Several months ago, I wrote about the condo that was too good to be true. Then, I wrote in January about how I wasn’t going to look for real estate anymore, because buying a condo in Portland was just too expensive to consider all by myself.
One of the things that came from me writing that blog post is that Andi, one of my friends from the internet, who recently got her real estate licence, emailed me.
“I really hated that story about your experience, and I don’t want that to make you change your mind about Portland real estate altogether,” she said.
“Let me introduce you to my friend in the mortgage business.”
I met with him, and he was cool. I even have a tiny, innocent, I know he’s married, so don’t give me a hard time, crush on him.
Then, I decided not to buy.
Nothing was available in my price range and location and “not needing a scary dog or a large man around all the time” neighborhood.
It wasn’t going to happen. Not while I’m single. Not at this price range.
Last week, I was out-of-town attending to the only business that really matters, family business. But of course, I was never very far away from my computer, and Andi sent me an email.
“Hey, so that condo you loved? It’s now FHA approved. I know you said you didn’t want to buy, but I thought I should check with you anyway.”
It was an easy choice. This condo was far and away the prettiest, fanciest, most adorable little thing I had seen. The location, while not 100% amazing, is not “scary dog” bad either.
So now, after wondering, “whatever will I do with all this money that isn’t going toward debt repayment each month?” I have an answer: it’ll go right back to debt repayment.
Yesterday, Andi came by my work to get me to sign a few more things (holy cow buying a condo kills a lot of trees!) and to get “earnest money” from me.
The Concept of Earnest Money
Earnest Money is a little funny to me. I mean, for one thing, it implies that every other dollar I’ve been spending has been frivolous. It also implies that maybe, just maybe, I was pretending. Maybe I like signing papers. Maybe I just want to see what the seller will negotiate down to. Maybe I like wasting everyone’s time.
But now, the title company has a check that says, no, actually, I do want to move in there. In fact, why not have half of my savings account? There we go. Now I’m earnest.
And now, we inspect.
“Congratulations!” people say. And really, I’m so excited. But I also want to throw up a little. And cry a little.
I like it, though, the idea that I don’t actually need to wait around for “some man” to help me afford to live somewhere. That waiting struck me as oddly anti-feminist. You know what, universe? I can take care of myself! And I get to move into something that is uniquely mine.*
Sure, my sister will live with me for six months. But she can only suggest design things. She doesn’t get to decide. I don’t have to compromise on anything.
Also, hardly anything has to be done to this place.
It’s so, so lovely.
My only complaints so far are that there is no washer and dryer (which seems silly to me —- the seller went the extra mile with a gas range and stainless steel appliances, why leave out the washing machine?) and that it looks a little like a timeshare.
Like a ski lodge timeshare.
As far as complaints go, though, they’re minimal. Nitpicky, even.
Anyway, as long as the inspector says “looks pretty good to me,” we will close on May 23.
And I will live there for the next decade, at least.
Which is about as close to forever as I can think these days.
The Moral of this Story
I know, without a smidgen of doubt, that I would not be buying this condo were it not for this blog. Andi is wonderful, and I never would have met her. My old realtor never informed me about the change in the financial situation of this place, so it wouldn’t have come up. Even if I’d seen it on Trulia, there’s no way I would have known that it had turned magically into something I can buy.
I wouldn’t have gotten to know Andi, either, as nice as she is. We just don’t run in the same circles (and by that I mean, she doesn’t come over to my home while I’m in my pajamas on my computer!).
The internet is a strange and wonderful place. Filled with (b)logger friends. I cannot recommend starting a blog enough, friends!
Who wants to come visit? I will have a guest room!*Uniquely mine comes with a HUGE caveat: my parents are filled with more goodness than I could ever hope to consider and are gifting me the down payment. There’s just no way on earth I could do this without them, and I’d be doing a HUGE disservice to them if I neglected to mention just how lucky I am to be able to buy now instead of in five years (when real estate prices will have skyrocketed and I’ll be so glad I bought!). So, again, Mom? Dad? You are two of the absolute best people on the planet. I love you!