I am not a big believer in the theory that home ownership is a great investment. I believe, and there is research to back it up, that there are a lot of better places to invest your money. However, having said that, here I am; buying another home.
There were a lot of things that went into my decision. The primary reason is that with all the craziness in the world around us, I have been having a strong urge to purchase land. Much to my surprise when I started looking, land by itself is actually more expensive than land with a house on it. I am assuming it’s because of the size of the parcel. It’s hard to find a little postage stamp-sized empty lot in the country. I didn’t look very hard for a small lot in the city, because that was sort of the antithesis of what my intuition has been telling me I need to do.
The next reason I decided to look for a house is I need a place to live that is closer to my studio. While my life takes me all over the city every day, my heart wants more time at the studio. Currently, I’m 20-25 minutes away from the art house where I have my studio, and that’s just long enough a drive to make getting there feel like more of an effort than it should.
The final deciding factor was when I received a letter from the apartment manager where I live. The letter was to inform me that the rent on my apartment is going up again. Three years ago when I originally landed in this space, my rent was about $200 a month less than they want me to pay now. That’s a big increase in such a small amount of time. I love my apartment, but it definitely does not appeal to me at the new rate.
So, the day after I received my increase notice, I called my realtor, my good friend Jenny. Not only have I known Jenny forever, she has also been my realtor in numerous realty transactions in the past. I have an incredibly high level of confidence when I deal with her. I knew when I called her that I had a good chance of finding my new home before the lease renewal was due.
Boy, was I right. The day after I called Jenny, we went to look at four houses. My budget is small, so we saw some real doozies that day. When a home is listed as a fixer-upper, believe it. We looked at couple of houses that we didn’t even go past the front door before we said, “Nope,” and walked right back out.
The third house we looked at didn’t look promising on paper, but once we walked in, we both fell a little in love with the property. All the reasons it didn’t look promising were all things that could be easily overcome. We both knew, well before we left the property, that I would be putting in a bid that day.
With a minimum of negotiation, the sellers accepted my offer and now all I have to do is go through the sales process and move. I am always a little nervous when going through the inspection and that negotiation, but that is part of the process and I accept it. I am trying to hold on to the knowledge that it can, and will, be a smooth transition.
Once I sign the paperwork to close on the house, then the truly challenging part comes: moving. I have spent years whining about how much I hate to move, and am only recently able to accept that I am not along in this. I don’t know anyone that likes the process of moving. While I am very excited about moving into a new space and making it mine, I hate the craziness involved in getting everything arranged. I have already warned everyone I come into regular contact with that they can count on my ability to talk in complete sentences to vanish for a few months. When I am in the process of a move, my brain goes into bulletin mode and I have never figured out how to change that.
I already have multiple lists going: I have a list of things I need for the sale; I have a list of what needs to be done to the house before I move in; I have a list of things I’ll need to buy for this house; I have a list of people and companies to contact to open or close services as needed; and I have a list of ideas to make the move go as smoothly as possible. I have a fear that I will eventually end up with a list of where all my lists are so I don’t forget anything.
As a single woman, I don’t have anyone to split responsibilities with when I am in the process of a move. With so much that is involved in a move, and since it’s entirely up to me to make sure everything gets done, my mind is constantly running scripts to make sure I am staying up with all the details, large and small. With a mind this distracted, it’s hard for me to continue with my everyday life when I am in the process of a move.
But I will try. I will try to stay up with all the details and lists and have a smooth transition from one home to another. I will try to focus on my work, my classes and my friends and family, even when I feel like I have a million things to do. Most importantly for this blog, I will try to not only speak in complete sentences, but I will also endeavor to write with complete sentences.
If you happen to notice that I’m slipping, and you think I’m writing in bulletin mode, please feel free to tell me. To be fair, I suggest you wait and tell me after I have moved.