Or is it that a man's home is his kingdom, so giving it up for a house wouldn't make sense? I don't know. What I do know is that I don't really believe in owning property. Why? Well that is a simple question with a complicated answer. While growing up, my family moved an awful lot. While I don't think that was necessarily a bad thing, it did give me an extreme adversion to owning any property. How can you really think sinking a whole bunch of money (including opening/closing/commission/etc costs) when you move every 4 years? One thing is for certain, I almost never believe that it is a good deal.
But, not to get too hippie here, the American ideal certainly includes home ownership. Car, home, kids. I'm currently at 1 of 3. And you can feel the other 2 closing in from all sides. Friends all over Seattle are buying houses, and loving it. And to be honest, I do want to live in a house (though not necessarily own it). It's a little trying to have 2 motorcycles and a large dog with no garage and no back yard.
So in response to societal pressures and my own hidden desires (even if I think its actually a bad idea) I'm embarking on a house buying. I've been saving since april or so, and plan on actually sealing the deal in may/june of next year. I guess I'll start looking in February or so. But as soon as you say something like that, things start happening and you start having to make a decision. Where do you look? Well, if money were no object, Mercer Island, or some place on one of the lakes. Both of those places are upscale (nice) and fairly close to work (almost as close as you can get and be in a house). But, seeing as how I don 't have a couple of million dollars to spend (or borrow), I guess I'll have to settle for something else. So, if you take what my mid-west upbringing says I should pay for a house (80k - 150k), we get a very different neighborhood. So different its in Montana. So you pick some price range, size/features, and try to find a neighborhood. But the decision is so monumental. Will I live there for the next 20 years... What will it be like in 20 years? I know I don't want to move if I can avoid it, but that doesn't seem very likely, so you also have to look for a place that is appreciating.
At the end of the day, I'm currently thinking about: Greenlake, Ballard, Issaquah, Delridge, and someplace down by SeaTac that I can't remember. Don't worry, I think you'll be seeing a bunch more posts about this subject as the time gets nearer. I anticipate stressing about lenders, agents, inspectors, what books I should be reading, and the color of the door :).