Sunday, February 12, 2012

No. 844 – Staring at the Sun

Performer: U2
Songwriters: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jr.
Original Release: Pop
Year: 1997
Definitive Version: None

We were coming up on the second anniversary of our having moved in together in 1997 when Debbie began to make noises about taking the next major step in our relationship. No, it wasn’t kids, thank goodness. It was buying a house.

I was hesitant. A house seemed like a huge responsibility. It wasn’t the financial aspect of it that bothered me. That’s easy. You find something you like and can afford. It was the physical stuff, the day-to-day taking care of things. I was no handyman. However, I did have my Dad and grandfather’s genes, so maybe the handyman gene was passed along. I’ve done yard work before. I’ve reroofed a garage. I can read a manual. How hard can it really be? I relented, somewhat reluctantly.

Not that Debbie was waiting for my approval before moving ahead anyway. It seemed every Sunday when we ceremoniously read the paper before breakfast, she scanned the classifieds and told me about this house or that one.

On the financial aspect, we agreed: We wanted only so much house that we could still do the fun things we enjoyed. If we wanted to take a weekend getaway to Chicago or Maine, we could do so. If we wanted to go to a restaurant and drop $100 on a great bottle of wine, it wouldn’t put us in danger of missing a mortgage payment. I did some figuring and determined that we could fit a $150,000 house easily into our lifestyle.

Unfortunately, that pretty much took German Village out of the equation. Even though our Gahanna apartment was an ideal location and worked out great, we both missed being in the city. German Village meant we’d have to start at at least $250,000 or go fixer-upper, and neither of us was interested in that challenge.

But the price wasn’t the only consideration. Debbie had just bought a new car—an Accord—and my car wasn’t getting any younger at 100,000 miles and counting. A $250K house in German Village still might leave you with street parking. Debbie said she had to have a garage, and I said that if we’re going garage, we have to get a two-car. We had a one-car garage in Gahanna, and I was tired of having to scrape my car in the winter.

So a two-car garage non fixer-upper at around $150K meant we had to stay in the suburbs, and that meant Gahanna or Westerville. There was no sense in moving south to, say, Reynoldsburg or west to, say, Hilliard, which were just starting to blow up, because that would make Debbie’s commute ridiculously long.

And the search was on.

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