where the writers are
Back on the Market, Housing Market
Help me buy a house. Buy the book.

Michael and I decided to move into together over a year ago.  At that time, neither of us had divested ourselves of the houses we had with our soon-to-be former spouses.  I was about to, though the upshot of that wasn't going to be buying me a pad in Piedmont or, say, El Cerrito any time soon.  Michael was a ways off from selling his, too, so we went ahead an rented a house in Oakland, in a perfect spot for our commutes.  He goes left, I go right, and it was all very convenient.

The house is nice, surrounded by those often deadly but lovely Monterey pines.  The backyard--which is inaccessible during the rainy months unless you like to surf downhill in mud--is full of oak trees.  My office looks out at oak and redwood trees, and I watch birds when I should be writing novels.

Despite the fact that the foundation seems to be losing its grip on the building, the electricity is like a spook-house set up, the plumbing has been a constant irritation, and the floors all creak, we like living here.  We fantasize about what we would do to it could we do it, but it doesn't look like we will have the chance.

We thought we might like to buy this house, but our landlords--who moved out of state just before we moved in--don't have a clear grasp on the housing market.  They want to break even on the house, and even get the money back that they put into their house three years ago in a vastly different housing market.

Break even?  I guess they haven't been following the economy too closely.  Both Michael and I have been squeezed and poked by he Bay Area housing market in the past year, and it hurts.  If you can get out with your clothes on your back, you are lucky.

So this week, we are going to be commencing a house search.  We will get our agent to find us what we want, and we will spend months looking for a house that will work--only to be outbid.  We will move on to another.  It will be, as they say, a barrel full of monkeys worth of fun.  And then, I hope, we will move.  If any one is listening, I want to say, I will NOT be moving again, until they cart me out on a stretcher.  I have had it will address changes and toting couches to and fro. 

What frightens me most is having to give my mother new directions to yet another house.  The new house will make if four places in three years.  Mom, I know you are reading this.  Get ready.

So, if any of you have a great 3 and 2, with a view and easy access to Highway 24, let me know!


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my heart goes out to you . . .

. . . if you have even a third of the books I do! : ) I have been a perpetual nomad since I started college, moving around even when I'm not leaving a city, sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity. But I am reaching the limit on what I can stand, in the way of boxing and unboxing books. It may be that my library will finally be the thing that forces me back into the housing market -- to buy, rather than rent, this time... We'll see!

Good luck with it!

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I am in a similar situation as you. I met and am now married to a wonderful woman, but due to school and child custody issues with my ex (I have two kids and so does my new wife) she moved in with me. My apartment was fine for myself and my two kids, but now with the six of us it is WAY too small. However, we can't move until my wife is able to sell her condo.

With the housing market the way it is we have not had much luck and the condo (a nice one by the way) has been on the market since last July. Add to this that my freelance work has nearly completely dried up due to the economy (I am essentially unemployed and can't even find work cooking, my old stand-by) and there are very few jobs to even apply for, we are hurting very badly right now.

I'm not sure how it is all going to work out, but there are so many people in a similar situation. It makes me think that with so many people dependent on selling something before being able to buy, a stimulus package could simply just go out and buy up some existing housing stock to get the ball rolling again.

Oh well...Best of luck to you.


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thank you Evie and James for

thank you Evie and James for sharing my pain, if in different ways. Too many books! Yes. I've been whittling down since I left the house I shared with FS (former spouse). I am down to the ones I love plus the children's books I cannot bear to give away. Having an office at work has been wonderful for storage! But even that place is getting out of hand. Good luck, James, with your brood and too small place. I know I sometimes feel cramped around her during the holidays and the four kids are here at times. But they are older and have places they "really" live. The visits are reasonable. I hope the condo sells! Best, J Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com