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Wednesday, 2008 October 1 - 9:26 pm
Fifteen and a half years ago, I bought a house. I was 23.

At the time, it seemed like the thing to do. I had graduated from college, I had landed a corporate job, so a suburban house seemed like the thing to get. Right? The American dream? Pleasant Valley Sundays?

And while there were things that I absolutely loved about home ownership, there came to be things that drove me crazy: mowing the yard; fixing the furnace; painting the siding; exterminating the insects and rodents. It was never-ending.

But worst of all? The house was an anchor. When I grew restless and thought about moving to another city, I dreaded the prospect of getting the house ready to sell. Or when I finally realized that a single guy should live downtown and not in suburbia, it was the hassle of packing and moving that kept me from doing so. A house has a surprising amount of inertia... especially when it's full of junk.

Over the last few years, I'd made the best of it. With the help of my friends Anna and Erika, I painted the walls and I put in new floors. I changed lights and fixtures. I tried to find cool restaurants and bars nearby. And I drove downtown whenever I could.

When Amy and I got married, we decided to live in her house, where we had more room. But for a while, we kept my house, thinking we could rent it out, or maybe have Amy's brother move into it, or something. But eventually it became clear: the house was an albatross around my neck, something I needed to be rid of. I needed to cash out the equity from the house, I needed to stop paying two mortgages, and mostly, I needed to not have to do yard work at two houses.

So we got a contractor to fix a bunch of things, change the carpets, paint the walls back to neutral, build a new deck. And every week or so, we found something else that needed to be fixed, and the weight of that albatross seemed heavier and heavier.

Finally, a couple of weeks ago, we put the house on the market. Six days later, we had an offer. Yesterday, we closed the sale. I am free.

I did make money on the sale. It's a smaller house in a desirable location, so it sold quickly despite the housing and credit crunch. So as it turns out, having the house wasn't such a bad thing after all. And it did keep me in the Raleigh area; I wouldn't have met Amy if I had moved away.

Still: I don't think I ever want to buy another house. If Amy and I move somewhere else, I'm pretty sure I'll want to buy a condominium.

No yard work. That's the goal.

Permalink  3 Comment   Bookmark and Share
Posted by Ken in: life


Comment #1 from baketown (baketown)
2008 Oct 2 - 3:36 pm : #
Congrats on the sale. If you were in Bakersfield you'd probably still have it on the market. It's bad here.
Comment #2 from crouchinghamster (crouchinghamster)
2008 Oct 3 - 7:54 pm : #
Congratulations! I felt a huge sense of relief reading your post. Ahhh.
Comment #3 from john C (Guest)
2008 Oct 5 - 9:51 pm : #
Congrats on the sale is this craptacular market. But please, is this the young man who used to enjoying making cool patterns in his parents yard with the mower?

Comments are closed for this post.

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