Yesterday, I sent a happy birthday email to an old high school friend of mine. He tends to bounce between New York and DC, since he has residences and businesses in both locales. For that reason, I shall call him Dueling, as in dueling districts. Dueling emailed me that a few friends were gathering for drinks at a bar in DC for his birthday celebration, and I was welcome to join them.
Dueling has been asking to meet Red Beard for a couple months now, so I asked Red Beard if he would like to come with me. He had too much schoolwork to do, and he advised me to go alone. I didn’t really want to go alone, and the thought of staying home and cocooning for another night was very tempting to me.
“I hate to see you pass up an opportunity to see your friend,” he said. He was right. So I went. As it often goes when you don’t feel like going out, but you drag yourself out anyway, I had a great time. It was no less than fantastic to see my old friend.
As we caught up, I told him about Red Beard’s and my plan to buy some real estate, and also about Turkey’s cautionary advice to bring a ring into the picture. Dueling told me, “I think Turkey made a decent suggestion, but only because a house isn’t a liquid asset, and it would be a pain in the ass to unwind your investment if you had to – but let’s not assume that you guys are going to break up, since that doesn’t sound like the way things are going. So in light of the developments – that you live together, you’re both very happy and you want to buy a home together – is this it for you? You’re ready to settle down?”
I thought for a second and said, “Yeah, you know, I am ready. I love this guy. And now that we’re talking real estate, it’s forcing me to take a look at where we’re going and what we’re doing relationship-wise, and it just plain makes sense. Moving in together was the best decision I’ve ever made. It’s been a big bundle of instant gratification.”
Dueling asked, “What’s gotten you guys to the point where you want to buy a house?”
I mused, “Well, we originally started talking about buying a place together because we’re both mentally geared up to stop renting and make the investment. I’ve never had that feeling in the past. I’ve certainly never been in the financial position until now, but then again, I’ve never had someone I wanted to buy a home with before. I’d always been thinking that getting a house meant I had to do it alone, and that wasn’t appealing… or frankly, even close to possible.”
Dueling agreed, “I just bought a house myself, and getting there mentally and financially is such a challenge that once I was ready to make the investment, it felt like nothing could stop me. I think being mentally primed is half the battle.”
I concurred. “Indeed. We decided we’re ready, so we’re going for it. I think it’ll shake out the right way. I mean, if it doesn’t, then it doesn’t, and that would be tragic of course. But I think we have the right momentum to make it work and I’m keeping my feet off the break.”
Duel offered his congratulations and said, “Good for you. I’m happy for you guys.”
On my way home, I picked up some sushi for Red Beard and me. While we ate our dinner, Red Beard described a new housing development where a coworker of his recently bought a place. He explained that the location is pretty far out there, but the town homes are spectacular.
When we were finished eating, Red Beard said, “I’m going to see if I can look the place up online so I can show you.” After a quick search, he found the web site. We gaped at the stunning pictorial. These were the most incredible looking homes we’d seen so far, and they were within our price range.
Red Beard warned that our commutes would be terrible. He pulled up a map so we could analyze just how bad it would be. Pretty frickin’ bad. He continued to move the map around to show me different neighborhoods, their personalities and convenience factors. We determined there is no way to avoid making a compromise between size and location.
As we lay in bed before going to sleep, Red Beard played with the weird mole hair growing out of my arm, and I wiggled my limb out of his hands. I asked, “Is this the kind of thing we’d do in that huge house in the middle of no where?”
He laughed, “What, groom each other like monkeys?”
I said, “I think it would be more like ‘The Shining.’ You know, big house, nothing around for miles…” I giggled and did my best Nicolson impression: “Heeeerrrre’s Johnny!”
Red Beard growled, “Redrum! Redrum!” We chuckled for a minute before he reached over and turned out the light.