I bought a house! (Specifically a condo, in Portland, because I have not yet married a film producer and so cannot afford real estate in LA.) Managing this entire process remotely has been supremely weird, because in the end, start to finish, it entailed:
Emailing my friend’s realtor to ask if he wanted to be my realtor.
A video meeting where I confirmed he’s a real person and told him what I wanted.
He sent me various lists of houses, and I sent him various Redfin listings (of which the place I bought ultimately was one.)
He went through to each house and took videos with comments like “this will sell for $100k above asking” or “don’t live in this house that load-bearing beam is a stack of 2 by 4s” (both real conversations).
He showed me the condo I liked; I put in an offer via Docusign and accepted a counteroffer via Docusign.
In the background I’d gotten pre-approved for a loan at a few places, all online, and ultimately went with a local credit union because its rates were the best. I finished the application online for real for real, which mostly entailed me uploading PDFs to a website, and was not as horrible as I’d been led to believe.
I wired earnest money to the seller and flew up for the inspection, where a nice home inspector told me all the fucked-up things about the condo and I got to see it for the first time.
I went ahead with it anyway, and after negotiating with the seller for a credit, was all set to close.
I went back home and the day before close, a notary came and sat on my couch and watched me sign things for a little while, including a process where I had to thumb print a few things.
I wired a third of my net worth to a title company.
Today my realtor texted me I own a house. (Or a walls-in portion of a condo building.)
I don’t even have keys; at some point I’ll fly up and get those. There were some other boring things in there (I got condo insurance and made some grim jokes about how likely I am or am not to die in an earthquake), but start to finish the whole thing only took about six weeks and I got the place for $10k under asking. At some point (probably early August) I’ll take a week off work and put all my shit in a cube and fly myself and cat up to move in, and then I guess there will be a series of Facebook marketplace furniture purchases.
I was chatting with a friend yesterday about how kind of deflating the whole thing was. This is something I’ve been trying to do for—as my sister pointed out when I had a freak out about whether it was worth doing—a decade, and at this point I feel a little bit like a dog who caught the mail truck. I’m very excited with the home and proud I was able to do this (thanks to the Australians who bought my employer a few years ago, the real MVPs) but at the same time there’s something kind of weird about accomplishing a goal you’ve been shooting for.
This week—much like the gallbladder surgery week—is essay-only; rather than finishing this out I got drunk in my driveway with my neighbor friend and ordered some sushi. Gotta take advantage of LA while I can.