Real Estate: Buying May Be Trying

It’s time for some real estate ramblings about buying, to go with those about selling. We have found a house we like in the DC area, have made an offer on it, and are cleared to borrow the necessary.

We were surprised to find that the seller and our likely lender are one and the same organization. In hindsight, we shouldn’t be, since the place is a foreclosure, which means that the organization that made the last loan on the place now owns it.

Does the fact that the lender and the seller are the same organization make things run particularly smoothly? I’ve heard the view that it should: after all, the lender is in the lending business, and doesn’t really want to be in the property-owning business. We’re giving it a chance to increase its lending activity and reduce its property-owning distraction.

That positive answer is consistent with the assumption that different parts of the same large organization work together well. There are many terms for that assumption: optimistic; heroic; not well supported by empirical evidence.

I think that this sale will go through, but it ain’t over until the large seller signs.

Real Estate Ramblings: Pilot

Max Fascinated by Pod and TruckReal Estate Ramblings (RER) is a new series. This is the pilot post/episode, in which the plot is set in motion, and the main characters introduced.

The plot concerns a move from Boston to Washington DC. Three of the main plot strands are: selling property in Boston; buying property in, or near, DC; and the actual move.

The family on the move provides four of the main characters:

  • Pack Dog, one of the parents, who tends to hoard stuff. PD would be called Pack Rat were it not for RER’s use of Chinese astrology, whereby each character’s name includes the animal of birth year.
  • Minimalist Pig, the other parent, who sees the move as an opportunity to shed ugly excess possessions.
  • Lovable Lamb, the older of the two kids, and the big sister of…
  • Playful Puppy, the youngest member of the family. His parents hope that he will be out of diapers before the move: PP himself isn’t making any promises.

Other key characters include the agents. Roger Johnson is helping with the purchase a house in the DC area.

Ellen Grubert and Janis Lippman are the agents for the sale of the Boston property. To be more specific, the property is a condo in Boston’s friendliest neighborhood, and here’s the condo’s page at E&J’s site.

The frame from the pilot episode shows PP marveling at what he sees as the sudden arrival of a huge and mysterious box. We’ll learn more about this box during the RER season. Stay tuned!

DC Photo Safari

Super Smithsonian Modern MuseumWashington DC was a lot of fun over the last few days. Since I expect to be spending a lot of time in and around the capital (if not the Capitol) over the years to come, it hereby joins the elite ranks of things that have their own category on this blog.

I found DC to be a very photogenic city, even though we’re at the opposite end of the year from spring, the season in which it is reputed to be at its best. I particularly loved the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. I refer to, and loved, both the building itself and the contents.

I asked very respectfully on the way in whether photography was permitted within the museum: without flash, of course. I was told that it was permitted with flash (but with some additional and, to me, reasonable restrictions). So I snapped away happily, but without flash, which I consider to be intrusive inside museums (and in many other places).

In contrast, when I tried to take a photo of the Thurgood Marshall building, I was told that it was not allowed. I may construct a grumble later, but right now it’s time to head back to Boston.