The Housing Quest

As all the pending items standing between us and the sale of our condo are slowly resolving, Rocco is increasingly freaking the fuck out.  Poor bastard.  I’m the first to admit I place very high expectations on my loved ones.  I’m always cajoling them into doing things they don’t want to – sometimes because I think it’s for their own good – sometimes for my own petty amusement.

Libras are especially tricky that way.  We often trick you into doing what we want you to do.  We take it up another notch though by somehow convincing you that the feat in question was actually your idea.  Don’t worry, I only use my powers for good.  Suckers.

We’ve been inspected, appraised, approved, certifiably occupied…this apartment could run for president!  So with every ounce of relief I feel as we clear another hurdle, poor Rocco gets another bale of stress-straw on his back as we’re one step closer to homelessness.  Yes folks, we still haven’t found a house.  Five months, forty-three viewings, two failed offers, and one leaking oil tank later we’re still at square one.  Rocco does not do well with uncertainty.  Not one little bit.  I can practically hear his stomach lining dissolving.

I’ve been pouring over the current listings and my brain has been pouring out of my ears.  I’m in love with Maplewood and South Orange, but not in love with their taxes.  We’ve seen properties with annual taxes of $8k and properties with annual taxes of $25k.  That significantly affects what a gal can pay for a domicile.  Trying to bend my little chemo brain around mortgage calculators, hazard insurance, and closing costs is only slightly less dificult than listening to Rod Stewart.  At least the mortgage calculations are less likely to do permanent damage to a gal’s psyche.

So after crunching numbers for about 17 different scenarios and having the results confirmed independently by both Rocco and the bank I’ve confirmed we’re essentially fucked.  Yay!  These MLS listings are like house porn.  I’m drawn to the romance novels – the wispy curtained, garden landscaped retreats.  I’m trying to convince myself to settle for a Penthouse or Playboy equivalent but after these numbers…it may be time for one of those housing equivalents of the tattered, seedy, magazines at the bottom of the stand, behind the cashier in the bodega.  Of course, I’m still going to look at the champagne and strawberries houses tomorrow.  A girl’s gotta dream!  Now I’ve got to go convince Rocco he wants one of those, too.


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