Money talks; it’ll tell you a story

So, yesterday was an exciting day, for values of exiting that include High Comedy and Sheer Terror.  Though it was Wednesday, Anything did not happen.  No, I’m wrong.  Anything did happen.  Just not the things I would have preferred to have happened.

Let’s see. . .we didn’t get an offer on the house yesterday.  I would’ve liked that.  At least, I think I would’ve liked that, but who knows, y’know?  It would certainly have Clarified Things.

We did go to the bank to get pre-qualified.  The bank’s idea of how much we can afford is. . . whoa, really, and in what alternate universe?  This was to create problems, later in the day, but at the moment of pre-qualification, it was merely blackly amusing.  It is to our credit that Steve and I managed to both look at the figure proposed by the bank and not burst into wild gales of laughter.

After the bank, we viewed that house we had liked, with advertency and utilizing a fine-tooth comb, and regretfully came to the conclusion that, no, it would not do, after all.  We therefore move on to the next two on the short list.

When we came home, I made the mistake of actually looking at houses that the bank thinks we can afford.  And, then, I made a very bad mistake, indeed.

I looked down.

Anyone involved in the arts — from circus art, to music, to painter, potter, writer — will tell you that it is crucial to your mental well-being and to your art not to look down. Ever.  Usually, I’m good with not looking down, because, hey, fiction writer, here.  But, yesterday — I looked.

And the reality of my life kind of all rushed up and hit me in the face: how I don’t know how we’re paying our bills now, except that we do — it’s, yanno, magic, near enough, and it never does to scrutinize magic too closely, either. . .and how I can’t predict if I’m going to be able to pay my bills in future, and how the bank’s happy assumption that we’re going to continue to grow our earnings is simply. . .not the freelance reality, and, and. . .and!. . .And. . .

. . .let’s just say that, had I actually been climbing a tree at  the time, I would have fallen, and Jimmy Bean would have had to run fetch Aunt Polly.

Who knew house hunting would be so VERY exciting?

I am today cleaning all of the old typescripts of the novels out of the file cabinets.  We have more file cabinets than any sane couple of writers needs.  Later this week, I intend to throw away the mountain of tearsheets from our days as reporters/reviewers/photographers.

Here’s what the pile of novel typescripts looks like:

Typescripts to go
Typescripts to go

I will also, later this week, be setting up a Patreon account, for Mozart, mostly, so that his many fans and well-wishers may do as seems reasonable to them.  Watch this space for more information.

And I think that catches us up for the moment.

Here, have a picture of Sprite and Trooper, overlooking the birds at the feeder.  Sprite is taller than her dad, now.

Sprite and Trooper, birdwatching
Sprite and Trooper, birdwatching

Today’s blog title comes to you courtesy of the late JJ Cale.  Here’s your link.

5 thoughts on “Money talks; it’ll tell you a story”

  1. Bummer about the 1st house. Some certainty would be helpful to the blood pressure.

    I would have to say, the evidence of y’all surviving the last whatever years on the income you’ve got should be comforting – the bank may live in one universe but you obviously live in a different universe.

    Now to the one thing I can think of that might be helpful. Do you know anyone who is willing to ‘sell’ to you and take a personal mortgage? I mean like the parent has died and the house was paid but the kids don’t necessarily want to go through a *bank mortgage.* My dogwalker is going through this with a rent-to-own situation and my brother did this with me after Mum died. In this situation, you would pay the mortgage to the persons or the estate.

  2. We’ve got the word out as far as out network reaches, so something like that might, in fact, come in. One thing we are, is flexible. . . 🙂

  3. I had no collateral. But the bank was willing to give me a 30yr loan for 13% interest. I would still be paying them. Told my mother and her (moderately) rich boyfriend about that. He said “I will loan you the money. How about 9% for 10 years.” Much better. I very much agreed! He was in his late 70s at the time. I was worried but I got the house paid off in the 10 years. No bank equity, but MINE! He died 6 hours short of his 101st birthday. No problem. I will not be nearly that lucky if I move and have to sell this house. Good luck.

  4. Sharon, I don’t know if this note will be any comfort to you, but your blogpost was a comfort to me. I sold my Portland condo and bought a condo in Salem MA this spring. I am still employed half-time and staring into the face of retirement. As you did, I also internally laughed at the figure the bank assigned me — “are you people nuts?!” And went through a very similar rollercoaster of looking at condos, and “looking down” (in my case it wasn’t about income so much as being almost 70 and seeing the very few short years ahead and do I really want to do this buying thing with all of these huge numbers and strings of 0’s?). Scared the crap out of myself on numerous occasions which continues as I contract for some renovations that will far outlive me unless we have a fire — which is just more “looking down”. Anyway, I thank you for the post, and for the new phrase I can use, and I wish you well with all of this.

  5. Sharon, My Dad did what Lauretta did with our place at the beach the couple did not want to deal with a bank so my Dad just paid them each month, it worked like a charm. Good luck!!

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