Now that we’ve been married for over a year, we figured it’s time to start looking for a house.
Right now, we live in a tiny 2 bedroom apartment in Old Town Alexandria, which is super convenient for work. We work in DC and our apartment is less than a block away from the Metro that takes us into the city.
Initially, we were thinking about purchasing a home here in Old Town. It’s right on the water and perfectly located for work. That is until we started digging into the real estate market here.
We are both very set on purchasing a detached home with a yard, no condos and no townhomes. If we are going to move out of our apartment, we want it to be for more living and personal space. But really I just want to be able to look out our windows and see green grass instead of our neighbor’s house. We also wanted to have at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. Having grown up in a house with only 1 bathroom for 5 people, I think I’ve earned my own master bath
Unfortunately, in our current area, the real estate bubble has never really popped. There is a constant flow of people coming and going from DC so demand never really decreased. This means that a home that meets our criteria in this area would start at a minimum of $600,000.
Initially, we entertained the idea of possibly purchasing a townhome, until we started reading about the schools in Alexandria. We were completely shocked to find out that the schools actually aren’t that great, which is pretty shocking for an area where the median home cost is $860,000. In doing some research on GreatSchools.org, I found out that Alexandria’s elementary, middle, and high school only received a 4 out of 10 stars.
I know we don’t have kids and even if we did we would still be about 5 years away from sending them to school. But we are looking for an area that will become our permanent home. A home that we can makeover to suit our tastes. A community that we can become close to. A place that can truly become home.
The idea of buying a place knowing full well that we would have to turn around and sell it in five years just doesn’t sound appealing to us. Perhaps that maybe what we end up doing but I want to know that it was our choice instead of something that we had to do.
On top of that, the more I thought about it the more I missed being close to my family. Where we currently live is about 70 miles away from my parents’ house, which I’m sure is nothing to some people. I, on the other hand, grew up with all my family members close by. I could drive down to my great grandmother’s house and check in on her when I wanted to. We could pop by my grandmother’s house for dinner at the last minute. It was the perfect way to grow up. And I really want our children to have that.
So at the end of the day, despite how much we loving living here in Old Town, we are set to say goodbye in the coming months. It was the perfect place for this point in our lives and we will certainly always have good memories from the place where we grew into adults.
It will be a sad goodbye but one that has to come in order for us to grow.