First foray into house hunting 8:07 p.m. 2003-03-09

Wow. I am whooped. I have been driving a lot, checking out possible houses to buy. It's tough becoming a grown-up.

I drove to a section of town know for it's - how do you say? - ethnic diversity. I have done some research on the Coldwell Banker website. According to my findings, this is an area with houses priced within our price range and approximately halfway between my and my husband's jobs. I am all for funky ethnic markets, and diverse neighborhoods - as long as they are also safe.

Yesterday, I meandered around the area, finally taking time out to eat at a Chinese/Japanese food buffet with sushi. I got there at about 10 minutes before closing, which made for some quick decision-making and hasty piling of plates. I ate all of my sushi, but did not clean the third plate.

I brought my husband out there today, along with my dog, and he was against the idea of one of the neighborhoods. He was raised by a family of real estate brokers, and said that the real estate would be less likely to appreciate.

So, we went to eat at a Don Taco, and then tackled an area on the north end of the highway. Gorgeous homes, lovely yards, more middle class. Too expensive.

We were heading in a southerly direction when I finally found the better neighborhood I had scouted. Bingo! This is one place we will consider.

I have to be really cautious. I am the kind of person who gets hooked into the fantasy of one specific place, and am very disappointed if I don't get it. This happened when we were looking for apartments. But, I did not get my first choice of apartment complex, and I am perfectly happy here. So, flexibility is key.

Not to mention that we are not quite ready to commit to a purchase yet, anyway. We are getting pre-approved for a loan, then we have to decide upon a realtor. We will have to spend countless Saturdays and/or Sundays looking at houses and condos (I haven't gone there yet>). THEN we have to accumulate $3000 to make our bank accounts look prosperous.

Added to that, we have to run the gauntlet of relative approval (meaning we have one parent who is a former real estate person, another who has supervised contracting, and yet another who is an interior designer.) These are all assets, but ultimately, it is my husband and I that must make the decision. Oh, and the dog.

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Tiedyefor 2003