A couple weeks ago, I put in an offer on a condo. It wasn’t perfect, but it was fine. Really cute, even. A little far away, and on a busy street, but it had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and a fireplace, and it was $165,000!
Also, it was owned by a guy who really knew how to decorate, so it showed beautifully.
I wrote about what I learned about compound interest and 15-year notes over at the College Investor — check it out!
It was kind of fun to put in an offer and sign papers and stuff.
It made me feel like a real grown up.
But, alas, it was not meant to be. Someone else offered first, and didn’t have to wait for the FHA paperwork to go through.
Why I’m not going to look for a year
It was too soon, probably, anyway. I mean, I’m really interested in paying off all my loans, then saving up so that I don’t have to go for an FHA program (which is the only kind that lets you use gift funds if you don’t have 5% of the down payment in your own savings).
I like where I live, even though it is in someone’s basement. The apartment is really cozy, and perfect for me, now.
Plus, my baby sister is moving back to Portland (FINALLY!) in June, and we’re going to live together for six months, because she’s a traditional sort and doesn’t want to live with her fiancé before he becomes her husband.
Then, by the end of this year, I’ll have a better picture of what I can afford, what kind of home I want, and whether I want to buy.
Being single plays a role
I realized something. Though I love Portland, I’m not necessarily tied to it, and I could be convinced to leave if some sort of amazing opportunity (professional or romantic) presented itself. Without much hesitation, really. I don’t want to, but the reality is, I’m not really interested in being anchored here.
There is freedom in renting. Pure freedom.
There’s also the vast unknown. I have this feeling that I’ll be single for two or three years. I don’t know why, and it’s not pessimism, it’s just a gut feeling. So, if that’s the case, then it would be really fun to buy a little one bedroom place close to downtown, ditch my car, and spend more time doing fun city things.
And, interestingly, one-bedroom condos are inexpensive, even in the Pearl District! (Which is every bit as fancy as that neighborhood name indicates, unless you’re from a city that has Cartier stores, then it’s not fancy really at all.)
Putting the search on hold is freeing
I don’t think I realized how much energy I was putting into looking for a place to buy until I told my realtor that unless the perfect something comes along, I’m going to wait.
Perfection, defined: not more than two miles from the river on either the west side or the east side, two bedrooms, a real dining room, and a price tag under $180,000.
Or, really, a unicorn. So, if she finds a unicorn, I’ll change my mind.
But the choice is mine, and having choice is more empowering than picking something and losing the opportunity.Think I’m crazy? Should I settle for less than a unicorn?