Am I A Grown-Up Now?

Now that I’m 40 and half my life has gone by, it seems about time to do the big girl thing and commit. To property. I almost bought a townhouse back in January and then I didn’t…and then, a week ago, I bought the same townhouse I passed on before. Well, not the exact same one, but it’s in the same community and it’s the same unit letter and position, just one building down. I’m glad I waited because the interest rate I have now is a full percent lower than what I had back in January. That’s tens of thousands of dollars in savings on a loan this big. Plus, I got a better unit because in this one, the previous owner shrunk both the kitchen and bathroom slightly to fit in a third bedroom. The location of the building is also better, with a large tree at the corner and not butting right up to the next building.

Continue reading →

Sanctuary 2.0: Why Would I Ever Leave?

I almost bought a condo this month. Almost. It was 95 percent perfect, but aside from having a deck that faced a busy parkway instead of the mountains, it was also $8,000 over the max I wanted to pay. That really only adds about $50/month to my mortgage payment, so I was willing to go for it. But when the seller refused to fix anything I asked for in the inspection objection and refused to come down in price, I walked away. She hadn’t advertised the place as-is and the place had been on the market for several months, which is unheard of in Boulder, but she didn’t want to play ball. And two weeks after I terminated our contract, she still doesn’t have another offer. Continue reading →

Fifteen and a Half Weeks in the Mountains: What Makes a House a Home?

I’ve lived in a lot of housing units in my life. 31 now, to be exact, if you count living somewhere as a stay of at least one month. Even if you think the threshold should be three months, I’m still at 26. And all but two of those were after high school. So it’s no surprise I’ve never felt much of a connection to the places I’ve lived. They never were much more in my mind than just what I called them – housing units. Or domiciles, quarters, lodging, a roof, a pad. “Home” is not a status I’d confer on any of them.

This number 31 on the top of a hill hasn’t reached “home” status yet either, but only emotionally speaking. Acquiring a new property is like dating. You see it once and it’s gorgeous and you become infatuated; you see it a few more times and realize it’s something you want to get to know better; and then your feelings grow from infatuation into something deeper, so you decide to make the relationship exclusive, but even then, a long time might pass before you really fall in love. Although I suppose the analogy kinds of breaks down at the end there because in the case of buying a house, you’re really getting married and moving in together before you fall in love. So I guess this was an impetuous wedding in a chapel in Vegas, although my partner would beg to differ given the months of extra special frustration associated with acquiring a mortgage and insurance for a property in an area prone to wildfires. But true love can’t be far behind the fascination we both still very much have with this house and property. Here’s why. Continue reading →