I'm pointing this out because most people in the world, and most people even just in this country, have worse problems than Ish and I do. I know this. And it's why I don't write about some of the stuff Ish and I are dealing with because, oh boo-hoo, it's so hard to move to wine country. Cue violins.
But not writing about it doesn't mean it's not happening. And just because other people in the world have far worse problems, doesn't mean ours disappear.
So with that long preamble, here's the situation:
Initially, Ish and I thought we were going to move to Napa/Sonoma/thereabouts and rent a house. We thought renting made a lot of sense because we don't know how we'll like living in a rural area (versus our beloved San Francisco). We also thought that renting made sense because, frankly, this job market blows. Ish's job seems secure-ish now, but what happens in six months? 12? His company is in real estate investments. (Yeah, ouch.) And it's not like there's a lot of work up in wine country for guys with Ish's background, even if he is really funny.
But yeah -- initial thinking was, We'll move to Napa, rent a place, see how we like it. If things look good after 6 months or a year, we'll buy.
Except that we can afford to buy a place now. And the market prices are better than, well, we may ever ever see again in our lifetimes (let's kind of hope so; this Recession is super sucktastic). And living another 6-12 months in yet another temporary place that isn't ours is not appealing. Knowing that no matter what, we'll have to move again -- oh, and this time with an infant -- makes my whole body slump. Not to mention spending another year throwing money away on rent that we'll never make back. And what happens when things are just as murky down the road? What if things seems just as uncertain, perhaps for different reasons, in a year? When do you just decide it's worth it?
So, there it is. Our uber middle-class problem. Please don't throw rocks.
A couple weeks ago, Ish and I decided for certain that we were going to buy. Never rent when you can buy! is some mantra stuck in our heads (and subconscious) because that's the thinking. Surely you've been told the same? It's just...mortgage rates are low, housing prices are relatively good, we should just do it.
We've looked at over 20 properties.
And then yesterday, on the heels of finding what we think is The One we want to make an offer on (gulp), we cooled our heels. Stopped dead in our tracks, actually.
Ish looked at me and said, "But what if I did lose my job in six months?"
[Update: I am digging your encouraging and positive comments, thank you so much. Seriously.
I do just want to emphasize one kind of major point, though. Bleh. If Ish lost his job, it would likely necessitate our moving out of wine country altogether. That's the complicating factor -- you're right, a payment is a payment, but given that we'd have to move to a different part of the state, it would be far easier and cheaper to break a lease than to have to try to sell a house at a potential loss. This is the bitch of it, and why the decision is particularly prickly. Bleh again.]
A little over a year ago that would have seemed like some completely hypothetical question. One we should consider, but not give undue weight to. Sure, you might get laid off. Also, what if you got hit by a bus?
But now there is this big black cloud looming. The market has gotten worse, Ish's job is on shakier ground. The future is completely uncertain.
Except for the parts that aren't.
Like, I am due to have a baby in five months. Like, I have given notice. Like, Ish's job -- a job he likes in an industry he loves and does not want to leave -- is in Napa. Like, our current rent is too high for living conditions that are unsuitable for a baby.
So no matter what, something has to change. Things can't, and won't, stay as they are.
And THAT, along with this miserable, MISERABLE cold, is what's taken up a lot of our time in the last few weeks. I simply don't know what we're going to do, but whatever it is, we've got to do it.