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David Hines [userpic]

I am a homeowner

December 9th, 2011 (08:18 am)
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I have been running around a little lately, but I have some worthwhile news to share: I am a homeowner.

To understand how massive this is for me, I have moved something like seven or eight times in the last ten years. I am so tired of moving. I never want to do it again. And if things work out, maybe I never will. The house is in the town in North Carolina where I grew up; it has an in-law suite, so my aged mother will be selling her own house and moving in downstairs; it is in a remarkably good location, walkable to a coffeeshop (Starbucks, but still), several restaurants, and (a little farther removed) a grocery; it is on a hill and so while it is in the middle of the city you basically cannot see the neighbors and the view from the living room's wall-o-glass is just trees and hills, so you feel like you're in the mountains; it has a front and a back deck and a GORGEOUS kitchen; I am a short drive from the airport so it's aces if I keep working internationally, and I am working on setting up a business there so I'll be able to go domestic if and when I want to.

You would think this would be tremendously reassuring. And it is. It is also conducive to MASSIVE PARANOIA. I am constantly fretting that my retaining wall is going to collapse, or that there is something DEEPLY AND HIDDENLY WRONG with my house that will only reveal itself in the fullness of time. The week before closing, everything was horribly wrong -- the lenders kept wanting more data that I had to figure out how to provide from overseas, the power kept going out so I would lose email, the phones would quit working -- to the point that I began to wonder if my time-travelling future self were trying to warn me off. But the house is beautiful and excellent, and the deal was amazing. It's a weird housing market out there, folks: prices are good, and there are fabulous loans to be had, but the banks are very nervous and you have to get through a bazillion hoops. My job pays well and I have a great credit score, and I literally had to give the underwriters copies of my academic transcripts. I shit you not. My mortgage guy had never seen that happen before.

My lefty readers will be amused that this righty, as a first-time buyer, got an FHA loan rather than a conventional. One of the mortgage guys I talked to suggested this as a possibility, and while I didn't wind up going with his company I did go this route on the recommendation of my realtor and because I thought it made good business sense. For me, that is. I don't know how wise it is for the gummint to be in the mortgage insurance business, but at the rate we've been printing money I'm expecting inflation to kick in with a vengeance, so hoarding cash with a low down payment while locking in an appallingly low 30-year fixed interest rate seemed damned wise for me personally. It probably works out well for HUD's stats, too. Take me to task in comments if you like.

Anyway, the house is pretty goddamned amazing. I'll put up some pictures over time as I get stuff sorted out. It has a two-story entrance hall, which I plan to use to display my rugs, the kitchen-great room area is magnifique for entertaining, and the decks are fab places for sipping coffee. There is also a spiral staircase in the kitchen that goes down a vertical shaft directly to the massive garage/workshop. This is one of the greatest features of the house as far as I am concerned, because every time I go down it I feel like Batman.

Originally posted on my DW. | comment count unavailable people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.

Comments

Posted by: Mara (marag)
Posted at: December 9th, 2011 04:09 pm (UTC)

Hooray for homeownership! I am, naturally, amused about the FHA loan, but I think we're all entitled to a little hypocrisy in our lives. (As I noted to my cousins the other day, I'm a proud hypocrite who eats meat but absolutely positively refuses to kill an animal myself or watch someone else do it.)

Enjoy the house. The paranoia does eventually go away, I promise.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 03:53 pm (UTC)

I'm not all that bothered by small hypocrisies -- it's fun to rag on prominent folks for 'em, but I've always liked the sentiment that "hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue." This doesn't feel like a moral hypocrisy, though, so much as it does a cynical-ass calculation to get more for me and mine, which I kind of think isn't all that good for society in the long run. But then, I've become much more cynical in my old age.

Posted by: HJ (hjcallipygian)
Posted at: December 9th, 2011 07:20 pm (UTC)
farscape - john d'argo cowboys

Aww. You know where I was hoping you'd end up buying a house. Still, that is awesome! Now you get to fix stuff randomly for the rest of your life. Of course, the awesome counter-point to that is that you have a reason to own a lot of power tools.

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 03:54 pm (UTC)

I really do love Jacksonville! And I looked hard there. In the end, though, it came down to having a place that I could leave Ma where she had friends and acquaintances. And that left where Ma was or the old hometown, really, and I could get a hell of a lot more house in the old hometown.

Posted by: beamjockey (beamjockey)
Posted at: December 9th, 2011 08:00 pm (UTC)

It's not a concrete tomb?

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 03:55 pm (UTC)

NOT YET CHECK BACK LATER

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 04:26 pm (UTC)

Thank you!

Posted by: A large duck (burger_eater)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 06:39 am (UTC)
bear headlock!

Wonderful and congratulations, and who cares about the FHA. You did what you had to do to make yourself happy, and I'm glad it was there to help you.

Looking forward to the pictures!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)

Well, as I said to Mara, I'm more concerned with the fact that I don't think the gummint can really afford to do a lot of this stuff, so I feel like a pebble getting onto an avalanche. Good way to get somewhere, but I'm a little worried about the collective outcome!

Posted by: Mouseketeer Stigmata (trom)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 01:57 pm (UTC)

Mazel Tov!

Posted by: David Hines (hradzka)
Posted at: December 10th, 2011 05:11 pm (UTC)

Thankee!

Posted by: Sara LaKali (sara_lakali)
Posted at: December 11th, 2011 02:36 am (UTC)

Congratulations! My stint into home ownership was so scarring that I swore I'd never own a house again, but that's not everybody's experience, so enjoy being a landowner.

Posted by: boogieshoes (boogieshoes)
Posted at: December 12th, 2011 02:07 am (UTC)

housefulness is awesome!

i'm saving for a house, and will probably get one around mid-year next year. the paranoia thing both goes away and doesn't, according to my parents. eventually, you trust your house... but something always needs to be maintained, and things will break.

*hugs*

-bs

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