The American dream is to be a homeowner, isn't it? A place to call your own where you can paint, have a pet, and deduct interest off of your taxes. Yep...the American dream. Well at age 44 I'm about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
If you knew me, you would know that actually settling down for a minute and buying a place is not only an adventure, it is probably one of the most "grown-up" things I've ever done. I've always had it in the back of my head that I could be such a grown-up, but my life has had so many ups and downs, both personally and financially that the reality of being "homeowner" has stayed well...in the back of my head.
Last Friday I got pre-approved for a mortgage. This means that I'm able to go and look for a place to buy. With euphoric enthusiam I armed myself with a competent real estate agent. I had already begun looking at listings on the Internet. My realtor sent me some addresses and on Saturday I did some drive-bys. Then reality set in. The affordable places I saw were well...in the most yucky, gross, and dark parts of town.
There were a couple places that didn't seem SO terribly bad so I asked my realtor to set up appointments so I could see the inside. My realtor informed me that these places already had contracts and were only accepting "back-up contracts." Are you kidding me???
In addition to the prospect of living in the ghetto, I found out today that I am not able to access my retirement funds. See, being a teacher I have to actually wait until I retire or quit to get money from my retirement accounts. I needed this money for the down payment. Of course I would payback the money with the $8,000 tax credit being provided by the federal government. In a perfect world the shitty economy can work in my favor...or so I thought...or should I say I MUST BELIEVE THIS TO BE TRUE.
I don't know why I thought this would be easy. So now the challenge is to find the perfect place at the perfect price, and to figure out how to get a down payment together. Right now I am feeling a bit discouraged...why can't this just be EASY???
Who am I kidding? Nothing worth while is ever easy...at least in my world it isn't. There's always lessons to learn. Intellectually I know this, but it doesn't help my feelings of frustration...and I've just started the process. The universe never gives us anything we cannot handle...I need to remember this.
There's just so much. The mortgage process alone is so confusing. My sister is a mortgage broker in another state and she's been coaching me. I appreciate this, however, I really don't understand many of the things she's talking about. Like her telling me the mortgage broker is charging me too much. What does that mean? How do I fucking know what these people charge...I know, Gracie, don't be an idiot...ask a million questions...that's what these people are there for. Mortgage brokers and realtors are making money because of me...I do have a right to ask as many questions as necessary...and I deserve to get as many answers as it takes until I understand the process completely.
Tomorrow the realtor and I are going to actually look at some homes for sale. My realtor wants me to be under contract before I go to Spain at the end of the month. In a perfect world I will find a place, put in a contract, go to Spain, and close when I get back at the end of July...LOL...My world isn't always perfect, but I guess that's half the fun...