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2 BR, 1 BA, 5-min. drive from Light Rail

March 15, 2012
House Dining Room

Think this gorgeous dining room is accessible via public transit?

I’ve never purchased anything more expensive than my bike.

And now I’m thinking of buying a house.

You want to find the cheapest rental in town? I’m your woman. But I know little to nothing about buying a place to live in. I haven’t seen “House Virgins” or whatever it’s called or any of the other HGTV or TLC house-buying reality shows, (because I don’t have a TV, cable, or even internet at the moment—long story, OK?).

And my real estate agent is asking: “What is stopping you from making this your NEW home?” What’s stopping me is: The only thing you can walk to from these houses is a car dealership.

Do I have to buy a house and a car?

That doesn’t seem very cost-effective. I currently save tons of money by biking, busing, and training—money I could put toward a better-located home, not a car. Plus, being car-free makes me happy (and gives me something to rattle on about on this blog), so why do I have to give that up in the name of home ownership?

OK, so, location is my top “must-have” in a house. The trouble is cost—no big surprise. It’s expensive to live in a place where life is a car-free paradise. My how-to-buy-a-house book tells me that real estate purchases have to come with compromise. I’m not sure I can make this compromise though.

I know I’m not the only prospective home-owner struggling with the cost-vs.-location issue. Who else has been in this pickle?

Car-freely,
Amy

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Clay permalink
    March 15, 2012 8:49 am

    Sometimes car dealerships have concerts of B list country bands.

    • avaerewyck permalink
      March 16, 2012 12:15 pm

      In that case, sign me up – but only if there’s also a B list actor with a name very similar to an A list actor … and a socially-inappropriate PR man.

  2. juliemcg permalink
    March 15, 2012 9:48 am

    It’s called “Property Virgins.” I think you should watch it because they all start with unrealistic expectations and then end up compromising. I’m sure you could relate!

    I think this post makes a very good point: Choosing a good location (even though a more expensive one,) may save you money in the long run by helping you maintain your car-free lifestyle.

    Here is the website for Property Virgins: http://www.hgtv.com/property-virgins/show/index.html.

    (Disclaimer: I have never purchased a home. My only expertise comes from television. I’m sure watching it on TV is a much easier process than actually doing it.)

    • avaerewyck permalink
      March 16, 2012 12:09 pm

      Thanks for the tips, Julie. Wait, am I being unrealistic?! I’ll check out the “Property Virgins” site.

  3. Melody permalink
    March 15, 2012 7:45 pm

    Have you looked at homes along the soon-to-be Golden light rail line? There’s not much there right now, so it should still be affordable, but it will change. Or Englewood. The lightrail goes down there and Downtown Englewood on S Broadway has some cute shops and diners you can bike to.

    • avaerewyck permalink
      March 16, 2012 12:12 pm

      Great ideas, Melody! We’ve checked out some of those spots, and yes, downtown Englewood has some charm. They’re definitely more affordable, but the houses we like the best aren’t super-close to the light rail or 0 bus. I’m excited to explore the Golden light rail line though. I think there’s a stop at Federal and Colfax, right? I don’t know a lot about the west side of the city.

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