Change is brewing. I have a home inspection scheduled for next Tuesday, and if everything works smoothly (not that it has yet, so I don't know if I should plan on it going forward), I close on the house on April 16.
It suddenly hit me today how big of a change this is on so many levels. I was really pushing to get the inspection to be on a Saturday, but for a variety of reasons it just wasn't working out (lots of drama with stupid bureaucrats). One reason I wanted it on a Saturday was obviously so that I wouldn't have to miss any work for it. Another reason I realized is that I really wanted to have someone come with me to act as a voice of reason. I don't necessarily want it to be someone who thinks I'm crazy for buying right now, but I also know that my realtor has a significant financial incentive for me to actually follow through with the deal. The inspector will be extremely helpful for telling me whether there are any specific problems, but he won't be able to give me a sense of whether I'd be able to find renters.
Or whether people would ever visit me.
My mother happened to be online, so I was chatting with her about it. She pointed out that the road between Seattle and Auburn really would be a one-way road. I'll be spending time in Seattle because I work here. I'm planning on taking the train most of the time, but I'm considering driving up once or twice a week, depending on what else is going on. Which means that I'd have the flexibility of visiting people while I'm up here. But nobody will be going down to Auburn and it will be too far to drive just to visit me.
But people rarely visit me living here in Seattle, so what does it really matter?
One thing that I've been discussing with Abe is that this isn't a purely financial decision. In fact, I could probably wait for the market to keep going down and try to catch the bottom. Except that then I'd be competing with everybody else trying to catch the bottom as well. I was actually just about to get out of the contract I have on this house because they were taking so long to follow through with it. And of course 6 weeks later, I wonder if I could be getting a better deal - better location, better house, or better price - than the one I'm committed to. Of course, it may be too late to be considering that and now I need to focus instead on whether this is worth the amount that I've already offered, independent of what other deals may or may not be available.
Of course right now everybody's panicking about whether or not everything is going to go up in smoke. My employer did okay last year - extremely well when you consider that most retailers are doing horribly. But past performance doesn't necessarily imply future performance and at the end of the day I do work in retail. I simply can't live my life assuming that I'm going to lose my job, though. That's no way to live. And I did do my research - I could just barely make ends meet even if I'm collecting unemployment.