Sundays Are For (Week 4)

by justine

Here’s an update on us post-wedding. I love all of the free time I have, the space inside my brain to fill with ideas, projects, poems and dreams, none of which need include napkin colors or cake flavors. For H, the wedding / honeymoon passing signifies a refocus of our financial plans to new target… a house.

Honestly, I have no idea how we’ll ever afford one, especially without going way the f-up into the no-man’s land of Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. The thought of being far from the westside makes me so sad. Even though I understand why renting is a waste, and I feel frustrated I can’t just re-caulk the bathroom myself b/c we don’t own it, I feel a house is something insurmountable.

If I was dragged kicking and screaming through the wedding process, I foresee the house buying process to go only slightly smoother for me emotionally. Yes, I want a yard, a patio, my own kitchen, to repaint the walls or replace carpet… but to lose the cool westside breezes, the bike-able beach access, the cute neighborhoods I’ve grown to love… It just doesn’t seem worth it.

H feels differently. From both a practical and emotional view, he is obsessed with owning a home. He spends time every day pouring over real-estate iPad apps, searching for that one perfect place. Like a good wife (and curious 20-something) I venture out with him to look at houses. We’ve done this a total of 2.5x. This morning, we ventured up PCH to Oxnard, CA. 50+miles one way.

The drive up the coast was gorgeous and easy even with beach traffic. We stopped in Malibu for iced coffees and to let Carter Cash take a pee break. We continued past the navel base and into Port Hueneme. It wasn’t enticing. We found the Channel Islands area and marina. This section was much cuter, but with an equivalent price tag. We took Carter Cash for a walk and stopped into an open house on the beach front, just to see what it cost. The listing was $2.7 million, and while it didn’t seem unreasonable for the ridiculous view and location, this block is clearly beyond our price range.

It was pretty disappointing, but I’m glad we went. I’m all for any actions that throw a realistic light onto these house-owning plans. You can’t get the feel for a place via an online listing.

So a few of our Sundays have become “house hunting” days, though they’re not efficient or serious. The worst part is the “affordable” areas are so far away from our current apartment. It’s like moving to a new city and overall, depressing. It would be better if we like an area and knew we could afford it if only a matter of saving money and time… but we have yet to find that place.

(The above picture of Carter Cash is the only one I took on our little drive today)