Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sharing a dream

Last Sunday I had an older adult give me some unsolicited advice: now is the time to buy a house.

After making some gentle noises about how "now wasn't the time for us," I finally had to be forthright and say that we don't have the funds for a down payment & so buying a house just isn't something we can do right now. My directness was dismissed with the same disregard as my more subtle comments earlier in the conversation. "Oh, you don't need 20%. Only 5%. Before the crisis you could get 100% financing. People are so desperate to sell, you can get a loan."

The conversation has been weighing on me for a week. In part because the "advice" felt very intrusive. I don't feel comfortable talking money, especially when the bottom line reads, "I can't afford that." But mostly I keep dwelling (like the pun?) on the fact that I do want to buy a house. Not with a white picket fence, but someplace where Graham can go outside & watch the slugs, where Rose can eat rocks, & Cami & I can garden. When I look at decorating books, I'm drawn to the places where natural materials & natural light prevail. I dream of finding some wreck of a building -- a factory, a barn, some derelict house that's been neglected for a century -- and creating a home with soul.

A family I know here has a gorgeous home out in the country. It's a house that's beautiful, quirky, and interesting. It used to be a barn & it's situated on a working farm. The family who owns it converted it themselves. The mom of this seven-children family once mentioned that as a young family (when they only had three munchkins & she was my age), they lived in a not-so-nice area of Leeds. Her husband is now a property developer. And I wonder: will they teach me how?


Ellen Fehr said...

You might want to read Rich Dad, Poor Dad before you go into home ownership--it's good to make sure that what you get is a true asset [puts money into your pocket], and not a real liability [takes money out of your pocket]!

Marie said...

I have come to accept that, barring anything short of a miracle, Todd and I will never be able to own our own home. It would be nice, but then again, Home is where you hang your heart.