Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Step 1 Toward Home Ownership: Have Money.

So my husband and I are no longer renting our spacious 1 million dollar home. When I say "1 million dollar home", here in the San Francisco East Bay, that means "Fixer Upper", or as the Real Estate agents like to put it, "Contractor's Special". You might ask, "Ann and Husby, WHY would you give up a spacious 3 bedroom home where deer and bunny rabbits would graze on the fruit of the trees in 'your' backyard, and you could have house guests and fun parties, and EVERYONE you know over at the same time, because you had lots and lots of space?" Well, we moved out because we have decided we would like to join the kajillions of people scrambling to buy homes at twice the price they're worth for half the space, and become house poor. Yes, we want to own our OWN Fixer Upper/Piece of Crap/Contractor's Special! So in order to save enough cash to make this possible, we have moved... into my parents' home.

Now before you start laughing or cursing at our stupidity (depending on what type of person you are) , let me tell you a few of the great things resulting from this decision (there are a few not-so-great things, but today we're focusing on the POSITIVES):
1) FREE FOOD. But only on one unfortunate stipulation: that I cook. The good thing about this is that I get a "training period", where my mom cooks all her yummy stews and roasts and chowders while I watch. Can't complain about that. Plus, when I start cooking on my own, I'm gonna be so Martha Stewarty (insert your own ankle bracelet joke here) that my husband might actually keep me.
2) COSTCO TRIPS. I can't tell you how many times I have been to this bulk-sized Mecca since we've moved in. Okay, actually, I can: 6 times. Now, six might not seem like such a large number until YOU REALIZE THAT WE'VE BEEN LIVING THERE ONLY 3 WEEKS. My mother has a certain obsession with the place. But ya know what? I'm not going to complain. Because A: I'm not paying for anything; B: their rotisserie chickens are so dang good; and C: One word. SAMPLES. If you've ever been there, no more needs to be said.
3) ORGANIZING. I love to organize and throw stuff away. A lot. In a "I think I missed my calling to have my own HGTV show" kind of way. And my mom has told me to feel free to clean my little heart away, which I happily do because it helps me feel like less of a Mooch. However, my parents, bless their hearts, are part of the generation that was raised by the generation that went through the Depression. Meaning: they were taught to keep EVERYTHING (my grandparents actually keep-and use-the same paper napkin throughout the entire day, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. No, I'm not exaggerating). So when I say my parents keep everything, I mean that 19 year-old Get Well card from my mom's cousin when she had the flu, or the half-melted candle that shouldn’t be thrown out “just in case the power goes out”. This has not only given me enough work to do for the next 38 weekends, but it also leads to my next positive aspect of living with Pam and Lee:
4) CHARITY. I have sent Lee to Good Will 4 times in the last few weeks with a full truck bed. And these aren’t just some pansy trips with some wimpy Ford Ranger bed-full, I’m talkin’ Ford F-250 extended-bed-with-camper-shell-so-there’s-even-vertical-room-for-junk, bed-full. It feels so good to help the needy.
5) DEBT FREEDOM. In 1 month, we'll have paid off our credit cards, and in 3 months, my student loans should be P-A-I-D. Can I get a woop woop?
6) FEELING LIKE KIDS AGAIN. But even better: kids with no curfew, our own cars, no acne, and the freedom to be sexually active (with each other, of course).

Ahhh, yes, life is good in the McCleary/Silva crib. Now I'm gonna go clean out a closet somewhere.


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Erika said...

The same napkin all day? lol that's horrible!!