February 01, 2006

Schadenfreude in housing (again)

Nearly two years ago we were looking for a house and found one we really liked, only to have our offer rejected. We eventually found one we liked and are happy with it. But...

...that house is only a couple blocks away, and we drive by it anytime we go into Mt. Lebanon or points south. When we bought our house I mentioned that the owner missed out and figured that would be the end of it, that someone would either take the risk or the owner would figure out he'd been a dumbass. Nope. Month after month, the house didn't sell. The seller went from Howard Hanna to a different agency. Then a different one. Then he listed it himself.

And month after month we'd drive by, thinking: What the hell was wrong? Was there a body buried in the suspiciously neat basement? Was the single bathroom throwing everyone out of joint? Or the bedrooms that were smaller than in newer, suburban homes? That there was no garage or parking pad?

Finally, about four months ago the For Sale sign went away and we saw people moving in. And every time I drove by I'd try and remind myself to go to the assessment website to see how much it sold for, but I kept forgetting. (Putting away groceries somehow wipes my short-term memory or something.)

Finally, today I remembered. IIRC we offered about $133K for the house in March 2004. And it turns out it sold for $115K. So he lost 18 months and nearly $20K! Sucker!

But obviously, deep down, I still like that house a little better...

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