Gypsy caravan

Man, sure is a good thing I didn’t make “post to this blog M-W-F like you’re supposed to” a resolution. Surviving a year should be a LOT easier than managing to always write a blog post on time. I usually remember, but it’s late and I’m tired and don’t really have two brain cells to rub together, so getting something thoughtful and insightful out of me is very highly unlikely.

So far, we’re doing ok. I see both of my doctors this weekend (yay!) which means the holidays are finally over and I can go back to my regularly scheduled appointments. My car needs to go to the shop. I have notes to type… it’s going to be a busy weekend. I’m still flailing around at work but I have yet to be fired, so cross your fingers on that one, folks.

My roommate and I were talking about my deep aversion to buying a house earlier. She and I are on different sides of the debate, as she already *has* purchased a house, which I rent in. I’d rather rent forever, because if something hits the fan, it is Someone Else’s Problem, or I can just leave. Case in point: our furnace died Monday night at some point, so we had a very chilly start to the new year. The ambient temperature in the house was in the mid forties by the time the guy came to fix it, and it ran her $400 to fix the broken part. I don’t have $400 sitting around that I can throw at a broken furnace. I probably didn’t have $4 to throw at one. If something happens, I have no safety net. I couldn’t own a home and be a responsible homeowner, as I wouldn’t be able to fix anything if it up and exploded on me. I hate yardwork. I am fairly handy and can fix a lot, but I definitely can’t fix a furnace, or air conditioner. I came from a lifetime of moving from place to place constantly, and while I hate moving as a result, I like knowing that I *can* if I need to, without being married to a piece of real estate. Actually owning something I can’t throw in the back of my pick-up Yaris and take with me is scary.

My roommate, on the other hand, lived in the same house most of her life, from about age two on. Her parents fought too, but they stayed together, in the house they built. She trots out the same “it’s cheaper to own than rent” I hear all the time. But is it really? Sure, your mortgage payment might be lower than rent someplace, but I guess I’m willing to pay a bit extra and never have any equity for the peace of mind of renting. When I’m renting, if the refrigerator or furnace or stove die, or the roof caves in, or the pipes burst, or any other catastrophe, it’s my landlord’s responsibility to fix it. A homeowner needs to be able to deal with those contingencies, and have the cash on hand to do something about it in a timely manner. My piddly savings account of $25 and a handful of maxed-out credit cards (most of which are store credit anyway) isn’t going to get the furnace working any time soon. I would still be shivering and waiting for money to arrive from my parents or something. Maybe building a fire in the non-working fireplace. It wouldn’t be effective and I would be miserable, and still trapped with an investment that’s now broken and I can’t afford to fix. At least when a car dies I can sell it for scrap to get a new one. What do you do when an appliance dies or the shingles blow off of a house?

Just the idea of being tied to something so concrete is a very scary thing. I think I should maybe talk this over with my therapist on Saturday…


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