Monday, May 19, 2014

Am I Ready to Buy A Home On My Own?

“We are planning to put the apartment on the market…”

Yes, my landlord was talking about my beloved apartment, the apartment I yearned for during the long months of co-habitating with my ex-husband. It felt like our condo would never sell (and for six months, it didn’t). When I walked into this apartment, I hadn’t even turned on the lights when I turned to my realtor and exclaimed, “This is it! This is my apartment! Call right now!” 

The day I got the keys, I strolled into this empty apartment and laid down on the bedroom floor, my arms and legs spread like a star. I smiled ear to ear as tears trickled down my face.

My apartment,” I thought. “All mine. I did it. I’m back on my own!”

I can't leave this view!!
Over the past eight months, this apartment has symbolized my independence and joy as I have moved on without Max and redefined myself. The collectively shitty experience of living in a condo I didn’t want in a town I didn’t really like has become a distant memory, thanks to this apartment in Ford.

And now my landlord wants to sell it?! I almost puked and burst into tears.

So, now what?

I have two options: move again or… buy this place.

(Actually, my first thought was that episode of The Golden Girls when Blanche handcuffed herself to the radiator at her grandmother's plantation, but I thought that might be a tad overdramatic for me.)

Being a Homeowner Sucked Last Time

I was kind of traumatized by my last home ownership experience. But can you blame me?

We bought our condo in March of 2010, five months after we got married. To be honest, I have almost no happy memories of living there. Plenty of good things happened in my life during those years, but within those condo walls, it was mostly sadness, loneliness, and rejection. Once my relationship with Max was over, those feelings were overshadowed by overwhelming frustration of being trapped as we waited for that damn buyer to show up.

We dropped the condo price more than once, each time tens of thousands of dollars flying away from us. So not only was I terribly frustrated with my living situation but I was also actively LOSING money on it? This is the American Dream? I call bullshit!

When we finally signed over the condo, I was an emotional wreck (but relieved too). I remember thinking, “If I never own a home again, it will be too soon.”

Is It Time To Buy?

Yoshi's plan for how to buy my apartment.
Yeah, homeownership did suck with Max… but it largely sucked because the condo was my scapegoat. It symbolized the sadness of a crumbling marriage.  The curveball of divorce and a slumping condo market in G-town were things we couldn’t have predicted.

But I did learn a lot from the experience. I will ask more and better questions this time (like, hello, the policy on renting out the unit).

I have downpayment money in a savings account called – you guessed it – “Downpayment.” I know I love this apartment. I know the people in the building are normal (there were a lot of grumpy weirdos in my previous building). My commute is only 20 minutes. I can walk to everything I need.

Unlike last time where we were buying in a town I didn’t know, I love Ford. I have done a lot of thinking over the past year about where I want to live, and I’ve come to the conclusion that for the foreseeable future, this is where I want to be.

So… why not commit to buying? 

I’m doing it! I’m going to make an offer to buy my apartment! 

What was your post-split living situation like?

Epic Mommy Adventures


  1. Good decision. Your last experience (unfortunately your first) was a total anomaly due to the total housing market collapse. Although by 2010 you bought pretty low and then the market dropped for another 2 years after that. That won't happen again anytime soon for a variety of reasons. This time around, the place will be yours and yours only, so any undesirable living situation you might get into with some new clown (basically, any guy that isn't me), is easily rectified by kicking him to the curb. When it comes time to sell, you won't have the urgency of an emotional timeline. And if you are in a good area, you ought to be able to rent it pretty easily.
    If you live in a desirable area and love the place, the investment will retain value and you can build equity outside the stock market. Apartments make easier investments than houses and are easier to sell most of the time anyway. If you leave the $ in a bank account too long, you are actually losing money because of inflation. As you know, owning gives you the tax benefit and puts a few grand back in your pocket. Plus, the place will really feel like it's yours. Rates have ticked up in the past year and are headed back up to the 5% range in the not too distant future, so the getting is still good right now around 4.25%. Rental restrictions usually apply only to co-ops, not condos, but there might be some associations that try to restrict it.

  2. Yes, hopefully this next purchasing and owning experience won't be so emotionally charged.
    My condo (not a co-op) had a super strict policy about renting. Not that Max and I wanted to be landlords, but nevertheless it was an option that we did not have.

  3. Since I had no previous work experience or college under my belt I had to fall back on my parents for a living situation. Sucks big time but they are really helping me out while I'm in college.
    I hope to get my own apartment within the next six months, pending they let me take my dog with me. lol

  4. Good thing you had your parents' support and home to fall back on! Hopefully you can use this time to heal and get your finances squared away. I'm so excited for you to have your own space!

  5. Do it! A symbol of your freshly single and moving on and up status! Congrats!

  6. April @ 100lbcountdownMay 25, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    I don't have a post-split living situation, but I just bought a house. So far so good. I miss not being able to call someone to fix something for free. I miss not being thinking about what if, and moving elsewhere. But I think that's a form of escapism. I've never really lived in one place for more than a couple of years. Good luck! I hope you love the apartment!

  7. Thanks! I've been condo shopping... Very exciting time.

  8. Yes, I hear you on the escapism. But the truth is, where else would I go? I like where I live!