The election's over, time to move on. That was a great shiny object to fixate on for awhile, now I have to do all this mortgage-related stuff. I've read books, and learned some things, but seriously, I just want someone to come right out and say, "This is how it's done…and if you do that, you can only hope for the best."
Our first time out, back in 2003, I don't think I was ready in my heart of hearts. I was afraid of making a huge mistake, and anything we found that we really liked had a zillion offers and went for $100K over asking. It was demoralizing and I'm very glad we got out of the market. These days I'm still fearful of making a mistake in terms of paying too much for a loan, mostly because we're on one income. But my viewpoint has changed in that I want to move somewhere and not move again either for a long time or unless it's for a very good reason. Mike deserves a stable home to alight to from traveling, where he isn't reminded of a dirtbag landlord. And, I'm just not footloose and fancy free anymore.
That said, I'll miss the cute neighborhoods of the Bay Area. I just finished walking around the neighborhood, so it's fresh in my mind how charming all the old houses are. We're headed to miles of suburban track housing. I'm sure they're wonderful, but seeing them cover the hills is mind-numbing. They all look alike. They're not cute or unique, and neither is the landscaping thanks to HOAs. The shopping districts consist of pod malls and box store shopping centers, except in the "villages"— Carlsbad, Leucadia, Encinitas. Of course there are pros. The beaches are usable and the ocean's nowhere near as rough as here, which will make boating more enjoyable for me. I'll be near the folks and old friends. I can turn the place into a Mod cave if I want (well, maybe one room).
Speaking of that, on Election night many African-Americans talked about the struggle their parents went through to accomplish things we take for granted today. My oncologist told me his grandfather was the first black to graduate from a particular law school in Connecticut (can't remember which). When I was growing up, my parents constantly tried to steer me to science, saying it was my only path to survival because I wasn't white. This caused great friction and for my part, discontent and confusion (which is another story). But as I try to navigate this home buying process, I marvel at how freaked out they must have been, buying that first house. My parents were literally fresh off the boat, and interest rates back then were around 17%!! Can you imagine? They bought their house in the Nixon era, a time of ridiculous inflation. My father must've sweated bullets until my mother started working. Even then, the tension was very high. I was a pretty clueless teen, and if I didn't already make my mother miserable, my sister's behavior took years off their lives. They eventually traded up, so obviously they have some kind of steely reserve when it comes to things like that. I could use some of that steely reserve right about now.