12 March 2009

The readiness is all


As a New Yorker, the very concepts of property and real estate have always been incomprehensible. No one I know owes property in Manhattan. NYC is, and will always be, a city of renters. 

I lived in New York for nearly five years, and at the end of each year, what did I have to show for it? As my father, god bless him, was always so swift to remind me, nothing. Nothing but a "receipt book." According to him, the goal of the game is acquisition. Acquiring property, equity and so forth. In the end of course, we can't take any of it with us, but, while we are here at least, capital and real estate are king.

The D.E.B. and I looked at a property here in Barford last week, and there is not much to report beyond that. We looked, we liked, we left.

We chatted about it incessantly after, dreamed about it, and even had a chat with a mortgage office at a local Building Society on Monday. Then...nothing. The house has not been mentioned since. I have tried to bring it up casually, to no avail.

As a rootless New Yorker, I am desperate to have a place to call my own. A kitchen that is mine, a garden that is ours, and etc. The D.E.B. seems, well, indifferent. Which quite unlike him, to be sure. Perhaps the current financial climate is the source of his cautiousness, or perhaps he is just feels the need for us to focus on one thing at a time. (Boys are like that, aren't they?) We are neck-deep in the midst of wedding planning at the moment, maybe another big move would be a bit much to take on just now. (As a side-note: I once had a friend who managed, rather fearlessly, to graduate from University and get married in the same day! How's that for multi-tasking!)

At any rate, I just don't want this cottage to get away!!! It could be years before another such property comes on the market in Barford. There is very little turn over in locales like this.

Okay. In true English cottage fashion, the house we looked at--built in 1820--is tiny and narrow. But it has the benefit of being bright and cheery, with lots of 19th century charm and character. A working fireplace, a cellar, small conservatory--perfect, perfect writer's space--and a sweet, little garden. 

The master bedroom is a good size, the second bedroom is only so-so. Again, in true English fashion, there is precious little storage space. I actually asked the woman of the couple selling the place: "Where do you keep your clothes?" Her reply: "I downsized." (Yikes!)

So, okay, less than perfect, but far from a write-off. I think it would be a great start for us. 
Especially as we are keen to start working on a family soon.

I have to gauge how much and how far to push on this. A part of what I am feeling is fueled by the overwhelming nesting urges I have that are completely in over-drive at the moment, but also by my deep-set sense of the pointlessness of renting.

The D.E.B. comes from a different mind-set. This is the first time in his adult life that he has lived a renter, and I think he relishes the new-found freedom that non-property-ownership brings. I just fear we are going to look up one day and see a SOLD sign in front of that cute cottage over the road...


Spike 1 said...

all things in good time lil Spike...

Random Thoughts said...

Owning something that is not perfect or really close to perfect seems scary. When you rent you can get fed up with lack of storage and move, when you own, the lady is right you down size. If it appears small now, how small will it appear when you add a bouncer and highchair and crib and swing and blocks and booties. Maybe the DEB, wants something more perfect for your future family.