We're home now and mostly recovered, I think. Of course, I'm getting back on a plane on Sunday to go up to my mom's for Christmas, and I have to admit the timing of all this could've been better.
We put in an offer on a condo, and the counter-offer was decent. Now it's a matter of working out all financing details; we have enough money, but apparently it's not distributed in the right pots, so the husband is working on getting it shuffled around into a configuration the banks will approve of. We'll see if that comes through. If not, we're still not really behind; we weren't actually expecting to find anything on this trip; it was more to scout neighborhoods and such.
I'm not jumping up and down about the condo itself, although it's not a bad place at all. It's only a little bigger than what we have now, and I was hoping for something significantly larger. That six-bedroom house I mentioned in the previous post (four of the bedrooms plus one bathroom were part of a basement remodel, but it was done very nicely) would've been great, assuming it could've passed a home inspection. That's the problem with remodels, of course; the house itself was about fifty years old, so who knows what was behind the drywall. It was on almost half an acre, which was also very cool. Unfortunately the nearest store of any kind was half a mile away, and that was just one grocery; other necessities were farther. Good (potentially) house, less than great location for folks who don't drive. :/
The condo is new, so we don't have to worry about booby traps, and our real estate guy managed to rustle up a home inspector the very next day. He found that the place is in good shape, with just a few little things which would be easy to fix. The big selling point, though, was the location -- it's right across the street from the back of a shopping center with a grocery store, a Barnes and Noble, a Target, a post office, a bunch of low- to mid-level restaurants, plus some other stuff, AND it was near two bus lines which would take Jim downtown to work within half an hour or less. There's really nothing more we could ask of the location, and I'm willing to stay packed into something that's really too small to be comfortable in for the next few years, until Jim retires. After that, we can find a cheaper area all together and get a bigger place with a nice yard (the condo has a little bit of fenced yard, just enough for a smallish dog, which will satisfy me for now) and a good location without having to scrape change out from under the seat cushions to pay for it.
Aside from the location, which is fantastic, it's not what I was hoping. I can deal with the rest, though, and we can get something which suits us better in a few years, when Jim's retired and we're not locked into a particular location because of his work.
I have to admit, though, that having a big bookstore a two minute walk away would be very nice. Dangerous, but very nice. :)