The Big Decision

Kallie love chickpeas!

(Just a random picture. I had a can of chickpeas out on the counter last night to curry… and Kallie decided to help herself. Too cute not to take a picture.)

Well… I think we’ve finally made *the decision*. We are moving. This year.

Our price range is set, and I was pre-approved for anything in that range, with 10% down. The 10% down is going to be the hard part – I need to sell my house before we have that cash in hand, obviously. The trickier part is that given today’s market (and what we’re able to afford within our specifications) we’re mostly looking at foreclosed houses. And banks don’t take contingent offers. So there’s a chance we could find something perfect, not be able to make an offer on it, and then lose it to another buyer.

There is A LOT to do before I can put my house on the market. And my schedule isn’t letting up any to give me extra time; plus the weather still isn’t quite right for home improvements. If you’re into house painting (outside), garage painting, grass repair, planting bushes and flowers (apparently, yellow flowers invoke a “buy me now!” mood?), and window trim (outside and in)… you are very welcome to be our house guests for as long as you’d like to stay and help.

So, we’re looking in the Princeton and Isanti areas. I visited a few houses last week… haven’t found anything wonderful yet, but I’ve been looking through a rather large list of houses that meet our criteria online. There are a few things in Wisconsin too – so that’s a possibility. Mostly, we’re hoping 1 hour our less driving time to the Twin Cities, where my baby niece and Chris’s baby nephew live. (Oh, and the rest of our family).

Our criteria: (MINIMUM) 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom, 3 acres, 1600 square feet finished. Of course, a smaller house on 20 acres would win over a larger house on 3 acres, provided most other conditions were right. We’re now looking at this more of a “move up” closer to what we’d eventually like — because at this point, we simply can’t afford the giant Victorian house in perfect condition on 50 acres that we want. A move closer to the twin cities will allow us to see family more, and hopefully be a positive step in our careers.

The food co-op’s board meeting is tomorrow night, and I’m going to tell the board that we are searching for houses out of the area. Ideally, I’d like to see a whole month (if not more) overlap between my leaving and a new manager taking over. I am really going to miss working there – it’s been an invaluable position, and I’ll be sad to leave. But, life goes on.

2 replies on “The Big Decision”

  1. Lynn says:

    How exciting! After lots of house searching and ending up buying a foreclosed house ourselves, Ethan and I know exactly what you’re going through. Isn’t 1600 sqft a little huge? We looked at a few houses that size and they just seemed enormous for two people. Our house is about 1060 finished square feet with a full, unfinished basement and we have more room than we need. I do wish we had a bigger yard, but I’m sure that will come some day!

    If you’re worried about not making 10% down without selling your home, you could look into state, city and county programs. There are many loans available at ridiculously low interest as well as loans that are interest free and forgiven over time, so you don’t have to pay them back at all if you stay for 5 years. Many of these loans are to help people buy foreclosed homes or homes in need of repair.

    The mortgage we ended up getting, because our house needed so much work done, was a 203K, which provides both money for repair and for the purchase of your home, and requires a 3% down payment. It’s a cool program because we certainly couldn’t have afforded the 60K in repairs/remodeling that our house required!

    Good luck in your search!

  2. jessi gurr says:


    I looked at a few of homes that were 1700-ish, and one 2400 square feet. And they had less “livable” space than our current home. Also, most newer homes (newer than my current home, that is) have finished off basements – so no “storage” space. My current house is about 960 on the main flor, and we really use up most of the basement. Plus – with two giant dogs, walking into a house with lots of rooms but small living areas makes me feel cramped. (And I want a bigger office… if I don’t get an office in town right away).

    Our real estate agent said that a lot of these houses will include the garage in the “total square feet” – kind of scammy. You just have to go look and see, I guess.

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