*Lyrics from Beck‘s Say Goodbye from his (their?) latest album Morning Phase. It’s a great album, very mellow and sophisticated. Really a nice offering. Check it out – if you liked Sea Change you’ll like this one.
So, remember how, regarding our house hunt, I was all ‘we’re just going to stay put, and be for now?’ Yeah,that lasted about three weeks. I mean, we’re ok here, we really are, but the selling season was in full swing, and it’s really hard to not look when you have an easy-to-use real estate app on your phone. At any rate, we both kept looking, and we both kept seeing things, debating things, and discussing our future (ad nauseum).
We bid on another apartment (that’s the third one, if you’ve been keeping track), and got pretty far into the process. We were one of the top three offers – a change from earlier situations where we were merely told we were in the middle of at least 10 offers – and we really thought we could get it. Until our competition decided to waive any bank appraisal or mortgage approval contingency from their offer. That meant that they were promising to pay a particular sum of money no matter what a bank said it was worth, and no matter how much money the bank would agree to lend them. That’s insane, by the way. And it’s the new NY normal.
After we lost that one, we regrouped, again. We were, in all honesty, relieved not to have gotten the place. It needed an intense amount of work, which, while exciting (my design cap was glowing), would have to be funded in cash, solely by us (we were told that banks don’t do construction loans in NYC anymore). It was also crazy overpriced, even if less pricey than things we had considered in the past. We really liked it, thought we could make a home out of it (even though it there were many, many compromises to make it work), so we participated in the “bidding more than it’s worth in a sane world” approach. We were extremely happy not to have to live with our brand of crazy and rash. But we still kept looking.
Each place we saw, we thought, ‘Are we even going to be able to compete? Are we really prepared to pay THIS for THAT? Why on earth would we buy at the top of what is clearly a bubble?’ We kept wondering if it was even smart to participate further in this crazy market, and more than that, were we willing to uproot our whole life to a new neighborhood for a property that we didn’t really even want (we were already priced out of our current ‘hood).
Ultimately, after countless conversations, walks, talks, tears, and beers (more like wine), we arrived at a sensible compromise: let’s rent a better, bigger place, and just table the purchasing discussion for a while. When (if) the market settles back down we’ll consider buying again. But, renting a place that would meet most of our needs, and keep us in the general area (thus not making my formerly-only-ever-worked-from-home husband become a multi-train commuter) seemed like a better option, and certainly one that wouldn’t have the permanence of purchasing an overpriced fixer in a too high market.
Within two days of that decision – and by ‘decision’ I mean our decision to look for a rental – we found a place we liked, put down a deposit, and secured ourselves our next home in this crazy Brooklyn adventure. We’re moving, bitches! I’ll have more details, and pictures, in the coming weeks. We got keys yesterday, only to find out that the keys didn’t actually open the door to the flat (thankfully we got into the building, and thankfully the flat was unlocked), and there are a host of things that need finishing or fixing before we can move in (the place is a brand new construction building, never been lived in before). But, by July we’ll be in our new place!
Speaking of which, we were asked to help our wonderful landlord get some listing pictures together of our current little Pied, and I had to face the fact that I needed to photograph the bedroom area, even though it’s not even close to ‘done.’ I figured that if the entirety of NYC was going to be able to see the bedroom I might as well share it with you guys, too. Right?
All in all, the bedroom isn’t that bad. Aside from the no-windows thing. And the ‘enjoying our smoking-in-bed neighbors.’ But now you can see how truly tiny the entire flat is. Still, it’s been our full-time home for almost an entire year, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t going to miss it, a little. I’m like Morgan Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption: I’m an institutional man now.
But now I have hope. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope that spending an obscene amount of money on rent will give us happiness and peace. I hope that moving fairies come and do all the work for me. I hope… I hope…