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April 21, 2007

Coming full circle...

Yeah, so I thought I would let you know what my cryptic little house hunting comments were about and why I am in such turmoil about all of this. You see, it's not just something I came up with on the spur of the moment. I've wanted to own my own house for over 20 years.

I grew up in the perfect house. A pretty 3 bdrm. Cape with an attached garage, breezeway and full basement on a corner lot, the last house on the right of a long, tree-lined street. We had a neighborhood, and neighbors, and lived a short walk from the park. We had climbing trees and gardens and a pool and pear trees and a dog run and everything a little kid could want to explore in their world.

I had no idea how wonderful it all was until we moved to an aging 2 family Federal with a postage stamp yard on the main drag of an ugly city. I was 15 at the time and I still remember the anger and resentment that welled up inside me the day my mother came home and told me we were moving.

To her, it was a purely financial decision. She saw trading up to an income producing property as a way to never have to pay her mortgage again. To me, it was just another instance of her being selfish and greedy. I hated the house before I even knew anything about it, hated it more once I saw it and moved out within 2 weeks of my high school graduation.

Thus began my long history of renting apartments. All through college, I shared my room with strangers that became friends and friends that became enemies. I paid my own way, though, and did my best to find a place that felt like a home.

When I met my (now) x, I had lived in 4 different apartments with 13 different people over the course of 3 years. Needless to say, I was feeling a bit disenfranchised. I wasn't sure I wanted to live with him (after all, we had only known each other for two months) but there were 5 of us in three rooms and I was ready to get out. I figured that, even if he left me, I would have an apartment by myself.

He didn't leave me. We ended up getting married just 6 months after we met and I began setting my sights on 'the future'. I don't remember ever taking the long view before this time. I'm not sure exactly what it was that made me start wanting it all (house, family, career) but I tried making that house as homey as I could. I learned to cook, planted a vegetable garden and began planning how I would set up the second bedroom as a nursery. I also began picking up real estate magazines every time I went to the grocery store, circling the houses that were cute and leaving them on the kitchen table.

By then, though, I was deep in denial of what my marriage of convenience was. I thought it was my fault that he was so angry and that I deserved to be demeaned. I was withdrawing from my friends and family so they wouldn't see what was happening. I thought having kids would make him nicer, kinder. I was very wrong.

When I got pregnant, we moved upstairs from my mom, back in the house that I hated. Our excuse was to save money so that we could eventually buy a house. We stayed there 4 years (during which we had 2 kids, my father died, and I began getting therapy for depression) before it all imploded. The x decided we would move far away and convinced me to go by digging up my dream of home ownership.

From the day we came here in 1995, I began collecting real estate magazines, again. I figured we would live in the house we were renting for a year until we found just the right place. Unfortunately, within 6 months, the x had lost his job and thus began the downward spiral that ended in our divorce. I rented that house for a total of 7 years and I've been in this house for more than three years.

I finally think I might be able to maybe buy something like a house, possibly. I have almost started dreaming again. I have a pile of magazines with circles around all the houses I can afford (very few) and even more that I can't. The mortgage broker (Craig) gave me hope and the Real Estate agent (Ann) wants to go shopping. If only she knew how much I hate shopping. She seems excited, though, so I'll humor her.

So, we might be moving. Lots of decision to make coming up. I'm determined to keep control of this situation and only buy the right house on my terms. Rather than put my fate in someone else's hands and wait for my future, I'm gonna start building it myself. It starts with me putting down roots. I'm stuck here for a couple of years anyway, might as well be investing my rent money instead of wasting it.

To put a big fat expensive exclamation point at the end of my decision, I figured out that, to date, I have spent $147,900 in rent. Obscene doesn't begin to cover it. All that money and I am right back where I started, with nothing but a dream.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Prosemonkey published on April 21, 2007 8:06 PM.

Depressing state of affairs... was the previous entry in this blog.

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