In Y2K I arrived in Seattle for a new job and immediately set out to buy a house. I have no idea why; I was just following the rules society had laid out.
I had just received an offer on my Chicago area house for 178k. Houses close to work started at $550k. I was experiencing major sticker shock.
Price forced me to widen my search to nearby commuter communities, where I found a great looking house in a nice neighborhood. It had easy highway access, a nice view from the upstairs office, and was barely in my price range at $292,500. Nearby was a newly constructed office park that would attract potential future buyers, and an elementary school in a good school district was a 5 minute walk up the hill
With a 20% down payment of $58,500, I had just purchased the biggest house I could afford, the smallest house in a good neighborhood. Remaining in my bank account was a lonely $20.