Yeah, so I’m probably buying a house in a couple weeks.

“I…wait, what?”

Yeah, that’s what I said this morning too.

Anyway, as some of you know, one of my best friends in Boston, GJM, is pulling up anchor less than 2 weeks from now, moving to Tejas, and putting his place on the market. What was it…last week or so it feels like, I found out about the move for sure.

So he named a price, and I somewhat tentatively took it, saying “ok, lemme see if I can afford this” (talk to mortgage guy and see what my monthly cost will be, look at bank statements and current vs. expected expenses and see if the number in is bigger than the number out). Next thing I know I’ve coughed up 250 bones to a mortgage guy to lock in that day’s rate (they’re going crazy lately, in a bad way), and mortgage guy’s got an appraiser coming in, and I’ve got lawyers and inspectors on the phone. Meanwhile, mortgage guy has documents-to-sign 2-day-Fedexing to my office tomorrow (today), wanting a signed P&S (purchase and sales agreement) (being drafted now-ish, it sounds like) by Friday to get things rolling ASAP. Somewhere along the line I need to have a lawyer (who I don’t have yet) actually look at that stuff….you know, preferably before I sign it. It’s probably a good idea to let the appraisals and inspections complete BEFORE signing “I Do” as well. Sometimes processes with a known runtime can be paralleled as part of a Clever Optimization, but this is not one of those times.

This all is happening way too fast.

Now that I had time to put in a bit of research, even the buddy price looks a ways above market value. (bought at $x, selling at $x+$20k, meanwhile, the housing market in Suffolk County (mean valuations) has dropped by not less than $10k, if the graphs are to be believed.)

I like the idea of owning my own, single-family place. My own mini lab in the basement, my own backyard and garden, tighter control of who’s living there (I’d be renting out 2 bedrooms*, but for the love of Craigslist, no more StinkDudes), and only having to go through the whole messy process once (i.e. a clear migration path if I ever meet Ms. Right and that whole family thing happens). It’s a nice place, and in good shape. With two renters at >= $500 a month each, the total Poof Money** would be less than my current rent, even though the actual monthly payment will be huge (some of it’s going toward paying off the house). In any event though, I’ll be the bank’s bitch for the next 30 years.

You know what they say about trusting your gut? Right now my guts are going “OMGWTF, change!? Noooo! Go back to your room! Close the door! This is not happening!” Funny, that’s the same thing they said in the days and weeks leading up to my move to New England. I think I dropped a good 10 lbs in the process. I’ve learned not to really trust my guts for the most part, but be advised that they’re doing somersaults at the moment and telling me I’m a blistering idiot for considering a single-family at my age, income and level of romantic involvement (bachelor, 0th base), because a multi-family stack (even if a shithole) would turn a profit (this won’t), and I’m still going to have housemates. In effect I’ll be paying a lot more for effectively the same lifestyle I have now, but with the additional hassles of being a landlord, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, home repairs, and having to deal with it personally if someone trashes the place or some dispute breaks out.

If I back out within the next couple days I’m only out $250 for the mortgage/appraisal people, and probably some points on a friendship (going this far and then backing out). On or before Friday, it gets more serious than that.

What the hell do I do now.

* limited by a stinky Medford restriction on the number of unrelated people who can live together. That, and who would actually rent the tiny 4th bedroom, and whether 4 people would want to fight over a single bathroom.

** Poof Money: the amount that simply goes “poof!” at the end of the month. For the rental situation, this is rent. For homeowning, this is the property taxes, insurance and interest (not principal) on the mortgage, which alone I estimate at $1300-1600 a month, depending on the final size of the loan(s) I’d have to take out.


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