TD and I had settled on renting after seeing lots of overpriced ugly houses with no character when we visited in June. Fast forward 3 months, and I am equally uninspired by the rental market (lots of ugly cheap houses with rooms painted all sorts of funky colors), plus alot of the rental homes are houses that have been for sale. That means if the market picks up, the owners will probably sell and we will have to move again. I really would like to live in one house as long as we are here - which maybe isn't realistic for renting. .....So I switched craigslist for zillow over the weekend.....dangerous, I know!
A craftsman - Almost exactly the same layout as my brother's house!!
I did a bit of exploring on Saturday and really like the neighborhoods right east and north east of downtown. They've got big trees, lots of spanish moss and most importantly -- houses with character! (i.e. built before 1950). I've found a couple that are downright affordable (a mortgage in the 5 figures - oh my!!). There is a very nice historic neighborhood (like Hyde Park?) but all the houses for sale are in adjacent neighborhoods. The one I like seems like Clarksville 20 years ago - all the houses are pretty small, some are very nice and others are falling apart. Its a quick bike ride to the university, right on the bike path that goes to the large wildlife area south of town, plus the NY Times buy or rent calculator says I should buy.
BUT there are still all our original reasons for not wanting to buy: uncertainty about how long we will be here, the extra costs of buying (insurance, taxes, extra utilities, home improvements), plus added responsibility, etc, etc.
So who knows where we will end up!! (and things are of course complicated by the fact that TD is Mexico right now) I did email my Realtor to schedule a time to view the houses. Maybe they will be terrible and that will make the decision easy!