I just called my credit union and left a message with one of their mortgage originators (must be her lunch hour) about what I want to do. I left my cubicle's phone number instead of my cell, 'cause reception is bad in here. Well, what do I expect? Middle of the room under four floors' worth of books, do I think I'm gonna be able to call out? The Verizon "can-you-hear-me-now" dude needs to come scout around in here.
Reactions to what I'm trying to do have been mixed: my mother is so excited I can hear her bouncing up and down in her seat right now. I had to let a teensy bit of the air out her balloon by reminding her that sometimes I can be all talk.
"Look how long it took me to learn how to drive," I pointed out, via email.
"Drive?" She wrote back. "When did you learn how to drive? Have you been holding out on me?"
"No, Mom. That was my point."
Bess (at work) thinks it's great. Nothing like owning your own place, she says.
Jane (another friend of mine, making her first appearance in my blog. Under an assumed name, of course) on the other hand was a total wet blanket. Went to dinner with her last week and the very first words out of her mouth when I mentioned my plans were negative. She was all about how expensive housing is around here, and how much money home ownership costs in general. Didn't have one word of encouragement. I had to bite back my initial response (I tend to do that a lot with her. Maybe someday I should just let her have it), which was something along the lines of "You're just jealous because I'm taking steps to change my situation, and you're scared that I might succeed." She seems happiest when someone nearby fails. I don't know why that is. I don't know why I continue to hang out with her, actually.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have Sunny. I bumped into her in the grocery store yesterday evening. We used to work in the same department, but her tolerance for BS is much, much, much lower than mine, so Sunny found work elsewhere years ago. I haven't seen her in ages.
I told her what was up with me lately and she got all excited.
"There is the cutest little townhouse for sale near me. It looks out over a cornfield. It's near a bus route...and the YMCA...you have to see it!"
She started to describe where it was, and then said,
"Are you busy right now? I'll take you over!"
-We interrupt this blog entry for an important (to me) bulletin-
Just heard back from the woman I called. She took some info over the phone (I thought we'd have to meet or something), is going to run some numbers and email me a "good faith" estimate later on today. Oooohhh! My little heart is going pitty-pat.
-We now return you to your regularly scheduled entry-
So we get into Sunny's car, which she's apologizing for and making excuses about:
"It's filthy. I'm sorry." (Looked fine to me) "That mark on the inside of the door is from where my son spilled hot chocolate yesterday." (Hadn't noticed it 'til she pointed it out). "The smell of death in here is from my stinky feet." (Oh, Sunny, honestly. What are you talking about?). All the way over she's telling me about the horrible job she just left, one that made her look back fondly to the one in my old department. Good lord, she must be joking.
"No, seriously, Vee. These women were Evil." Then she goes into detail and by the time she's done, I have to say that I agree with her. Now she's working for another organization that she likes much better, where they actually praise her for doing good work and don't hold past mistakes against her.
Then suddenly we're in her neighborhood. She drives around a bit. I see a lot of townhouses for sale in the area, but none of them are the one she means. Sunny's pointing out all sorts of things to me:
"See, there's a bus stop...okay, it's not right on the route, but it's close. And there's the YMCA, within walking distance...we could go work out together! And down there..." she points. I can't see anything. "...is the Knights of Columbus, where they have bingo every Friday night."
Then we find it. It is cute. Little. Blue. It's on the end of the row, which means there's a really nice window and no neighbors on the left. Perfect little starter home. And yep, there's a corn field across the street. Or at least, there is right now. Give it a few years and some developer will probably turn it into student housing or single-family dwellings packed in so tightly that when the resident of one house sneezes someone from next door will be able to hand in a tissue from the open window without leaving his own living room.
She decides we need to stop and take a look--and confesses (but I knew this) that she's doing a little living vicariously through me, because she doesn't think she'll ever be able to live in anything but a rental. We pull up in the parking lot outside, and she gets out of the car -- I don't 'cause I'm bit more shy. What if the owner's home? What do we say? "Hi, we saw your for sale sign, thought we'd peek through your windows"?
She comes skipping happily back to the car.
"I think I know your neighbors. That is, unless those two pug dogs in the window aren't who I think they are."
"Sunny! Sweetie, you've got me all moved in and I don't even have a mortgage approved yet."
"Ah, psh!" She waves this way. "Details!"
Then she drives me home. On the way I tell her about Jane's discouragement, and she says one word: "Frenemy."
"Frenemy. Acts like she's your friend but is really an enemy. All she does is chip away at your joy. Happy when you fail, though she does her best not to show it. Happier still when she can keep you from trying to succeed. Frenemy."
I have a new word.
--Added later: Got the Good Faith Estimate. Need to talk to the mortgage originator about it, as I have no idea whatsoever what any of it means. Right now it looks like closing costs are twice as much as what I'd need for a down payment. In a fret, I emailed my sister asking her to talk sense to me and bring me in off the ledge. She has done that, but I need to speak to this woman. In the meantime I'm playing around online looking at houses. Can't find a listing for the one I saw yesterday, though I am pretty sure I was on the website of the right agency.