I’m thinking about buying a house

landisdad and I have gotten through the dissolution of our marital assets, and I’m starting to look for a house in the town that he and the kids live in.

A town where, for the most part, property values haven’t fallen that much. I’m starting to reconcile myself to the idea that if I do that, I will end up either a) spending a bunch of money to buy a house that needs a ton of work (probably through a short sale); or b) becoming a landlord.

I found a real estate agent last week, and we’ve started looking at places. So far, I’ve seen a place that has been an illegal rooming house for 40 years (evidence of which was provided by an elderly, blind tenant, who has lived there for 40 years), a house with a mold smell so bad that I nearly puked when we went into the basement, a house that had been gutted to Sheetrock and plywood, and a house with ivy growing through two of the window sills.

I’m seriously considering the ivy one, though a friend has warned me it may have major structural damage, if any water has gotten in.

The other possibility is that I could buy a duplex and live in one half. That would allow me to buy “more house,” because the rent income counts towards the mortgage. But the idea of becoming someone else’s landlord seems weird.

The idea of making these choices may seem crazy—but increasingly, the kids’ lives are with their friends, in their town. They’ve made it obvious that they don’t want to spend all weekend with me, and I’m pretty sure that I don’t want to spend the next ten years ferrying them back there, and then hanging out by myself while I wait for them.

There are no good choices. Only slightly less bad ones.


May 4, 2012. separation. 1 comment.