For the most part, I love the condo we live in. We are in a nice little neighborhood. The area is pretty quiet, our condo complex is small. There aren't a bunch of crazy kids running around destroying stuff. (Yes I'm a parent, doesn't mean I like kids running amok where I live.) As far as I know, amelia is the only kid in the complex. As much as we love living here, our goal is to buy a house, not rent forever. It really bothers me knowing we are spending $20k+ a year on someone else's mortgage. And if I don't like something I can't just change it since it's not my house.
So far, it seems like the market here in SoCal is ready to take a dive. I feel bad for all the people who bought high, and can't afford what they have, but well I guess you live and learn. All that being said, if prices come down just a little bit, we can afford the kind of place we'd like to own, not just a 2 bedroom condo in the ghetto. Because of the forecasted downturn in our local market, I've been checking out all of our options for realtors and homes for sale. National Relocation seems to have a lot of information, I'm sure I'll be using them to keep researching our options. They also have info on houses for rent.