Moving day

Dateline: Wed 17 Sep 2008

First, if you've send an email over the past few weeks and not gotten an answer, it will come. But for now, moving back to Indy is a first priority.

Oh, and finding a house. People who don't know say, "It's a buyers' market," as if houses are just sitting there waiting to be snapped up. Yes and no. Savvy buyers have been honed by this foreclosure crisis to recognize that true rare bargain when it comes along; hence many of us are often competing for the same property, and not everyone will be a winner.

Second factor: Some of the homes that are delightful are still priced at what owners purchased them for two or three years ago. The unlucky homeowner is hoping at this point to at least break even. But from where many of us buyers sit, the home was not worth that price to begin with. Hence we are seeing the bubble, as visible as a Meridian Street manse. It looms over Indy's northside like a bloated dragon, threatening sellers' hopes of any profit.

Third: About three-quarters of what I've seen has been foreclosure. The polite term used on by agents is "corporate-owned." "That's a nice way of saying the bank has it," explained our agent Bob Chambers of Century 21. We might have bid on a "bank-owned" property on Illinois except that it's tiny size --- 1100 square feet -- did not match its property taxes: 6 grand a year. Absurd. Other foreclosed homes have similar red flags. One can see, just as one sees the dragon, the sinking ship of blocks of homes, going under...

Fourth: The darling little home we thought we were buying close enough for daily Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas turned out to have major termite damage. True, it was old, but the bugs had eaten a hole in the dining room floor and part of the sunroom woodwork. There was evidence of infestation in the basement as well as the attic. "They didn't jump (from basement to attic)" pointed out our home inspector. In other words, they were in the walls, too. So was the foundation affected? Some old-time Northside residents said no big deal; all the homes had a parade of termites thru. But at our age, the risk was too scary. Plus the house, upon inspection, had multiple other issues.

Hence we are undergoing a trial separation. Guy goes with one son, I go with the other. Our accumulated junk goes in garages and storage.

Broad Ripple Movers come today. That's another image-conscious firm. I've used them for years; highy recommend them. But they are on the near Southeast side, not in Broad Ripple. I guess years ago, they figured that Northsiders would relate to the Broad Ripple moniker.

And so we do, with all its complications in today's market....

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