Saturday, March 7, 2015

Goldilocks and the many houses

One can only live in the same house for so long before one starts to grow slowly crazy about the little things that aren't quite right—the lack of external electricity, the broken satellite dish that has marred the roof since one moved in, the lawn that one would really like to replace with any kind of mow-free groundcover, the horrible couch that looks like it survived the 19th century and feels like a torture device.

But alas, one is not about to spend one's hard-earned money on anything less than one's "permanent" home, so one tolerates it all. Sort of.

Still, it gnaws at one...the gate that doesn't latch, the attic that lacks stairs, the living room floor that needs refinishing, the poorly placed drain that covers the driveway with a sheet of ice every winter.... It is hard for a perfectionist to live in someone else's house, with so many things one is powerless to change. So one begins to ponder, in the spare moments one has here and there, whether one might buy a house of one's own.

I've been searching for houses for well on six years—basically even before I moved into the one I rent now. Obviously, the going's been slow—I'm not going to spend the rest of my life paying for something unless I absolutely love it, and for a perfectionist like me, there is very little out there to absolutely love. When I go house-hunting, I feel like Goldilocks trying out chairs or porridge—this one's too expensive, this one's too small, this one's too far from Metro, this one smells like a dog...

With so many exacting criteria, my success in this mission has been sporadic at best. Once every few months or so, I see a listing that might do. I've even gotten pre-approved for a mortgage once or twice, but my pre-approval always expires before I find anything even worth checking out. But in the past few weeks, I've upped my game. My boyfriend and I ran across a realtor who's actually interested in finding me a house, rather than just selling the one and only listing I inquired about. She's shown us several places already and I am beginning to feel like this might actually be the year I take the plunge!

The thought of buying a house is scary. How much can I afford? How much is actually worth paying for? Will I inadvertently buy a money pit? Will I actually be happy once I move in? The more I learn, the more doubts I have. Now that I think about it, I might be suffering from fear of commitment. Maybe I'm happy enough where I am.What do you think?


Jackie said...

I did the exact thing as you before buying my first house...and I am glad I waited. The first house I bought was with another person...we had plans of opening the house to people in need of a place as a transition. The house was big and we each had our own space...but the next door guy was murdered in the night and my friend, Rae, was freaked so we sold it and I got my own place and she moved to the lake. Oh well....long reply and probably not much help. Oh...and I know my mother would have loved you...she thought you were beautiful and...of course, loved how you wore your unique and put together. Yes, you two could have had some fun projects.

Ray Hoy said...

Buying a house is a gamble. You could end up with one like the Lockwood house with a basement that leaks like a sieve. Or a flawless house at a great price. Interest rates are very low at the moment so it could be a good time financially. It always feels better to own the property and be able to do whatever you want with it. Almost. good luck.