The joys and sorrows of home ownership

Last week was exhausting.

I went to two conferences. Delight 2014 and FutureStack 2014. I went straight from Delight to the airport to go to California Tuesday and got back late Thursday. I worked Friday but admittedly it was not my best work.

Over the weekend and last week it became apparent that the house has some sort of hobo spider invasion. It's mostly impacting one person in our family: the engineer who does most of the work around the house. Go figure.

Between that and mold remediation needed in the attack I started searching for a house. Found a nice one for $459k on Terwilliger It's on 1/2 an acre and 6 bedrooms so quite the upgrade. It'd be a harder commute (yay I205) but it's much bigger than this house.

But the fact is - financially I'm not ready to move and emotionally I don't know where or what I want to do next. I mean, in my ideal little world I'd like 40-100 acres within a 30-45 minute drive to work. But even if that exists (dubious at best) I can't afford it.

In another ideal world I'd move to SE and be in the middle of Portland amongst the artistic, free-thinking types instead of the conservative redneck types in my neighborhood. Or Eugene. But that's a 2 hour (minimum) commute.

Between that and a lot of life transitions: trialing of new meds, what is essentially still a new job (not yet 4 months in), and some remaining concerns and fears about the future: I'm not willing to make that kind of investment.

So while I'll be actively looking for a new place to move to (something I've done nearly every week since I bought this house) the reality is: this is the house that I, at least, will live in for at least another year or two.

That means putting even more money into the house; and I'm not so happy with that either, given that I'm well over the invested amount that the neighborhood can support and am well aware of how real estate values, comps, and investments work.

Quite frankly it's making me rather unhappy: the entire situation. But I don't know what to do with that, and staying where I am gives me the most financial security of the all of the options unless I was/am lucky enough to find a house that was awesome and lower financial value than this one. This house: a house that was too big for me when I bought it, is too small for my family, and yet I feel quite trapped there.

It's a beautiful house in a decent neighborhood close enough to work and on a good size lot. It's not my top choice for style of neighborhoods (young families and retirees) and that may be part of my discontent. Where I'd like to be looking is far too far away from work for a commute and I doubt working from home 100% of the time is on the plate unless I start my own business.

... and even then, that would require something much different than what I have in mind. A separate building as an office or some such, probably. I don't know.

And that's the problem, I just don't know.

In any case, I'm at work today. I'll call some spider specialists and see what they can do - hobo spider bites are nasty;  hopefully more protective gear can help there too. The mold remediation is at least a grand. Sealing the crawlspace is a lot. Finishing the attic after the remediation so the mold doesn't return is also a huge investment but at least one that'll add actual square footage to the house. The crawlspace is dead space and my only intent is to seal it - it's a waste of time and money to finish it.

A home equity loan is about 3% and adds a payment.  Yippee.

Between that and replacing the brakes on the car and all of the festivals I chose to attend and travel and other shit... well, yay. I knew home ownership came at an ongoing price, so does car ownership. I am grateful I don't have payments on top of all of that. The question is: did I bite off more than I can chew with this money pit of a house? I won't tell you how much it took to remedy the deferred maintenance from the previous owners - and that was in the first year of ownership - now I have ongoing maintenance to do. And it's not a small house, making the maintenance $$$$. If I could turn back time, I'da stayed at a much lower budget for the first house and even upped my initial offer on the first house that I offered on. But I can't, this is what I have committed to dealing with or cutting my losses and running.

Blorgh. What a choice. At least I have some, that's something to be grateful for.

-Lisa, 2014-10-13, Comment

I am grateful for . . .

  • The experience and knowledge that I am happy, content, and safe alone
  • Hot chocolate
  • Learning new skills that might save lives
  • Silence

Posted on 2014-10-04

I am grateful for . . .

  • Making it into work without crashing
  • Waking up
  • Breathing
  • Being grateful that I am grateful to be awake and breathing

Posted on 2014-10-03

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