Buying a House Is a Pain in the Ass
(and other things you probably also knew)
For only the second time this year, an entire month has passed without me contributing a single write-up. In fact, I've
hardly been active on the site at all. Based on my last daylog, one might suspect that I blew up at work
and have been living in a van down by the river for the last month. Actually, I am in the process of purchasing a new home.
And as most of you have probably already experienced for yourself, this is not typically a pleasant process.
Searching for a new home is great. Going from house to house, imagining all the new possibilities, considering how each
might contribute (through its location to schools or people) to the betterment of your family, this is exciting. But once a
place is selected the hassle begins. There is the preliminary purchase agreement and all of the price negotiation that
comes with it, made more frustrating by its execution through intermediaries. Then comes the loan application. Compile this
list of reference documents, provide those tax returns, obtain checks for home appraisals and earnest money. And don't
forget the home inspection, a singularly stressful four hours of both hoping no serious faults are found in the home but at
the same time determined to identify any faults prior to purchasing the house. And the list goes on, termite inspections,
attorney paperwork, having utilities serviced, etc. All of this eats up the day and much of the night.
In our case, this process is part of our larger family plan. My wife obtaining a job in the city that I work in was the
first step. This happened in July, and we immediately began searching for a deal in town. The old saying about how location
is everything in real estate is absolutely true (currently working on my third home purchase) and we had a very specific
square-mile area we were targeting. Step two, find a deal in our desired location, happened when our realtor
discovered a foreclosure which turned out to be a great match for us. The house has been empty since spring, but requires
minimal work to move into, and is situated just over a hill from where our daughter would go to elementary school. Because
I have increasingly become attracted to Early Retirement Extreme, one of the most appealing aspects of the deal to me is
that after putting our 20% down we will end up with a house payment of slightly over 60 percent less than our current
monthly housing expense. This is an important part of ERE.
All of this has consumed my free time. There were a few moments last month that I should note. I had a chance to spend an
evening with dannye. This involved four hours of (for me) very interesting conversation with someone who not only
has been around e2 for a really really long time, but who comes from a background that is in a lot of ways similar to my
own. We talked about the rural South. We talked about crazy e2 people. I probably asked too many personal questions, all of
which he handled with humor and aplomb. He gave me a number of book recommendations to add to next year's reading list. The
evening meant a lot to me, but probably the biggest take away was Danny telling me to not take myself too seriously. Which
is good advice, but easy to forget. So I'm telling my future self, when I come back and read this at some point, don't take
yourself too seriously.
I've been putting together a big reading list, something like a schedule of things to hit by the end of next year. House
of Leaves is on there as a recommendation from Jet-Poop, and Danny convinced me to include Winter's Tale along
with a few other recommendations which I put on the list (some Nabokov, based on my love of Lolita, and some opinions on
James Joyce). I've also been trolling /r/books on reddit for things that I've not read yet but are highly recommended.
With all of that said, anyone who would like to recommend books for this list can message me and I would greatly appreciate
Finally, as you may have noticed, I am sponsoring a sub-quest within the Children of the Night: The 2012 Halloween
Horrorquest. To be considered for this prize (picture on my home node) you must enter the horror quest AND
message me your interest for the sub quest. I'm going to assume that if you are in the main quest but have not messaged me,
you are not interested in the prize. Anyway, that is all I have time for at the moment, I hope everyone is having a great
autumn, watch something scary tonight (I think there's a presidential debate on tonight), and if you need a recommendation,
I still encourage you to watch Trick 'r Treat if you have not done so already.