22 hours ago
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Keys and Gift Basket
So we bought this condo. And everyone is so excited. In fact, the only comment we've heard from everyone is, "That's so exciting!" We are grateful, but the excitement isn't there for us yet. Here's why: a home purchase is a pile of money and a pile of work. Also, it won't really be ours for thirty years. Until then, the bank will allow us to live in it for a small monthly fee. When a child is born, it really is yours immediately. When you purchase a shirt (assuming you don't buy it on credit), it really is yours. You can be as happy as you'd like about it. But when you purchase a car or a home, it's not really yours until it's paid for, you know?
Some other comments people have been adding on to their statements about being so excited:
"It's your FIRST home!" Actually, nope, it's our FIFTH. We've lived (received mail, hung up shower curtains, whatever you want to call "living") in four other homes. We don't own this one any more than we've owned the other ones. The only difference is this one is sort of like "rent-to-own." Here's another comment..."You can do what you want...you can hang pictures on the wall!" Well, we've actually been hanging stuff on the walls (not that we're ever home to see the stuff on the walls) all along. We don't have plans to start construction or tear down walls or paint or put new carpet in or anything of that nature because we can't afford any improvements. We can't do what we want because we don't have enough money to pay for our wants. And one more comment people throw in: "It's a different feeling when it's yours. It really is." Well, so far, we don't have any different feelings, but I'll let you know if that changes. We are grateful for nice shelter and hope that all the tax breaks that everyone talks about really do come through for us. We have faith that purchasing a home is a financially wise decision, but the earthquake could hit at any time so I personally prefer not to get too excited about a worldly thing such as a condo.
Most of my life is really spent in an elementary school building. With children. And I really, REALLY care about children. Which is why I'm posting a photo of some of my students running their own Author's Chair activity where they read aloud from their own original writing and accept critiques from their classmates. They LOVE doing Author's Chair and I'm so pleased with the way they've taken ownership of it!
I'm also throwing in a couple of pictures of some murals within our new complex. Random, I know. There's a little "flavor" to the new digs.
Our real estate agent has been so wonderful! She made this amazing gift basket for us and presented it after we got our keys. She has bent over backwards to assist us and we appreciate her so much. Our mortgage broker has also gone above and beyond and we are so fortunate to have folks like this shepherding us through our first home-buying experience.
Yesterday I kept thinking about why people are so willing to help us celebrate when we go into debt. People get pretty excited about new cars, envious even. Yet, no one mentions the debt and the interest, and the REAL cost of that new car. We got a gift basket for purchasing a new home (and the in-laws are SO happy for us), but will there be a gift basket when we pay it off? No, nobody celebrates true home ownership, at least not in our culture. They're all just super happy about others going into mountainous debt. I suppose what they're really happy about is seeing some tangible progression TOWARD home ownership, but each time someone makes a comment I can't help but think, "Wait. We are feeling way too responsible to feel your level of happiness about this pile of debt." Ah, well, now to pay the thing off. Here's to learning about the blessings of home ownership. Everyone says it's great! Guess we'll find out. Here's to the next thirty years.
It's March. The ranger will be leaving me once again, sooner than later. Home is where he is. The condo doesn't matter when he's not there. It's the emptiest place on Earth when he's not there.