having stress, panic attacks, worrying…..bear with me the picture is there for a reason…. i’m trying to turn off my brain for a while, i’m watching travel documentaries on the Roku and browsing the internet for things i don’t need… inside my head…one part of me has curled into a ball saying “what have i done what have i done?” because i know i can’t or at least DON’T have an income to support an actual house of my own……and another part is just fixated on the 1st 10 minutes with the house money in my fist, wondering how many of the things that have been on my want list 15 years, I can buy without getting myself into trouble, and then still another part of my brain is saying “fuck it, i can be poor there just as well as here, at least I will live like a grown up for a few minutes.”
Seriously I know my faults. I suck at managing money, i have to invent rules to keep my head above water, and no matter how many jobs i have and how many skills I learn, and how many projects i have started, in the last 18 years I have never been able to make enough to support myself in anything remotely grown up method.
My theory shopping for a duplex in a market where i can pretty much afford to buy one outright is that, if i completely fuck up my life, at least I can resell it. If i only fuck up a little, the second unit will give me a little income to put away for taxes and building maintenance. I can HOPE that i can pay my utilities there, i have never been able to here for any length of time. But to be fair, my apartment is a bitch to heat, the house leaks like a sieve, the living room is 30″x15″x10″…yes you read that right, with windows on 3 sides, so i can’t really close off part of the apartment to save energy. But where i go will be BIGGER, and will have outside to worry about, and yard and garage, and roof etcetera etcetera etcetera…my god what have i done? who am i kidding?
A lot of this fussing is futile, until i start seeing houses and know where i’m going, i don’t exactly know what i am fussing about. A small sane part of my head is saying, you can hire a property management company, you can hire an acct, then all the other parts of my brain shout that part down saying “with what monies? and for how long?” Unless i have an income that exceeds my outgo, the unspent money from the house won’t last very long.
Aside from buying a place to live, and a truck that has another 15 years left in it, the only other expenditure i had authorized myself that is is guilt free….(besides paying the lawyer, the tax acct, and anyone anywhere i owe money to – including the fucking utilities) Was to invest a couple of thousand dollars in SicPress.com supplies and books. I still think the way to go is to increase the online money generating projects with cash infusion WHILE i have the cash, because as things go along, that WILL be my best road to self suffiency.
Old age is just on the other side of the hill, so i need to make a start at planning for that…yeah i know…shut up! …. people who have been expecting to be dead by now have a hard time planning ahead. I have always had my percentage of this house as my retirement fund, it’s the only static thing in my life, regardless of what else happens i own half the building… and now i won’t. i will own something else… but what if that is a big mistake?
i can’t even look at the single families, unless i want to jump on the fixer upper roller coaster, of always living in a crappy house under repair, waiting to resell it to the next bloke. The single family home market there is still depressed as far as i can see. I can’t take the chance of putting all my cash into a place only to have it sit on the market for a year. Multi units are usually always in demand, because you have two different buyers, investors and owner occupiers. So I am very confident with THAT decision. That doesn’t scare me. Getting bad tenants scares me, but i will certainly hire a company to vet the people, I don’t like humans enough to do that.
I guess in the last 8 days I have put too many of my hopes on this project. This is a feeling i swore off years ago… too many times when i was married, i would be promised a life changing experience that would come crashing down around my head. time after time i would make plans to uproot my life and move to another town for another job, only to have it fall through and then i’d have to pick myself up and go back to my shitty life. Now i have had a shitty life for a couple of decades, and i have kept my work boot on the neck of that version of me who gets excited or hopeful about anything…anything. the way i deal with disappointment is to never expect anything, then when it fails i’m not any further down the depression scale, but it if succeeds i am pleasantly surprised. but that hardly happens. As I say to those younger than myself…i lead a life of diminished expectations…if you don’t expect anything you can’t be disappointed – right?
So as a relaxing exercise i have been pretending to spend more of the money i don’t have yet. I will be bringing a total of 3 pieces of furniture that is not a bookcase or table. nearly everything else i own is a book, paper, camera equipment, bicycle or boat. i don’t have the lifestyle i used to have, i don’t have a kitchen or dining table, dining chairs, couch, lamps, coffee table…all gone. I lie…..the dinette set from my childhood is in the basement, and my mother’s love seats are in the garage. I will bring them just so i am not in an empty house… but what i decided on, tentatively…tentatively mind you… is a sturdy wooden Buy-for-life-couch/futon. the one i settled on is from LLBEAN, it’s grotesquely priced…which violates one of my big rules, buy the best made of what i can afford, and it violates another rule, ‘don’t buy anything you can’t lift’ but it comes disassembled, that counts right?
I want to have a decent sleepable couch in the living room, because i am damn near certain my office desk will be in the living room, and the second bedroom…which i have to have, or what’s the point of moving, that room will be holding the industrial shelving and all the unsightly packing stuff…right now it’s all in the laundry room in the basement. It has to go someplace, and it can’t go someplace unheated.
I’m not bringing the tv which weighs more than my 1st car, i’m not bringing the wicker couch which isn’t an actual couch, it’s a very large scratching post for the cats, i will just replace it with something else they can destroy. I’m not bringing the actual cat trees, i only have a couple they just sleep on them, they can sleep on something else. I have a number of bookcases…about 12 some disassmble, some stack,…oh shit..i forgot the 2 in the office, 14…i have plenty to fill them, and sadly where i am going i will probably need to construct more. books make good insulation.
The more i think about what i have to store, and compare it to the average american house, i realize i am fucked. I can’t dedicated a big empty living room to a conversation set up of 2 arm chairs, a couch, coffee table etc…why? i haven’t had that set up for 12 years…i nearly never have people just sitting around my living room. Basically i am trying to envision my lifestyle, so i can figure out how big a place i need and what conifiguration i need.
I am giving up a great deal here, i have a living space with an office, a screened brick porch, all the storage in the garage, basement and carriage house, not to mention the storage and shipping are down in the laundry room. On the surface it sounds like i am moving to gain space, where in actuality i will be no doubt be losing space, by having to condense all my crap into a smaller footprint.
Now i have worked myself back to the fetal position and now i am rocking… wtf? but i HAVE to do this, the mere thought makes me happy. The brain work I am doing this envisioning a new life is the 1st thing i have been excited about in a while, in five years, since i started working on the rail trail. but i have taken that project as far as it can go, it’s time for me to leave. I had been planning an escape since i was young, i need to leave a lot more than stuff behind. And I am not about to start buying crap to take with, me, i can buy crap there. There’s is crap everywhere in the world, why am in such a hurry to spend my money?
I’m not. LLBEAN has been selling that same futon for 20 years, it’s not going anywhere. I can even set up a search to look for a used one. I just like the idea of kickin back on that couch in my new living room with my feet up on a cardboard box. But just to be sure, i may take a drive up to Freeport before i move and test drive the furniture, it would suck to get it assembled and realize my feet don’t reach the floor.