that time we almost bought a house

posted on: Monday, February 18, 2013


this weekend will forever go down in infamy
as that 24 hour period in which we almost bought a house.

it started out as a hunt for a new rental.
our current apartment complex's management
was starting to feel/act a little like the Gestapo.
no more than 2 guests per apartment at the pool...
police officers questioning residents at the pool to determine where they lived...
poor handling of packages in the mailroom...

you know. typical apartment complex issues.

the straw that broke the camel's back,
was last week, when the "courtesy officer"
(a cop who happens to live in our complex)
took it upon himself to ring our doorbell 17 times at 3AM
to inform us we had left our garage door open.


my sleep-deprived self stewed on that debacle
for the better part of the next day
and decided something had to give.

so i checked out a new part of town.
scouted some we might look for houses to rent
Nick and I both managed to have an afternoon off on Friday
so we hit the streets. on a mission, we were.

on our search, we came upon a charming little house with a red door
in a historic neighborhood that is very up-and-coming
"for sale", the sign said.
it was empty, so naturally we peeked in the windows
and liked what we saw.
the price tag wasn't bad either.
i plugged the sticker price into an online mortgage calculator on my iphone
as nick continued to drive up and down every street looking for rent signs
...we could be paying less than our current rent...

we went for beers to process this new idea.
could WE buy a house?
is this crazy?
we don't even know for sure where we'll be living in two years!
this is nuts!

we kept turning over the idea in our minds over dinner
and promptly got into a fight about something completely unrelated.
(it happens.)

the next morning, we still didn't think it was a totally terrible idea.
so we called our dads for advice. obviously.
they--surprisingly--didn't think it was a terrible idea either.
and gave us lots of things to think about...questions to ask.
so we called the realtor and scheduled a viewing.
for that afternoon.

up until we met the realtor,
we were busy researching things like...
property taxes...appliance costs...homeowner's insurance
"the true cost of home ownership"

then we saw the house.
and cute as it was, it needed a LOT of work.
like air conditioning.
new windows
the floor plan was really funky too.
not like, quirky-cute funky. like, pretty unworkable funky.
le sigh.

our 24-hour dream of owning that house sort of went up in smoke
there weren't any other houses in the area in our price range
and we didn't really want to live in any other area
so the vision of home ownership this year vanished as quickly as it had appeared
and we're re-signing our lease in the Gestapo apartments.
wah wah.

as anticlimactic as this tale is, we learned a lot.
about how spontaneous we REALLY are
about how we're more grown up than we thought
and mostly about how content you can feel
when you compare your current situation with other possibilities.

as disgruntled as we had become with our current apartment complex,
we still really love our apartment. we've made it home. it's cozy.
and it wasn't enough to just move. we needed to move somewhere decidedly better.
nothing better is available right now.
so we're staying put.

we still love that neighborhood.
with its restaurants and community feel
Nick has said he'd like to live there, especially if i deploy next year
it'd be nice for him to be in an area with more people, more social events
so he doesn't feel so isolated while i'm gone.

so maybe next year?
now we know we could do it.
and now you know the story
of that one time we almost bought a house.

the end.


  1. i am still pissed about the off duty but on volunteer duty cop ringing your doorbell a million times at 3am. i tend to hod grudges. even when the bad things dont happen to me.

  2. If you're still looking for a place to rent, there are some gorgeous houses downtown on San Pedro, Main St, St Mary's and Broadway area just north of 410. Oh and their are some town homes west of town off IH 10 Provincia Villas I think. Quiet neighborhood but just off the highway.

    I'd definitely be looking for a new place after that damn curtesy officer. Curtesy my ass if he's gonna be ringing the door bell like that. Cray cray.

  3. That's horrid about the officer. But on the home owning, as a former home owner, you def want it to be a perfect fit and not just because you want to get a place. So maybe it didn't work out this time but maybe soon the perfect place for you guys will open up at the right time.

    Bonnie Rose | The Compass Rose

  4. girl.. i've got enough fixer upper projects over here at the Glass Ranch to keep you satisfied in the Gestapo.. FOR LIFE! bahaha everything you listed about that house, MY house needs... and has needed for four years.

    oy vey.

    this grown up thing...

    but it's good you guys have made your current place YOUR home, ya know? even if assholes feel like it's necessary to ring a doorbell at 3am- which im telling you, there's no acceptable scenario for that. unless the shit is on fire. but then i'd hope you'd wake up to the smell of smoke and not the sound of your doorbell.. and then he'd be a good samartian, which is NOT how this story ends up...

  5. That super annoying about the rent-a-cop ringing your doorbell. Geesh, if nothing was being stolen, then what's the big deal?! We lived in an apartment complex like that, where they questioned everyone in the pool area...annoying to say the least. Now you have something to look forward to next year, buying a house!

  6. You don’t have to push yourself when buying a house. You have to think about it a hundred times because you have to consider a lot of things that might affect you along the way. The idea of owning a house is good, but you have to think that it comes with a big responsibility. Estimate everything, particularly your budget and needs. If you’re ready to finally buy a home, I’ll be very happy to know about it. +Carmen Monrovia

  7. I meant to comment on this post back when you wrote it, but whoops, forgot... so it goes. Sorry about your Gestapo situation. My husb and I are on our second home, and both #1 and #2 have been and continue to be total fixer-uppers. Partly that comes with the territory when you live in MA and the houses are from the 1800's, I suppose. Anyway, when I read your list of all that the house you looked at needed, I thought... "Oh, sounds like our house!" Haha. So, it depends on your personalities, your finances, and how much time you want to put into it... but you CAN do closets and windows and landscaping etc. yourselves, if you have the time and find that working on a house is your cup of tea. My husband and I have really loved it... except when we've hated it, but even then we've loved hating it, in a way. :) We are both super busy, so we tackle projects when we can't and sit around and sigh about the state of the yard and the bathroom and the kitchen and and and ... when we're too busy to actually do anything about it. Or too poor. Ah, the adventurous life.

    Someday you will find the perfect place... or the place with the perfect potential! That picture you posted is gorgeous. If you buy a house that already looks that perfect, I will be jeal.

    Good luck with the Gestapo.

    1. oops, I meant, "we tackle projects when we CAN" not when we can't... in case that wasn't apparent.

  8. I love how "real life" your writing is. (and then we got in a fight, about something totally unrelated - I CAN RELATE.) that mint kitchen?!?! and I'm an ENFJ - so I can relate, sister!

  9. It’s okay if you weren’t able to buy a house at that moment. As I read your post, I can really feel how unsure you were with your plans. A house is a good investment, and you wouldn’t want to feel unhappy and disappointed afterwards. It will be better if you purchase a house in the future when you are certain and prepared for it.

    Genny Stutesman


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