Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Life in a box. Literally.

Who knew that I'd actually go through so many emotions during our engagement? I feel like I am taking my future life, putting it under a microscope and examining parts I didn't even know existed.

For instance, we live in Los Angeles. Venice Beach, to be precise. A small, two bedroom house, or shitbox, as I like to call them, sells for, oh, about $800,000 on a good day. On a bad day, over $900,000. Yes, you read that correctly. You want a house in a neighborhood you feel safe in, or better yet, a modest house you always imagined could be yours? Think more like a million or higher. And yes, I mean dollars, not doll hairs like my brother used to pay me. (The house in the picture is on the market for $888,000. In the midwest, $120,000.)

All of this is putting living together into sharp focus. Right now, we are trying to decide if we should squish into my 600 square foot apartment and put most things (okay, everything but clothes) into storage in order for us to be able to afford a down payment in the near future. Of course, if we don't have enough living space, we might not even have a future.

With that in mind, we are looking at other apartments. I am praying we can find a two bedroom under $2000. Yes, again, you read that correctly. I used a mortgage calculator on a three-bedroom house for sale in North Carolina. The MORTGAGE was $1200. And it wasn't a trailer.

All of this is making us both a little crazy. I've been in Los Angeles for almost five years. I love lots of things about it. Mainly the weather and the ethnic food, but not enough to cram a whole family into a crappy rental apartment while some family lives in the house we buy in another city. Yes, that's the discussion now. In order to get into the real estate market and build some equity, we are looking to buy in another state where people aren't insane.

I'm ready to move into this imaginary house. My fiance, who has only experienced the bliss of L.A. for a little over a year, is not. I'm fine with living in L.A. for a little longer, but what happens when we have kids who need an education? Do we move to the areas with decent public schools? Do we pay inflated tuition fees for private schools? Who gets to drive them all over L.A. to get to this private school? Will they get into the "right" school? How do we pay for all of this when we can't even afford a house? Who will cook dinner? What will we feed these kids? All organic or a mix of healthy and In-n-Out? Will we even be able to have kids? What will sex be like in ten years? Like I said, being engaged brings up lots of issues that haven't really come up prior to being engaged. I am assuming all of this is normal. It is normal, right? RIGHT????!!!

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