Have you ever asked yourself if you bought the right house? Kyle asked me that question this morning. Talk about conversation starters at breakfast!
My response was “Well, I don’t know. Which house would we have bought instead?”
For background purposes, we looked at a total of 25 houses over 3 days in the towns of Hartford, West Hartford, Farmington, Glastonbury, and Wethersfield when we relocated from Virginia four years ago. We were not familiar with the Hartford area at all and needed to buy a house during our 3-day trip. Talk about pressure.
And now Kyle asks me this question. Well, hindsight is always 20-20, isn’t it?
The house he wonders if we should have bought is a “crab walk” to West Hartford Center, as he puts it. Needless to say, that is a very desirable area. The problem is that I felt absolutely no connection to the West Hartford house and really don’t even remember it that well. I did, however, absolutely fell in love with the house we ended up purchasing in Hartford.
If we look at it from purely a financial perspective, did we make the right decision? Let’s look at the stats from March of 2004…
** I think if we actually bought the house in West Hartford we would have paid much closer to the asking price because we had to buy a house that weekend. Its asking price was drastically reduced 3 weeks after we made a decision. Also, our agent did not perform any type of market analysis for us when we wrote our contract, so we probably would have paid closer to asking price. A word to the wise, always have your agent perform a market analysis to understand if the house is fairly priced…
And what if we look at the values today…
So, as of today, the houses are worth roughly the same. However, our house in Hartford has appreciated in value because of the maintenance/improvement work we’ve done. The house in West Hartford has appreciated in value mostly because of the market rising and its spitting distance to West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square.
Did we buy the right house? If you look at it from a financial perspective only, probably not.
But buying and living in a house is an emotional decision as well. I didn’t really like the house in West Hartford. It didn’t even rank in our top 3 of houses we considered buying. Would walking to the Center have been a nice benefit? Of course! But I would have grown tired of the tiny rooms and low ceilings. Our neighborhood seems to suit us well. We enjoy our neighbors and our house!
So, Kyle, to answer your question: yes, I think we bought the right house. Although I still wish we had a garage!