process has brought our family closer together.