Tuesday, May 08, 2007

WARNING! CRAZY PERSON AHEAD!!! (Subject: Real Estate)

I'm nearly 59 and I've never owned a home... well, not for long at any rate. I did inherit a house from my Grandmother when I was 20, but I sold it and blew through that money in my first year in college (it was about $4 grand).

Later I, technically, owned my mom's house, but I had to sell it in order to bankrupt her to pay for the first three years of her nursing home stay while she was slowly dying of alzheimer's.

I did once suggest to my ex, in 1988 or so, that I "buy into" the co-op that he owned, in which we both had lived since 1980, but he said absolutely no to that. (smart man!) He'd bought it for about $45,000 in 1977. It was easily worth two hundred thou in '88, and I'm sure it's worth a million today. Nothing special, either. Just a two bedroom in a landmark building, 24-hour doormen, on-site super. God, I could kill myself.

I recently made up my mind to finally buy a home of my own. Not a house, that would be too much for me to cope with, but a condo or a townhome nearby to where I live now.

It has raised all kinds of fears and hobgoblins for me. What, exactly, is it that I'm afraid of?

1. Permanency. What the heck is that? I've spent my whole life living in a state of perpetual fear (yes, from childhood on), and have always, always, ALWAYS, lived someplace where I was either the star border or merely a tolerated guest (including childhood homes and those 15 years with my ex in HIS apartment... as he was so often fond of pointing out to me).

2. A big-assed loan for a thousand years. You've got to be kidding me, right? I can't "owe" anybody that much money for that long! What if I want to hit the road tomorrow?!

3. A sense of belonging. But what if (as it surely will) something better comes along next week?? I'll have the biggest case of "buyer's regret" there ever, ever, ever was. Nobody will ever have had a bigger case of buyer's regret than mine! Ever!! So there!!!!

4. I can't afford this!!! What I really mean is, I'll have to give up having a lot of cash on hand and suddenly go from cash rich/equity poor to it's polar opposite. What if I can't, suddenly, decide to fly off to Europe next week??!!! (not that I have ever done that, mind you, but just in case -- I like to keep my options open!)

5. Money pit. Hah! With my luck, the day after I move in, I'll need all new appliances (not that I won't need them anyway in a year or so. After all, I really need a stainless steel Sub-Zero refrigerator, a Kitchen Aid dishwasher and a Garland range. Doesn't everyone?)

5. Lack of options. It may look like a home to you, but it sure looks like a ball and chain to me!

6. I don't deserve it. Deep down inside, I know I'm not worthy to have a nice place to call my own.

7. Will somebody please tell the demons between my ears to shut up?

As you can clearly see from above, just because the monkey is off my back doesn't necessarily mean that the circus has left town. There's still a 3-ring, all-star show going on in my head at all times.

And I've only just started.

So be forewarned. There's likely to be months of me processing, out-loud, in type, about this, so you might want to start web-site hopping now.

God help me. And you.


Bev Sykes said...

Look on the bright side...think of it as journal material!

(written to you from my laptop because computer hell only gets worse and worse)

JoyZeeBoy said...

Journal material is right. I won't be doing anything except blogging and working while I try to scrape together the mortgage payment every month.

I'll be lucky if I can afford electricity. And the internet.


Mary said...

Shut up demons!

When we bought this house in 1989, I happily signed the papers making the offer. The seller was out of town, so took awhile to get back to us. And in the meantime, I made the mistake of letting my mother look at it. She pointed out every single (cosmetic) thing wrong with it. I was hysterical. We called the Realtor and tried to back out. Fortunately he was experienced and talked me down from the tree. And we've never regretted buying it. It's also worth about four times what we paid for it, so there's that too.

Have fun! And shut UP, demons!

JoyZeeBoy said...

Mary, the only thing that comes even close to mitigating the craziness is the thought that, maybe, possibly, the place will actually increase in value over the years.

Of course I know, deep down inside, that that's all b***sh** and that the day after I buy it the market will collapse and it won't be worth poo.

I need therapy.