So that's it. Not terribly large, but plenty of house for me (or really for a family of 4). There was about zero chance that I would get a price I wanted for anything but my lease is running out, rates are low (which makes prices higher) and the whole homebuyer credit thing, which is being sweetened by the stimulus package bouncing between houses of Congress. In the end I'm happy enough with the price to buy.
Like I've said before, I do not expect this place to jump by 20% in value in one year, or even five. I will build equity the old fashioned way: by paying down the principle on the mortgage. Crazy, I know. I'll also probably make a few changes/do some work on the place, though nothing big right away. I have to figure some things out and recover my losses from the sale first.
It's a good time to buy if you want to buy a house in large part because it's still a crappy time to buy if you are an investor. The credit thing possibly becoming permanent will sweeten the deal, but it will also inflate prices (much like low interest rates do). If the Senate version is the final one then it will really inflate prices--it's bigger and can be claimed by all (primary) home buyers, not just first timers. Fortunately it still shuts out investors (I think).
I will probably have more pics to put up, and changes that will happen and such as time goes by, but the blog title still applies (though my long absence seems to have lost what readers I had).