Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Lust and Loathing

First of all, this is hysterical. Because people? Guess what color I just dyed my hair (again)?

Your Hair Should Be Red

Passionate, fiery, and sassy.

You're a total smart aleck who's got the biggest personality around.

Oh yeah. It’s copper. {wild cackle}

Anyway. About the lust: We went and looked at a new house today (no particular reason, other than the fact that our current Den is having Issues and this always gives us the delusion that someplace else would be better).

It was palatial. The problem, of course, is that when you go and look at a palatial house…you come home and suddenly the house you own? Turd. Big, fat, smelly old turd. With moldy carpet, ill-conceived design and DAMN IT, how come this old box didn’t come with a BUILT IN WINE CELLAR?!

Being that the housing market out here is crashing like a wingless jet adjusting {ahem}, they are offering incentives on these new homes, which they built and now cannot unload.

They have dropped the price on this monster by $75,000. They are throwing in everything from the awesome stainless steel kitchen appliances (the kitchen is my throne room, people – upgrade my appliances and you have my attention) (say ‘no extra charge for the granite’ and you will have our royal favor forever) to inlaid bathroom tiles.

They will get down on their knees and plead with you to buy these houses.

I am upset. Because I want that house. I want that house oh so ever-loving much.

It is 1,500 square feet bigger than this house, in all the right places. It isn’t just “big for big’s sake”. It is “big and well-thought out by people who said to themselves, ‘Hey, you know what would be cool if you were, say, a family of six with four small children who are daily growing?’”

We walked around that house in a state of shock, because it was as if they had gone into our brains, extracted every single thing that is uncomfortable or ‘not quite right’ or ‘@*^&@!!!’ about our current house, and corrected it, right down to a perfect interior wall for the piano.

And yes. It comes with an actual wine cellar, not huge but large enough for about two hundred bottles of good old California red, white and pink. It has what they call a ‘library’ in a little rotunda – which we looked at and said, in unison, “Music room.” There’s a nook right at the top of the stairs which would be ideal for the harp, ‘on display’ yet out of the traffic zone. There are four bedrooms upstairs, all of them huge by comparison to what we’ve got here. There are two more downstairs, one perfectly positioned for a home office nearly double the size of the one we’re currently sharing.

The master bathroom…well. I may have licked the walk-in closet door handle to mark my ownership. I couldn’t help myself.


As evidenced by the utter chaos in my office right now, my inner organization freak is still hanging out in that closet, people. She is not here. She is there. In the closet, with the California Closet accessories.


I want it. We loved everything about it, from the little courtyard in front to the ‘just right’ backyard – not as huge as the one we currently have (which is a tad unmanageable, actually) (Jimmy Hoffa might be hiding in the grasslands back there, he really just might), not so small that you couldn’t have a decent little garden back there.

The neighborhood is fantastic. There are lots and lots and lots of children. They ride their bicycles outside, with their parents laughing and chatting on the street. Brand new schools, both K-8 and high schools.

It’s like…well. It’s one of those things where, when sitting around with a nice glass of Shiraz pondering the imponderables, I’d propose this kind of house in that kind of place as an ‘if money were no object, I’d like to…’ dream.

This, people, is the lust.

As for the loathing…I really, really loathe the fact that I cannot escape the cruel bonds of reality long enough to write a check for $15,000 to hold that house.

I have the money. Well. I sort of do, anyway. I mean. It would be stealing from other things and would cause something of an, erm, ‘issue’, in a couple months when the property and income taxes come due, but that is beside the point! The point is: I could come up with it.

And for normal people, that would be enough. “Oh look, something I want really, really bad! Hey! I have money in the savings account! Quick, let’s transfer it out of there and put the cash down on this sexy house!”

But oooooooh no. Me, I’m sitting here going, “…but, I need that for the income taxes in April, and also the property taxes…”

And we could qualify for the loan. Shoot, yeah, we could – and not one of those scary-a$$ed ‘exotic’ ones, but a good old fashioned 30 year fixed like your momma had. 360 equal payments of $X, thank you, and then it’s yours.

But! The housing costs would still be nearly 50% more than we’re paying now. And I can’t do like Everybody Else and just say, “Hey, it’s less than one of our salaries – LET’S BUY IT!”

I just can’t. I can’t shake that really old fashioned notion that your housing costs should not ever be more than 30% of your income.


It makes me wish I could…well…just unbend a little. Scream, “WHOOPIE!” and throw money around madly. Worry about tomorrow, tomorrow, and live for right now.

It makes me wish I had never heard of Excel, had no idea you could figure out a monthly house payment, and that the words ‘worst case scenario’ were as foreign to me as they apparently are to the vast majority of California homeowners.

I hate being a grownup.

Loathe. And. Despise. It.

I really, really do.


Anonymous said...

It's best not to look. Really. When the price is too high it doesn't matter how sexy the kitche, how big the bath-built-for-two-consenting-adults or how sound proof the playroom is. It's just too damn expensive.

I agree that being a responsible adult sucks. We really REALLY want a pool. We promised it to ourselves years ago, before we emigrated, when we planned our new life in a subtropical climate. And it's summer here now. And the pool company (who we have already talked to) called to say they have a cancellation and could put one in over Easter. And we have the cash.

But it is earmarked for the expansion and development of our business and we can't spend our new office on a turquoise oasis of calm and luxury in our back garden.

Being sensible with your finances is so not fun. It beats being stupid with them but hey, I'll see your wine cellar and raise you a diving board.


Susan said...

So here's what you do:
Imagine yourself on your knees scrubbing that big kitchen floor or cleaning all the tile in the bathrooms with a toothbrush or wiping the winter's accumulation of dust off all the skirting boards.

Still in love with that house?

Go buy yourself $1 worth of lottery ticket. Promise to use every penny of winnings to buy that house then park the rest in escrow for taxes. If you win, it was meant to be. If you don't, just tell yourself a case a wine never sticks around long enough to be cellared anyway so scroo it.

Very Herodotus said...

I'd love a walkin closet too. And a laundry room. Not a laundry closet in the busiest hallway in my house, but an actual room with a door and enough floor space to sort laundry and have a table for folding. Oh, and I want a place to wash my dog and store her food. Also? I'd love a walk in pantry in the kitchen, with shelves big enough to hold an electric skillet and a bread machine as well as all our food. And why can't they put the laundry room next to the bedrooms, instead of between the kitchen and the garage? Did I mention that I want a garage?

I want I want I want I want.

Coach Susan is right, though. Who'd want to clean such a humongoloid house? It would be a fulltime job in and of itself. You've already got a couple of those.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like you would swap yard maintenance for house maintenance (those 1500 sq ft will NOT clean themselvs) not to mention the much higher property taxes. Plus - once you give in to house bling you are sunk - SUNK! Just put it out of your pointy little head, k?

Bev in TN said...

Delurking to say Grab the house before someone else gets it! (and like your going to take my advice ;-). But I fell in love with it based on your description so if you would just buy it, I could have the vicarious joy. Here at chez Bev, my dryer is in the kitchen, the washer is in a back bedroom and NO, nary a one, walk-in closet. Anywho, I've been enjoying your blog for a while now via the yarn harlot's mention of Mother Chaos. Love your sense of humour.

wrnglrjan said...

Please don't hurt me.

I obviously don't know what your whole financial situation is, but I do know that you make noises about maxing out your 401(k) contributions and a variety of other things and I just thought I'd point out that it might not be the worst thing in the world if you took the time to consider what it would have to look like (financially) for you to make a move like this.

Yes, it's important to put away for the future and be responsible and all that, but it's not sacrilege to choose to spend some of what you make and have on having and doing what you want today. It could be that it would be worth setting back your retirement plans a couple of years to spend these years in a home that better fits your family. And it isn't like you're talking about blowing cash on a lamborghini or something -- a house is an asset. A generally-over-time increasing asset (I'm not talking 'make a million by flipping houses', but just like the stock market, the real estate market has an upward trend.)

You know me, I'm hardly an advocate of 'buy as much as the bank will let you', but if it's the perfect thing, I think it bears a little consideration.

Anonymous said...

Listen to Jan.

Very Herodotus said...

Whatever happened with your 401K experiment anyway? Did you survive?

Amy Lane said...

No, no...look...plan...dream...

Look at all the other stuff in your life you've made happen...