Five years ago this week I signed my life away and bought my condo. As a single person, that was a scary step, but one I wanted to take.
That step was a long time coming. With the housing bubble, the costs of home ownership were prohibitively high for years. But since I really wanted it, I saved … never truly believing that I would be able to afford that dream.
Then bubbles burst and prices fell.
I started looking and kept saving. I had a couple real estate agents before I discovered the one I needed. Steve is a family friend, and I’ve known him even longer than I’ve known Hillary!
We looked at a gagillion places. Most in my price range required A LOT of work. Although I felt I could conquer the world, Steve helped keep my perceptions of project difficulty more in line with reality.
About a month into the process, I saw an online listing that had the potential to be either really good or really bad. The listing only showed pictures of the outside of the building, none of the interior of the unit.
The overall property was as nice as the pictures. As we approached the unit, Steve had me stand back as he opened the door, not knowing what was inside. It was essentially move in ready, with stained carpets being the only obvious flaw. All the stainless steel appliances were there, and just normal wear and tear.
Although I tried to self-destruct with the deal a couple times, Steve kept me on target. He even parked himself in the HOA’s lobby for more than four hours to get a form needed for escrow to close that they were already a week late in providing.
There was a tense moment when it looked like I’d lost my funding just as we were about to close. I started to pout and lick my wounds saying that it was all over. Steve told me to shut up and sign the form extending the escrow. Coming from one of the most patient men on the planet, I knew my whining needed to stop. I signed the form, and three days later my financing magically reappeared.
While there are definitely things I’d like to change about my place, I’m very proud that it’s mine. I’m also proud of myself for only buying something I could afford on my base salary. When my pay dropped nearly 40% a year later, that decision meant I could still pay the mortgage and keep the lights on.
My little place has served me well. Thanks, Steve, for making it happen.