There’s this house.
Which used to be a church (a Czech church).
And is now my dream house.
Complete with THREE acres of gorgeous grassland and wooded meadows. Magnolia tree in the backyard.
For sale, outside of Bastrop. Which is considered “rural”. Which qualifies for the USDA’s “rural loan program”. Which translates to—ZERO MONEY DOWN. Which reads: perfect for me.
Let me tell you a little more about this place though. Original pine wood floors throughout. A mini-loft, where I’m pretty sure the organist played. Iron-wrought spiral staircase to said loft, which would become my library. Clawfoot bathtub. Original WORKING bell from it’s church days. Spacious open floor plan. 2100 square feet of character and appeal.
There’s work to be done—the kitchen needs serious updating/painting. A pergola for the back patio. A proper entrance with landscaping to direct visitors. A paint job. Planting a garden. Establishing fruit trees. Things that would require time and investment and hard work. But all of that seems WORTH it to me, because I want a home that needs a little love and still wouldn’t be a hazard to live in. Something that can take a little time to perfect. Isn’t that what a home should be—something you create around you?
I have so many plans for my first home, and this place would be ideal for realizing them. And right now seems like a pretty great time to start living my dream. Interest rates at all time low. Buyer’s market. So many great loan programs I can take advantage of.
I’m terrified of doing it. Throwing myself into this. Putting that much money into a HOME. Moving that far away from my friends and my job. Committing to a place where I am actually the only one responsible. Taking a chance that I will not be able to afford it. Losing any savings and emergency fund to get this ball rolling. I don’t know if it’s smart—I’m just pulling myself out of debt, closer every month, and now I want to add a mortgage. A MORTGAGE. Who am I?? Who is this woman who talks about IRAs to her boss and talks to bank VPs about lending and consults with loan officers about credit scores? I do not recognize myself! I typed this sentence: “I like that my monthly rent would be translated into monthly equity/investment.” When did I start getting concerned about my equity? Why do I care about investments? WHO THE HECK IS THIS PERSON AND WHEN DID SHE TAKE OVER MY BODY?!
I feel like I still just got out of college. I feel like my parents should be counseling me to wait a few years, be wise with my money. Instead, they are agreeing that I am old enough, mature enough, savvy enough, to be a big girl. I think it may be that I always assumed that only married people did this. Only couples considered a home. And truthfully, when I think about living out there, on John Craft road, surrounded by 37 (yes, 37) acres of rolling grass, with no one but the cats and one day a cow (and a pig and some chickens and maybe a donkey and one day…a horse), I feel like I’ll probably be lonely. I won’t be bored, heavens no. But I do dream about having that person there with me. I’ve got my person now, but I’m not sure…ah. Don’t want to visit that just yet.
So. “Only couples considered a home”. SO, to me it’s strange that a single woman CAN (and it wouldn’t be unexpected) and they often DO, purchase their own homes. What’s wrong with an adult owning her own home? Nothing. The trouble is that I am constantly startled to find myself an adult. How did this happen? WHEN did this happen? College? Camp? When I moved to Austin? When I started this 9-5/paid vacation/health insurance job?
No one says I have to live here forever. This can be my very first. My learning. Because it did cross my mind—if I wanted to have children, could this be a house that could stand more people? But this is my first, not my only. I could sell it for a profit, but I could also become a landlady and lease it out.
There’s a note on my computer—“If you knew you could not fail, what would you do?” And the thought blazes across my mind—try to make this work. Attempt a $931 mortgage on my budget. So that raises the question: Why aren’t I taking this chance? What is holding me back?
I recognize this. I’m scared to fail at this. I haven’t really ever failed at anything, now that I think about it. There’s always been a safety net or someone else to hold my hand or someone to help me shoulder the burden. This would be me, solely responsible. And while I desperately DESPERATELY dream about the life I know I could pull from the ground there, my life HERE is pretty grand here too. Good friends within minutes, a solid relationship who lives less than a mile from me, EASILY accessible work that I can ride my bike to, for heaven’s sake (which means no car needed!),
I have ideas on how I can make more money. There are a few online options. And I really love the idea of refinishing furniture bought cheaply and sold for a profit. I’m good at that, and could turn a profit if I worked hard at it. I would need a workshop for that, probably. (Which I could easily build on this property).
This is probably very ramble-y. I get that. It was really just a way for me to exorcise the conflicting pros and cons growing inside my head. The king and I are going on a mini-vacation this weekend to relax and hang out with his (wonderful, crazy) mother in the middle of the country. I’m hoping to gather his perspective and sort this out logically, but without losing sight of my dreams.