Living

Our landlady is selling our house.  It’s very annoying.  We have two inspections a week, and it’s surprisingly hard to keep the place presentable for twice a week looks.  Especially when one of those inspections is always early afternoon on a Saturday, which is when I usually do the most house stuff.  Instead, I have to get up way earlier than I’d like (and it feels even earlier if I’ve had something on on Friday night) and clean up a week’s detritus.  And of course, my sister leaves her share to the last minute so it’s always a grumpy frenzy on Saturday mornings.

It doesn’t really affect us long term because we don’t plan on extending the lease.  It’s up at the end of March.  My sister wants to go overseas – there’s no way she’ll have enough money by then, but I think she’ll move in with some friends.  This is good because it will be a cheaper house and also she will learn things like people get cross if you don’t do the dishes ever, and if you hang your washing on a communal line, start at the back and don’t leave 10cm gaps between everything so that the next person has to remove all your socks before they can use the line.  I, as perhaps you can tell from the grump level, would like to live by myself again.

I realised last night that it’s not really that she doesn’t contribute that shits me.  What really shits me is that she not only has no routine, but the way she opperates means that I can’t really have one, either, unless I want to do everything (including, probably, her laundry etc).  And I find that hard – I like finding the rythms in things, finding equalibrium.  And it stresses me out when I can’t.

We’ve been seeing our mother every Saturday while our inspection is on.  This is bad because I find it really stressful – especially because she takes about a half an hour to leave after we’ve hinted or outright said ‘I need to do stuff, bye!’ and she’s said ‘yes, I have to go.’  I find that that makes me anxious as well.

It’s good for a couple of reasons, though.  She’s been paying for lunch, which is always nice, and although she stresses me out and it’s painful, it’s good not to feel like I’m dodging her all the time.  I’m not sure where the balance point is between those two, but we’re closer to it now than we have been for a while.

And in the course of us meeting up, she’s been talking about helping me buy a house. 

She now owns her house outright, so she wants to use her equity to help me get a loan.  She’s got a small amount that she says she will give me as a deposit.  The loan will be all mine, but I couldn’t afford to borrow enough to buy a livible place without her input.  Even with it, it’d going to have to be either a bit of a fixer upper or else quite a ways out from the city.  But it would be my own, and that’s worth quite a bit to me.

We’re still right at the start of thinking about all this – and it feels like it’s two steps forward one back.  Not with the actual process, but with my mother.  She’s weirdly erratic, and goes from ‘let’s go look at houses!’ to ‘do you still want to buy a house?’ in minutes.  I have been having the same conversations over and over and over (something that particularly pushes my buttons) as she flutters around the idea.  But I’ve spoken to the bank about what I can realistically expect, and I’ll set up a proper meeting next week, if I can.  And then it’s a case of knowing what I want and doing it.  There’s no room for uncertainty or doubt with my mother because she will scent it out and leap on it.  She doesn’t realise she does this – she thinks she’s listening to you and validating, when she should be asking you if you really think that and why.  I sometimes wonder about her theory of mind, if she has one, and if it’s intact.

It might not end up happening now.  If we can’t find somewhere suitable before the end of March, when our lease is up, I might just rent again and save, so that maybe I can afford a nicer or a more convenient place.  Then again, maybe I’ll settle for a less nice place because I am so sick of moving, of packing up and then unpacking with the knowledge that in 12 months I’m going to do it all again.  And I’m sick of living in other people’s houses, where there’s only so far I can settle in because I can’t really change anything.  I am not sure what dollar value I’d put on knowing that I can do whatever I like to a place (whether or not I can afford it/be bothered, I CAN) but it’s not insignificant.

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5 thoughts on “Living

  1. wow, that’s super exciting Kate! We had help from my dad to buy our place and it wasn’t without it’s issues (and really if I’m honest still isn’t) but it is so great not renting. Really, really great.

    As for where to buy, for us it took a long time to settle on the right suburb – but where we’ve ended up, in an estate of post war ex commission houses, is really cool. It’s full of interesting people who couldn’t afford trendier suburbs and now it’s becoming quite desirable (and scarily pricey for some houses). Funny that. And it was cheap compared to other places. But it took us a year of looking and some convincing from friends who already lived here to work it out. I sometimes say, I’m never ever going to move again!

    I hope you can figure out a way to do it.

  2. Wow, we are going through the SAME THING. Last Sunday at 9:30am was a showing. But then one of the people couldn’t make it and requested 6:30pm on Monday as well. With two kids who wants to do that?! That’s homework and dinner time. Today it’s at 3:30 so I get to spend my day off cleaning – super fun. By the way I love your embroidery floss organization. It’s so so pretty and really inspires me to get my act together!

  3. hey kate – this is very exciting news indeed! Not that you asked for my opinion in anyway, I’m going to give it to you anyway! Feel free to ignore it completely – it’s just my experience of the whole home buying situation. We bought our apartment 3 years ago – I found looking for my first home VERY emotionally stressful. So many compromises – what you can afford, what you want to live in, where you want to live etc and then when you do find a place that you feel you see yourself living in, you get emotionally invested in it, and then someone else makes a bigger offer! and that might happen several times. There were lots of tears! in the end we sort of settled for something that we were really only lukewarm about, but we’re very happy here now. So it worked out fine.
    If you’re not in any major hurry, I’d take the time to really see whats available in your price range, in all sorts of areas that you might not have previously considered, and all sorts of different properties so you get a feel for what will really suits your needs best. Since you’ll be doing this by yourself, I’d also consider a place where you could rent out a room to a flatmate if things got tough, if you can afford that. But living by yourself is glorious, I love it personally, you’re the boss that way!
    It is a big decision to make of course, and it must be tough if family are involved (got to love them but they sure do make things ‘interesting’ don’t they!) but I think you’ll get a kick out of being a homeowner. It might be quite empowering!
    anyway, that’s enough of my not required rambling, apologies.

    Also, apologies for making your sister come running – she must have been annoyed to find that nothing was really wrong. I am sad about the bowl – lucky no cranes were harmed though, right?! xx

Whadya reckon?

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