Sunday, April 25, 2010

The High (and Painful) Price of a Dream

The House of Guilt - of sorts

So, I never quite got comfortable in this very house of mine. I think I have said it before, and I apologize (not really) for the repeat, but I don’t think I have ever gotten over the buyer’s remorse on this joint. At the time I bought it, I thought it was a dream come true. I still think that, in fact. It was my coming of age as a grown woman: it was coming into adulthood from the condo, college-like living I had before, as a single woman.

So, I plunged into it thinking this is what I have worked for all my life, and praying that I will be in it forever (uumm … 30 years at least) to pay it off. I knew at the time, though, that is just about as much as I can possibly swallow without choking on it. It was a bit too much, but not enough to cause me to say a definite “no”.

My gut was in knots though and I sensed than one day, this will be trouble. A friend advised that I will make more money in a couple of years, as it happens, usually, and that will not be an issue. Only the friend didn’t foresee the economic crisis that followed almost immediately after I signed the bottom line, even before the ink dried on the paper. A not so favorable loan had me borrow it at painful terms, and thus my guilt towards my hard earned money deepened!

I am not exactly house poor, as I have been able to play, too, and go out and have fun with friends, and donate to my charities, and also take some trips and play with some of the money, as well. Or at least I was not house poor till before I quit my job about a week ago.

I did make good use of it, too, I will not be ungrateful: I have enjoyed people having their own quarters when they come to town, especially since it’s illegal in my family to book hotel rooms if a relative lives in town. I have enjoyed the back yard, and all the greenery I have planted there; the grapes and strawberries, fresh dill and parsley, fresh onions and rosemary for my omelets. I have enjoyed the quietness of the area, and the changes of the seasons in the beautiful, huge oak trees across the street from me. I have also enjoyed having e designated place for every single thing, and a room with a purpose for everything, like they teach you on HGTV! I have also loved, loved, loved my huge kitchen, where I never run out of space when I cook or when I have to store a new pot or pan! It’s been all great!

But, alas, plans are made only to be broken by life, aren’t they?! Now, the prospect, which is slowly turning into an ugly reality, of no job, a wee bit too much of a payment plus utilities plus HOA fees which I swear must be fed on growth hormones or something, because they are insane (at $158 a month for grass trimming) is becoming more and more bitter. Even more so than before, the straps on the shoulders of this too big of a weight are cutting into my back.

The house sits quietly on the market, for exactly a month and two weeks today, along with other 20+ homes (I think) in the same neighborhood, 5 of which are in the same parking lot as mine, listed at a lower price than I bought it for, to make it more appealing. I sit here, on a quiet and beautiful spring afternoon waiting for seers, “passer-by”-ers. Isn’t spring the time deemed by all realtors to be the most appropriate for home buying?! And isn't Sunday the most perfect of days for real estate?! So ... where are the people? I sit here, and I listen to the sound of birds and swishy wind in the new leaves of yet a new spring. And I try with all my might not to cry or to hurt myself for the guilt I feel for buying too much of a dream!

I do know that every house sells. Eventually. And I know this, too, shall sell, and pass. But I cannot help but feel ever so guilty for burdening not only me, but my husband also with an expense which could have been so much more bearable should it have been planned a little bit more carefully …

And unlike so many people out there, I have enough self respect to not blame “W.”, not the banks, not the economy, not Obama for something that I signed up for with no gun against my temple.

It still makes me choke up with guilt and lose sleep at night, because I seldom screw up, you see. But I guess it keeps me real, too, and reminds me that I too can make a very wrong decision sometimes. The comforting thought that we are not infallible is so sweet! When I’ll chase a dream next time, I’ll ask for an insurance policy first. If only life can give you one, that is. *Sigh*.

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