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. | people have commented there. | Do so yourself, if you like.