I could list excuses for pages and pages. Indeed, if I just posted a new excuse every day, I could keep the blog updated for a month.
Instead, I'll just say that it is not wise to try to buy a house in the middle of a rather intense academic semester (particularly one that has the added background pressure of a tenure decision).
We spent 8 months on this search because, how shall I put it, the last real estate transaction did not go very well. After looking at at least 50 places, someone finally took an offer that I thought was reasonable (and let's just say that most sellers found what I thought to be reasonable to be offensive in extremis).
We are now the owners of real estate for the fourth time, and owners of a condo for the first time. Just hours after closing we began the first home improvement project, installing new hardwood floors in the master bedroom. Here's photographic proof: