Easter is a time of resurrection. Flowers and trees and the animal world come alive after a winter dormancy. I feel that way in my life right now. I’m entering a new phase, and I’m excited and terrified: home ownership!
I know, I know, millions of people do it. But I’ve been avoiding it. Commitment issues, I guess. I’ve lived my life with one foot out the metaphorical door. And it’s nuts because I’m super stable, a total nester. But still, I need to feel like I have personal freedom. Personal freedom is one of my core values, so I’m most comfortable when I delude myself that I can take off or downsize my life at any time.
Home ownership has always been a symbol of yoke-dom. Mortgage! Yikes!
However, despite my resistance, I can’t not buy anymore. Here in Portland, the vacancy rate is so low that rents are skyrocketing. This is a huge wake up call: Doh, time to buy!
So here I am, going for it despite my terror. My stomach is in knots even though I’m excited too. This internal conflict fascinates me. We are such complicated creatures, aren’t we?
Here are couple of other ways that I’m complicated right now:
Complication #1: Personal Freedom
There are many kinds of personal freedom. My fear of home ownership stems from a fear of financial yoke-dom. But, I keep thinking about the personal freedom I’ll feel living in an environment that’s all mine.
I’m the conscientious type, so I’ve spent years keeping my music low and rarely inviting people over because of the noise factor. There’s also the privacy factor (and I’m a very private person despite this blogging thing I do). I’ve never been able to stomach people knowing what I’m up to through the walls.
I’m sick of being quiet. I want my own place so I can turn up my cheesy 80s dance music and flit around without worrying about sounding like an elephant to my downstairs neighbor. I want to invite friends over to scary movies nights, turn up the volume, and scream at the top of my lungs when something jumps out of the closet.
In other words, it’s gotten to the point that personal home environment freedom outweighs my fear of financial inflexibility.
Complication #2: Female Equality
Obviously, I know that women are different from men AND equal to men. It’s no big deal for women to buy their own homes.
Yet, somehow it is a big deal. It feels harder in some ways than if I were a man. I’ve avoided home ownership in part because I don’t feel equal to men in certain areas that would be very, VERY beneficial as a home owner. Fixing things, being handy, negotiating Home Depot.
I know my feeling of not being equal is BS because I have guy friends who aren’t handy and hire out everything, and I have female friends who are quite the DIYers. It’s just this funny little traditional side of me that would like a man by my side about now. I’d be more comfortable for sure, but life isn’t always comfortable, is it?
Sidenote: From a societal perspective it seems like it’s still kind of a big deal when a single woman buys her own home with only her own money. I’ve received interesting comments including that I should be “proud” of myself for taking this step.
Wish me luck! Do you have any secrets and advice for doing the home ownership well?