Monday, November 11, 2013

our new home

I've dreamed about owning my own home for the last seven years.  At first it was an impossible dream because of where we lived (Los Angeles = $$$) and then it was impossible for other reasons after we moved to Portland.  I don't know what it is about the desire to own a home that has been such a constant theme in my life for these many years.  I know that with home ownership comes a myriad of issues and stresses that renting does not but it has not deterred me from fantasizing about the day when I no longer am paying someone else's mortgage.

In the eight years that Leif and I have lived together we have lived in five different houses/apartments.   The longest we've ever lived in one place was about 2 1/2 years while I was in grad school.  It is hard to feel at home in rentals when you are moving so much.  I've also refused to make improvements in any of the rentals we've lived in because I just could never stomach the idea of using my money to increase the value of someone else's property.  Yes, that may sound a tad selfish but I don't care.  When you've had the doozies of landlords we've had you'd feel the same way.

For instance let me tell you a funny little story about when we lived in Koreatown in Los Angeles (my favorite part of LA, by the way).  We lived on the same property as our landlord and she would often corner us to ask us to help her out with some task.  One time she was trying to get an umbrella into a stand but the pole was a tiny bit too big and hence she was having difficulty getting it to fit.  So she asked Leif to come and help her, which being the sweet guy that he is, he acquiesced.  Twenty minutes later he came to the conclusion that it wasn't going to work until they could get something like WD40.  At that point she stood up, went into her house, then reemerged 60 seconds later, handing Leif a bottle of cherry-flavored lube.  As in, sexy time cherry-flavored lube.

I'm going to give you a second to let that sink in.  Our landlord asked Leif to use her personal sex lubricant to get an umbrella into an umbrella stand*.  Did I mention that it was flavored?  That's my favorite part of the story.

Yeah, so landlords.  Don't particularly care to deal with them anymore.

Alright so let me get back on track.  House-buying and stuff.  When this house buying experience began Leif and I were looking for a place that we could live in for a few years, build some equity, and then sell so we could buy something that we would be able to live in for the rest of our days. But as we looked at house after house we both started to realize how much we really did not want to have to repeat the process in a few years.  Between our budget and the housing market here we felt like we would be looking forever.  But then, on a whim, I asked to see a place that was both over our budget and, from the photos, a bit of a stinker.

From the moment I walked into the house I was smitten.  For the first time since I started looking at houses I was able to easily picture myself living there.  It was a fixer but not like the gut jobs that we had previously been looking at and all the work that needed to be done was just cosmetic. I could not believe how little the photos online actually captured all the unique and beautiful aspects of the house.  It was lucky that they didn't too because I am certain that had there been better photos there would have been quite a bit more interest in the house.

In two days the house will officially be ours.  We gave notice to the rental agency two weeks ago and now we are in the midst of packing and arranging for all the things that need to be completed to the house before we move in.  We have so many plans for the house and I am excited to get things started.  It will be a slow process though because we are not going to have as much disposable income as we had wanted but that's ok because this is the house we will be living in for many, many years to come.

I'm so ready to make it into my new home.

*For all the inquiring minds out there who want to know the final outcome of this story; the lube worked.  


  1. Awesome! Can't wait to explore all of those hidden little gems.

  2. Love this ending... You guys deserve a great house! Can't wait to come and visit : )