while the rest of the world was busy working, i left the office to go buy a house.

that place on eustis street that i was so in love with, today i got an opportunity to see the inside in person and also to make an offer. not only was the real estate agent representing this property there to meet us (us being my parents and i, my mother wanted to see the place as well), but there was also an independent broker as well, scouting out potential locations for her own clients. we all went in. seeing the place in person, it's a lot smaller than i what i remembered seeing on the video. the windows were a little old, some interior details of the house needed repairs, and the wooden floors could use a round of sanding. believe it or not, i wasn't really as excited as i was yesterday. then i thought about it, about the prospect of living here, and it didn't seem that bad, and the more i imagined myself residing in this house, the more i felt right at home. so we made an offer, the asking price plus $5000 more on top of that. right then and there, on the kitchen counter of a stranger's house that i was hoping would be my own home, the real estate agent and i went over the paperworks, i signed a few documents, and then i gave him a deposit check for $1000.

i went back to work in a daze. i felt sick. that is a lot of money i'm thinking about transacting! my whole life would change if i bought the place. the biggest difference would be that i would finally have my own place. but the other change is my whole way of life. living at home the past few years, i have never counted my money, it was never a big concern. i made it, i put it away in the bank, i went to the atm and got some out when i wanted to use it, i used my debit card to pay for everything else. my favorite saying was, "don't worry about it, it's only money, i'll only make more." what i lacked in privacy and independence, i more than made up for it in this kind of worry-free existence where i never had to fret about paying bills (don't get my wrong, i had bills, i paid them, but the possibility that i didn't had enough money to make a payment has never happened before), never had to worry about prices when i went out to buy something from the store or go out to a restaurant. i wouldn't consider myself rich, but if being rich meant i never had to worry about money, then maybe i was, i'm not ashamed to admit it. but now, if i buy a house, all that money is gone, all of it going into the price of the home and then some. i did some calculations and with my mortage plus property tax plus condo fee plus gas plus electricity plus phone plus phone plus internet plus cable, i'm looking at maybe a few hundred bucks a month to spend on food, clothing, and other things i have always took for granted. is it worth it? is the prospect of owning my own place versus just renting out a single apartment really that attractive that i'd want to give up my worryfree lifestyle? i think the answer is yes. no matter what, at the end of the day, the place where i live belongs to me. a landlord somewhere isn't getting rich off of my monthly rent (although a bank somewhere will be getting rich from the interest on my mortgage).

i've never really owned anything big. i've never even own a car before! it's like somehow i've taken the accelerated program in life and i skipped a few steps to suddenly jump at the house buying stage. a house for most people is probably the most expensive thing they'll ever buy. for me, in less than 36 hours time, i went from "i'm still looking" to "i think i found it" to "let me see it" to "here's how much i'll give you for it." it's all happening so fast. i have so many other things happening right now (actually not true, besides work, house hunting was my other main activity), and now on top of all that i have to go through the motions of buying a house. i don't think i've fully grasped the ramification of what's happening. i'm waiting for it to all hit me sometime real soon.

oh, but my story isn't finished. when we made the offer (i say we again, my parents are helping me pay for most of the down payment, 20%), the real estate agent told us that earlier somebody else had already made an offer for this apartment, and that later today at least two more parties will be making their offer as well. so i went back to work all knotted up. on the one hand i wanted the apartment because it's the best we've seen in a long time, but on the other hand i didn't want it because i didn't want that responsibility and i was secretly hoping that one of the other three parties would outbid us. we would soon know the answer, the sellers were contractually obligated to let us know of their decision by 9pm tonight.

before i left work, i got a call from my parents saying that the broker called them and said that the sellers would sell to us first if we raised our asking price even more, by another $3000. i didn't know what i wanted, i couldn't decide over the phone, so i asked to meet my parents at their cafe to go over some new numbers and see how feasible a price increase would be. oh by the way, you have an hour to decide. i caught the train and all i kept on thinking about the pros and cons of buying the place on eustis street. i was making a mental checklist in my mind, trying to go over all the other houses i've seen since august and how this one compared. when i finally got to the cafe, i had already decided: i wanted to go for it. the selling points? beautiful deck, nice southern facing backyard, bedrooms are a little small, but since the entire floor would be mine, personal privacy wouldn't an issue, and the kitchen was big enough to entertain. so i called back the broker, and he basically reiterated what he told my parents. there were actually four other interested buyers now, and i didn't believe it, but we were actually the party with the highest bid, although after calling up each of the buyers, everyone of them was willing to match our offer. but the sellers really liked the package we presented to them because we could put down 20% of the asking price (thanks to my parents), so they were willing to let us have the house for $3000 more. "john, let's do this," i said over the phone to my new best friend, the real estate agent. it also felt good kicking the ass of four other interested parties. nobody outbids me!

and that's how i took a giant step forward into the uncharted realm of home ownership.

now, within the next 10 days, a lawyer has to review all the legal documents and i have to get somebody to inspect the house. if all goes well, i will start shopping around for mortgage lenders, and by the end of next month i have to be approved for a mortgage in order for the deal to progress.

i am so happy that i don't have to go to anymore open houses on sundays! and i also realize i really need a cellphone. within the next two months i'll probably be getting a lot of money related phone calls, i don't want to have those kind of conversations in the office, where everyone hears everyone else's phone conversations.