Homeward bound?


Or perhaps ‘Mortgage bound?”… or maybe just “Bound”, for a sexy B-grade twist on things….

What? Nevermind.

So. Homes. Marriage. Life. Mortgage. It’s quite possible I’m becoming an adult.

My Man, The Puppy, and I want a house. We want a house with a yard. We want a house with a reasonably-sized yard, space from neighbors, and sunlight.

We’ve been house perverts for a while…taking time on our weekends to make sinister house-trolling drive-bys, scanning the internet for possible matches, and driving through small towns in case we see something good…

Two weekends ago, we even went to a dealer.

He is, quite possibly, the worst house-dealer in Portugal. Then again, the more I hear about Portuguese house-dealers, the more I think this guy is just average. Ugh. That only irritates me more. However, I’ll leave the worst-dealer story for another time… or maybe for no time. Whatever.

Fast forward to last Saturday. Worst Dealer is sitting at his dealer desk, looking at his dealer database of houses, and doing his damnedest to ignore the requirements My Man and I set out. The guy is  showing us dark, overpriced, box houses with no yard by the bucketful. He brings another Bad Dealer over to his desk to talk about some house we assure him we don’t want. Worst Dealer and Bad Dealer take their time talking about the house for us anyway. I am, as usual, reading the database on Worst Dealer’s computer screen and just barely resisting the compulsion to use his keyboard for a more effective search.

Then, I spot it.

3 rooms+big yard. Reasonable Euros. In the right area. I write down the reference number (because Worst Dealer and Bad Dealer are still discussing a 250k v2 with 40m2 that we don’t want), and then I interrupt them, firmly (and a little too loudly) asking My Man (in English, because I’d lost the patience required to piece together Portuguese about 30 minutes earlier) to tell them that when they’ve finished their little discussion, I want to look at listing 1234.  My Man tells them something more polite. (I’m fairly certain my irritation transcended  linguistic boundaries.)

A few minutes later, when they decided to wind down their conversation, Worst Dealer turned back to the computer screen and did a half-assed scan for the house I wanted to look at. Up and down, up and down, the screen sped past fruitlessly. Finally, Worst Dealer’s fat fingers managed to get the scroll moving  slowly enough that I could point to the listing (and tap condescendingly on the screen) saying “THIS ONE”. He seemed to be trying to ignore it.

Luckily for My Man and I, Good Dealer walked by. He’d popped by a couple of times, spoke English with me, and acknowledged the words coming from My Man and I. He must have seen the vein popping out of my forehead. Averting an aneurism, he stepped in and guided Worst Dealer to the property.

Yadda, yadda, yadda….

We love the house…Ok…We really like the house. We love the yard. We love the area. The things that we would like to do to the house in the future to make us love it even more are also things that would raise the property value. Not that we want to move. Ever. Especially since mortgages here are generally 40 year mortgages. (NOT making that up.) And the house is happily, comfortably, perfectly livable now.

My man dropped off a ‘good faith’ check (cheque, for some of you) to the Good Dealer today. He talked to the bank. He made an offer. Depending on lots of things, we may be buying this house.

HOLY SHIT.

A house. A home. LAND. Nuggets. Dogs. Guests. My Man and I. All comfortably coexisting. And let’s be clear: a mortgage (especially a 40 year one) kicks marriage up to another level. I kind of feel like a mortgage like this is more cementing than having kids together. Which is fine, for both of us, I think. And that’s cool. So I guess life is going well. Very well.

I’m still a little anxious about the idea of being tethered to a single geographical location. Marriage never freaked me out. Marriage is a partnership between to lovers-friends-partners-business partners…Marriage takes compromise, of course, but it has a great payoff and improves life immensely. It is change, but it is welcome, happy, awesome change. But it isn’t tethered to any country, any town… Marriage is portable. MORTGAGE is not. (nuggets are also portable, to a point. At least they are as much as a marriage is…)

So. Holy shit. Is the economy going to go more nuts? Will we have a good supply of reliable renters at the rates we need for our apartment? (NOT the groovy apartment we’re living in… I’m referring to the luxury, modern, fully equipped apartment My Man owns and is renting out to friends to pay THAT mortgage.) It’s Portugal, so will the banks go mad and suddenly insist of full repayment of the mortgage in another year or two? Or will the interest rates go to 20%? Will my small bits of paid work dwindle rather than grow? Will I be inexplicably unemployed for the next 30 years? What if we have nuggets and they have massive medical needs? Or what if we can’t have nuggets?

Ahhhhhhh….that’s the good old neurosis I know and love…Letting it wash over me 🙂

Honestly, I think this is an educated risk. I think the house is a very reasonable bargain. I think it could turn out quite well. (hmmm…but do you remember that movie, “Money Pit” with Tom Hanks and Shelly something? argh….wait…ok…it’s passing.)

Thoughts? Encouragement? Genius insight into the housing market in Portugal and educated predictions for the future? Let me know….

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