Newmans Own

Home at Last

OK, for any of you who have been wondering: Did these people just stop looking or just stop writing? Or, more succinctly, WTF ? So allow me to make an announcement: We have, at long last, found a house.

Actually, if I may disagree with myself, I don’t think it has been all that long. We only started looking in earnest a few months ago, and I don’t think five months is too long to find and buy a house. I have been known to take that long to investigate and purchase a radio for our kitchen . And real estate is slightly more complicated than a radio, even the fancy one I ended up buying.

We will dribble out details over the next few days, and then this blog will be the victim of a mercy killing. The main detail, of course, is—which house? This one . As you can see, it is a FSBO, pronounced “fizzbo,” as in For Sale By Owner. And we were BWAREA, pronounced “bwarah!” as in Buyers Without A Real Estate Agent. Because buying your first house isn’t difficult enough.

In truth, buying a house without a realtor was not so much difficult as time-consuming. There’s just a lot of stuff you have to learn about and do. But the chief value of real-estate agents, insofar as they have any, comes in negotiations: The term “arm’s length negotiations” is no longer an abstract idea to us. I would have happily paid a few thousand bucks—maybe not 3 percent of the sales price, but a nice piece of change—for the ability to pick up the phone, dial my agent and say, in my best Tony Soprano voice, “Get this done.”

It didn’t happen that way. More later. In the meantime, how about that kitchen? (I’ll let Nora explain her newly nuanced position on the countertops.) And the back porch! And it has a new furnace! I’m not just saying this because we’re buying it: It’s a great house.