got my mind on my money

Thinking about housing options gives me hives. I haven’t a clue what to do. Mostly because I’m fairly naive about what I’m getting myself into. My siblings are squeamish about purchasing things after too many bad experiences themselves, but they suggest going for a condo as a first step before home buying. Fine, fine – but Memphis is not exactly rife with condos! I’ve found at least one questionably shabby community near work, as well as some more decent ones a bit farther away. Of course, downtown has plenty, but a 45-minute commute does not sound appealing in the least. Now, the ones in midtown totally made me think of Jenny, Chris and Keith’s living arrangements in the Globe, since it’s a refurbed factory building. There’s one in Memphis that used to be a pie factory and is now ultra-mod condos at fairly cheap prices. However, according to locals, it’s “a little too close to Orange Mound,” one of the most-talked-about scummy areas in the city. So even though it’s also a stone’s throw from the tiny pocket of Ann-Arbor-style living that is the Cooper-Young intersection (they have a street fest each summer that’s like the A2 art fair, as well as little community markets and other higher-end hipster fare), apparently it doesn’t come highly recommended. Back to the drawing board, I guess.

Also, even though this is a real person’s job and I’m making a real person’s salary, I don’t feel as though my savings account is growing much. Not enough to say, “Hey, I can put down 20% on this three-bedroom house!” anyway. =P I don’t see that ever happening, but maybe if I continue to live like a miserly old grandmother another few years…

In other money-related news, my mom and I are going to Eddie Bauer in the morning to browse. They’re having decent sales at the moment and I have $75 worth of gift cards ready to go. I’ll probably end up ordering online, just because the selection will be better, but I have to find out what size I am according to EB first. It could be anything at this point – I definitely can’t use Old Navy or New York & Co. as reference points…

Books & movies: I finished Dean Koontz’s The Darkest Evening of the Year the other day. Most disturbing book I’ve read in a long while. I’m still willing to try out his Odd Thomas series, but I’m not getting my hopes up… My mom and I watched “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2” recently. I know – not particularly adult, but what can I say? It’s easier to watch cutesy movies when you’re dealing with heartache, I guess.

And Christmas? Well, it was. It happened. It’s over now. I guess “Good riddance” is a fitting send-off. =\ It was about as difficult as expected – maybe a little worse – and probably could’ve been skipped by most of us without too many regrets.

Have I mentioned I’m getting sick? I have a sore throat, which, like last time I thought I was getting sick, doesn’t seem to be migrating anywhere else yet. I’d like it to either spread like wildfire or go away completely, just so it doesn’t linger on and then worsen, like, the day before I have to drive back to Tennessee. My nose sometimes feels like it might be getting drippy, but nothing comes. The worst is when I first wake up, since I’m a mouth breather, but once the soreness subsides after a couple hours, it doesn’t seem too bad. *shrug* I don’t know what’s going on with me.

Oh! OH! I forgot! Even though it doesn’t matter and it really means nothing – I finally got below 200 pounds! It’s probably the first time since at least the beginning of high school, if not earlier. Of course, I don’t know how accurate the scale at the gym is, but I like to think it’s more so than a crappy bathroom scale with a low battery. =P Anyway, it claimed that I was hovering between 198 and 199 today! It’s a small victory, I know, but I still reveled in it briefly. I haven’t seen a “1” in that first slot for way too long… Also, my dad told me last night that I was “skinny.” I had to laugh at that. I tried not to guffaw, because me? I’m never going to be skinny. I’ve got linebacker shoulders, a barrel chest and skin on my stomach that no longer remembers how to retract after too many years of multiple gut rolls. Also, cottage-cheese thighs and ass. Yes, ladies, you can look 45 at 24 – I’m living proof! =) But I’m learning to be OK with that. Especially since those aren’t the worst things in my arsenal.

Anyway, hooray! I’m excited to window shop tomorrow, exercise some more and have dinner with Tod’s fam. Then go up north on Sunday. Then clean out my mom’s closet, donate stuff to charity, maybe go through some of my own stuff and see people one last time before I return to the south! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas.

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4 Comments

Filed under exercise, fun, health, home, plans, recap, shopping

4 responses to “got my mind on my money

  1. A condo? Really?! Old people like my parents live in condos :p Ok, so it’s not as bad as all that. I’d live in their condo too, on a lake and everything.

    And congrats on the <200 thing :]
    I know you said it doesn’t matter and means nothing, it still means progress and steps in the right direction. I will never see a 1 as the first number again. But low 2’s would be nice.

    If on Sunday, when you are done with your visiting of inlaws and have time, are returning via 131 (even though its out of the way…) and want to, could always stop by and say “Hi.” If that sounds half way decent, let me know and I’ll email you my number or something.

    Drive safe in your travels

  2. Mandy

    I was talking to my dad about renting vs. buying a house, and his take was that it’s not necessarily cheaper to buy. Even if my parents get what they want for their house, with property taxes, maintenance, landscaping, work put in in general, utilities that would have be covered at a rental, etc they will have paid 300-400 dollars a month the entire 17 years they lived there. If they lived there for a shorter duration it would have been more expensive. It was just interesting because I always assumed that it was considerably cheaper to buy a house than to rent, just because everyone told me that I would be “throwing my money away” and it would be better to have it go towards something. It might still be a better option to buy a home, but it was just something to think about.

    Either way, you should get away from that vile woman and live on your own. =D

  3. Mandy

    I guess people assume that property value will increase. It might, but it might not. Seems these days that’s not really a safe bet anymore. Plus the mobility associated with renting is worth something too. (thoughts I meant to include before but forgot) =P

    Jason’s dad was trying to convince us to buy the house Jason lived in on Coolidge Rd so that our money wouldn’t be “wasted” on rent. That just didn’t seem like a good idea to me because who knows if we’ll want to live there for a long long time. Your situation may be different since you do have a “permanent” job.

    Not saying either is a bad idea at this point, just some new thoughts I was given this morning.

  4. On the rent vs buy thing, a house payment would need to be significantly less expensive that rent to be worth it, money wise. In either circumstance, you have to pay the utilities. However, some traditional apartments may include a utility or 2. With a house, you also have property taxes, and in a condo setting, association fees. When renting a traditional apt, someone else does the lawn care, shoveling, and fixes normal wear and tear items in your aprtment (fridge, stove, furnace, not your stuff), in your own traditional house, it’s all on you. In a condo it’s a little of both. At my parents, whats inside is theirs, and the association takes care of the lawns, and the sidewalks. I dont know who does the shoveling.
    In a house, you can decorate it however you want. Paint it, paper it, cover it in sticky notes, whatever. Most apartments dont let you do that. You saw those pix of my wallpaper on my flickr, I cant do a thing about it. In most apts you dont have a yard to decorate, and in some associations, they have strict limits to what can be done, and fines if you do more.
    When you move, depending on your contract with the apartment people, you can give a months notice and move. With a house, you have to list it, wait for it to sell, and move after it closes. Unless you have the means to pick up another house before yours sells. When you move from an apt, you dont get money back (besides maybe a security deposit), when you sell your house, you do. Of course, that will go right back into whatever you are buying, but at least you had the money already for the down payment and closing costs.

    Sorry, I know that was long-winded and not exactly new news to anyone…

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