Where have I been? Selling a condo and buying a house, a real, more expensive, detached house. Me, I've been anything but detached. This whole thing has taken three weeks in a supposedly cool housing market, and in two more weeks the movers will be here and I'll have a mortgage for the first time in ages.
My brain is burned. It took longer to buy a car.
When you buy a car, first you read all the reviews and Consumer Reports reports. Then you go look at a bunch of different models. Then you go home, think about them, and a few days later come back and sit in them. Eventually you take them all for test drives. You do everything you can to avoid signing papers with a salesman until you're absolutely sure you like everything down to the cupholders.
When you buy a house, you wander through a bunch of open houses and generally see nothing that works. The houses you like are too expensive and the houses you can afford are too small, too close to busy roads or need TLC, which stands for Turn Life over to Contractors.
Then you see a house you can live with, or in, and you immediately have to start bidding, signing papers and indenturing yourself to banks. You don't get to test drive the house. You just go around saying, "The couch will fit here" and things like that. At closing, you live with the choice for the rest of your life or until another sucker comes along.
The rest of my life starts in two weeks. And you know what? I'm happy about it. That's the weirdest thing about home buying. It's a form of hope that needs paint and new carpets.