Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yikes, I'm an adult!!! - Part 1

There's something about paying roughly $1000 a month in rent for eleven years straight that makes me queasy.  I love NYC, but I could have bought a house with the money I have flushed down the toilet.  Sometimes renting is the only option, but regardless, it is a win/lose situation since one is basically paying off someone else's mortgage.   Somehow I've always been on the wrong side of that transaction.  I aimed to change that.

As many of you know, I visited New Mexico in April of 2009 after a twenty year absence. I visited a few towns and stayed mostly at the family cabin in Tres Ritos (all documented in previous blog entries). Instantly, I felt at home in that state, as if my life had been waiting to take a week long exhale. From that point on, the notion of living in Santa Fe had filled my head.  I watched the housing market online almost daily, seeing what money can buy. For those of you not familiar with Santa Fe, it is probably the priciest town in the southwest, and for good reason.  With a population of a mere seventy thousand, Santa Fe attracts those who seek something truly different.  The climate is wonderful, the scenery is breathtaking, and the food is worth a trip alone.

This last weekend, I flew out to Santa Fe to check out some condos.  Houses were simply out of my reach.   My realtor and my father (who is also a realtor) were waiting and we hit the ground running.  Within an hour of getting into town, we were looking at places. The first few were discouraging, because they were pretty shabby and hardly seemed worth the money.  We then saw two other places, both of which I loved, but were rather small. Seeing how I have lived in tiny rooms for the most of eleven years, the size didn't bother me a bit. We then visited the condo that was first on my list. The price was reasonable and it was clearly a nicer place than any of the others.

After crunching numbers over a few tamales, I made an offer on the place. We decided to low ball it and see if the seller would take it. Thirty-six long hours went by before we heard a response.  The realtor contacted me with the seller's counteroffer and seeing how my flight was leaving within a few hours, the seller made a counteroffer and I took it.  My departure from NYC will come right at the end of May after Pearl Jam plays at the Garden.   I sort of view that as swan song for New York and I get sort of teary-eyed thinking about it.   I'll be packing the U-Haul and moving into my own place within days.   I never thought I would own a place, especially one with such cool floors, but now I do.

The furniture in these pictures is "display" furniture to help sell the place.   It worked.  I don't actually own any furniture at this point, so I'll be starting from scratch.   Thankfully, Obama likes to give away free money, so my $8,000 tax credit can help me swank this place up with a giant TV and maybe a couch.  However, I do own a life-sized Han Solo in Carbonite, which I will thrilled to display after more than a decade in storage.  

Why couldn't I have known this while he was alive?

So, my father and uncle told me this remarkable story about my grandfather.  This story that is so badass that I wish I had known about this before he died.  I would have talked to him at length about this and probably recorded it somehow.   Back when he was maybe twenty or so, he was hitchhiking from Mississippi to New Mexico for a job, probably on a farm or something of that nature.   A man pulls up in a car with his wife behind him in another car.   He asked if my grandfather would drive that car so he could ride with his wife in the other car.   That sounded reasonable, so they both drove off down the road for a short time, maybe a few hours or so.  

Eventually, they got to the place where the husband and wife needed to go north.   My grandfather got out of the car, the couple each took a car again and drove off.   My grandfather didn't think anything of it.    After a few days passes by, he sees the car he drove and the couple on the front of the local newspaper.