Things Are Looking Up!

25 Sep

Sorry for deserting the blog again! This time I had a much cheerier excuse – one of my high school friends came to visit for five days so we pretty much spent the whole week exploring San Francisco (plus Google, Muir Woods and Napa).

Do I love San Francisco as much as Seattle? Not yet, but now I’m much more optimistic than I was a week ago. My favourite parts are Russian Hill, Telegraph Hill and the Mission Dolores area. This is a photo that James took from Dolores Park a couple of weekends ago.

PANO_20140913_165446
It looks like there was some sort of festival on, but nope. As far as I can tell this is just how busy it gets on a sunny weekend.

We’ve actually made an offer on a condo like … a minute’s walk from the park. It’s such a beautiful place and we both loved it as soon as we saw it, but I’m 99% sure we won’t win. We bid right up to our max (>10% over list price) but our broker told us that other people will be bidding based on the potential to expand into the attic.

Oh, and there’s a super weird thing that buyers do here, where they write “love letters” (seriously that’s what they’re called) to the seller. So our broker got me to write one telling the seller about us and why we loved the house. I wonder if that’s something that will catch on in Australia?

Offers are due today at 5pm so I’ll have news about that soon. Though like I said earlier it’s unlikely to be good news.

Another possibility that James and I are considering is, instead of stretching to buy a home we love, maybe just buying a condo in Mountain View because it makes sense financially. I’ve been playing around with the NYT Buy or Rent Calculator and it looks like if we buy a crappy 2BR condo for ~550k we’d only be ahead renting if we could find a place for under 1k (HA!). We would never love it like we loved our North Melbourne apartment, the condo we’re bidding on now, or even Rollin Street … but it does seem to be the most financially prudent move.

I did a couple of hill sprints in Mission Dolores the other day (/sigh … there’s a hill right outside the home we’re bidding on that would be perfect for hill sprints). I also need to stop being lazy and start eating vegetables again. Maybe I’ll buy a bag of frozen kale that I can mix into my smoothies (I miss my Vitamix!).

James is still enjoying work at Google. He was told that he’s been exceeding expectations, so that’s pretty awesome. =)

Oh also, we’re going to Vegas in October! =D

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5 Responses to “Things Are Looking Up!”

  1. Kat September 25, 2014 at 4:15 pm #

    Hey there, glad to hear you’re feeling more optimistic about things 🙂 Quick question; how hard is it for Aussies to buy property in the US? Did you have to jump through any special hoops to get the process started? Or do you have to be in the States for a certain period of time first etc…My partner and I are interested in buying down the track, but from all the stuff I’ve read on the internet seems like it’s going to be a complex process…

    • pamperedhousewife September 25, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

      The biggest hurdle for us has been having “young” credit. Our credit score is great but it’s relatively new and I think lenders like to see a longer history – we are at ~2 years so maybe 3 years is the length they prefer. It wasn’t a problem for First Tech though, but possibly credit unions have different standards, or maybe it’s because we’ve been banking with them since the beginning.

      We just made a appointment with the mortgage guy at First Tech and brought pay stubs, bank/investment statements and he did all the rest. It’s also a little tricky because they don’t count bonus and stock – just salary. Though apparently they have a little leeway because they are willing to loan us slightly more than James’ salary alone would qualify for.

      Hope that helps!

      • Kat September 25, 2014 at 4:30 pm #

        Thanks, definitely does help 🙂

  2. mamamilo October 3, 2014 at 9:57 pm #

    Glad you’re feeling better and more upbeat! 🙂

    My brother loved San Fran when he was there. Try visiting the Presidio/Chrissy Park and Baker Beach when you have the time.

    My hubby just moved to Seattle to start working with Amazon. I’ll be going over with the kids early next year. It’s a little crazy looking for places with only one of us there. I have no sense of the place at all!

    • pamperedhousewife October 3, 2014 at 10:00 pm #

      Thanks for the rec! We’ve been trying to explore SF on the weekends to get an idea of which neighborhoods we like so I’ll definitely add those to the list!

      Are you guys thinking of living in Seattle or Eastside? Apparently a lot of people with kids prefer living on the Eastside but the commute will be a pain. Hope your husband enjoys his new job and you guys get settled in OK!

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