Buying a House and Going on Vacation

by Jane Moneypenny

“How fun!”

This is the most commonly used phrase I’ve heard in the last month, next to “Well, with mortgage rates so low” and “It’s a great investment.” To me, buying real estate is nothing but stress.

It was already stressful in 2006 when my parents got a tiny downtown Chicago studio in my name to help my sad expensive freelancer taxes. At that time, I only showed up one day and signed a bunch of papers people put in front of me.

Now, I find every choice weighs heavily on me (as do most things for I am an anxious person). Am I doing the right thing? Is this the right place? Why is it so expensive? Why is 20% down so hard to get? Is it okay that I’ll be broke for a little bit because I don’t want to pay the pesky PMI? Is that inspection list all things I need to worry about? What if they don’t want to fix it? What color should the walls be? Should I re-tile the backsplash? What if I have a heart attack at 29 from stress and anxiety?

Most importantly, will I still be able to travel? With a very generous four weeks vacation, I find that life has gifted me a wonderful dream but ironically, I now will be poor from this condo. More time, no money. More money, no time. I’m going from zero debt to a nice hefty mortgage. I just learned that the term “mortgage” originated in France with the meaning of “death pledge.”

For my sanity, travel has to always be there. So yes, I’m buying a house and then scraping every mile I have to fly to Australia/New Zealand for two weeks right after. Then, another week to somewhere in the Caribbean in early May to celebrate my big 30th. Insane? Oh, of course. Poor money choices? Probably. Am I still going to do it? Hell yes.

Time to pick up a second job. Anyone need a babysitter? I need to go to therapy.

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