I did a podcast episode not long ago about
Now I’m here, looking at houses and neighborhoods that cost more and offer less. Houses with DIY tile jobs and visible rot around the shower—just waiting to fall through the floor. Houses that need every window in the house replaced and have things leaking in the attic. Houses that have HOAs telling you that you can’t have fruit trees in your backyard.
It’s depressing. I wake up, look at new houses that hit the market and I ask myself what I’m doing. I rant about the fact that you have to pay non-refundable money before you can even do an inspection or appraisal and even without an appraisal waiver, if the house doesn’t appraise for the agreed upon value, the seller doesn’t have to relent on the price. So you’re out your non-refundable money and the money you spent on the inspection, and the money you spent on the appraisal. I lament homeowners doing the bare minimum and expecting top dollar on their houses that are missing cabinet doors, drain stoppers, and boast 20 year old carpets with all the grit and grime that come with it.
Just when I find myself out of things to lament about how the housing market is being handled, I am reminded that I have a well paying job and a company that will pay my closing cost if I buy within a year of moving. I’m reminded that I’m looking in a price range that many people working honest, dependable, crucial jobs, could never look at—and it still sucks. If I’m seeing this for houses listed in this price range, what in the world do the houses in the $100-$300K range look like? And a whole new wave of depression mixed with guilt hits me.
Today, I went back in time and found a video of my very first house on the day I moved in. I’m placing it below for your viewing pleasure. It had good bones, but the paint job was pretty out there and there were no overhead lights in the bedrooms. The fan in the entryway to the house looked like it had survived everything the human mind can imagine and the doorbell was velcro-ed to the door. Oh, and the A/C broke the first summer I was in it. It was definitely not perfect. I probably spent $15,000 in painting, light fixtures, plus a brand new A/C. If I’d stayed longer, I probably would have upgraded the kitchen and bathrooms but looking back on the house I ended up with, it turned out pretty nice. It wasn’t worthy of a magazine cover spread but it was home and functional. Not to mention, I still was able to make a profit when I sold it.
Watching that video reminded me that beautiful things can come out of a mess. I can shout till Kingdom come about the housing market, but it is what it is. I can rent forever, or I can do what I did before and I’m fortunate to have the funds to do it. I have to choose to remember this. I have to choose to focus on what can be. I have to choose the positive story line to keep my sanity.