After a lot of thought, I decided to bite the bullet and jump into the housing search.
Step one was to get pre-qualified for a mortgage. One of my previous roommates, Jen, works in the industry - so I asked her about helping me with that step.
Step two is to check out the market. I despise the thought that i'm buying a condo that was worth 50% of its price only a few years ago, because of supply and demand. I feel like I missed the boat on this one, only because I still think that we are in a housing bubble that is about to burst.
I will certainly expect the day after I close on my house that the market collapses and I watch the value of my condo drop 25-35%. That is the kind of luck I have.
My roommate Kristen has a friend who works in real estate and she has a fair understanding of what I am looking for - she is going to peek at a few places (she told me how she LOVES to look at condos...) and help me find a place that I like. Very cool of her, since I am terrible at getting motivated over this.
I enjoy the idea of finding a fabulous place, but really don't like the whole PROCESS to going out and seeing some depressing overpriced condos.
Its like shopping, for me. I hate browsing, trying things on, and looking around.
I like to see something (either in print or whatever) ahead of time, know what I want - and THEN go to the store and buy it. To me, shopping and browsing and trying things on is like trying to use your feet to eat food. Sure, I probably could learn how do do it - but the whole process of learning it doesn't appeal to me.
I'm still not excluding buying a place in NYC, Kristen is really jonesing to move into NYC and keeps sending me "starter condo's" which are like 450k each.
Can you imagine? I "starter condo" which is nearly half a million...christ. In any other city, these starter condo's would be worth maybe $180k. Or, if you moved into the Philly suburbs you could get a very nice place to live at the same amount.
More than likely i'd like to stay in Hoboken...I think I would get a bit more home for my money here (size, amenities, extras).
Also this move brings out something about me that I realize about myself.