A Room of One's Own
We are now homeowners of the above house, I say with not a small amount of trepidation. We are also now officially broke, meaning that I am going to have to stop buying shoes. It has been a long journey...Our housing saga dates back to 2004, when, as newlyweds, we ventured out into a bubble-inflated market and tried very very hard to buy a condo in a fashionable area of DC for an obscene amount of money so that we could walk to Whole Foods and generally feel "hip." Fortunately, we were thwarted time and again by other wannabe hipsters with either higher offers, more cash, more stratospheric escalating clauses, and, I like to think, less sense. We had enough sense to walk away from the madness when properties started selling for $100K more than the list price and settled for renting the hipster lifestyle. We did indeed walk to Whole Foods, which I will report is highly overrated because then you have to lug your groceries home again as it turns out. Then I got pregnant, and we decided that since parenthood is never cool, even for those who try very hard to make it cool and do crazy things like taking their babies to movies and parties to prove to themselves that the child had not changed them, we would be uncool in a larger space in the burbs. A rented space.
But renting has its downside, namely you do not own your home. The person who does own your home may opt to sell it, in which case you are not only rendered homeless, before you are so rendered, you get to have jillions of people tromp through "your" house for months on end. Worse, you get to deal with real estate agents for months on end. I am sure there are well-intentioned real estate agents in the world, and I'm sure that if you are reading this blog and you are a real estate agent, you are very nice and therefore should take no offense. But you are also about as common as a pacifist Al Qaeda member. Anyway. And of course you have to MOVE, something I hate more than almost anything else on the planet, more than the common cold, more than African dictators, more than Kay jewelry commercials, more than sushi (yes, I am a sophisticated, over educated urbanite who hates sushi so deal with it), more than daylight savings time. Moving makes me want to become a hippie and live in a field somewhere. HATE. IT.
This is a situation we have found ourselves in twice now in the last few years. So when our landlady told us she was putting our house on the market, we decided to buy, even though my economist husband declares the bottom is still to come (fyi), and we would be better off, financially speaking, waiting until November 2010, when, he predicts, the economy will officially go from being in the crapper to being flushed into a sewage system before it begins its glorious re-ascent only this time without a trade imbalance with China because Americans have finally learned to save. At least that is what I have picked up from his frequent economic lectures. But I told him that while it might be good, financially speaking, to wait until November 2010, it would be much better, personally speaking, for him, to buy me a house in order to prevent the extra move, which could very easily be the move that finally sends me over the edge. Since motherhood has me already teetering on the edge as it is, he, being a smart man, decided this was an even greater risk than buying a house on the downward slope into a major economic collapse. So we headed out.
We looked at dozens of houses. We debated kitchens vs. yards, vs. location vs. size vs. shape. We "got a sense of the market." And finally, FINALLY! we took the plunge and put in an offer. We have no idea, really, if we got a good deal or we got screwed. But we did get a nice place to live that no one can sell out from under us and that we can live in for many, many years. I may even throw away my nice collection of boxes.