Friday, June 5, 2009

The Worst Decision I've Ever Made

I bought that condo, and now I wish I could give the damn place back. This is, by far, the worst decision I've ever made in my life. I bought a place that requires more work than I'm capable of doing at a price that was probably much more than it was worth, and worst of all, I realized I'm just not ready to be a home owner. I'm so disappointed in myself.

I've been waiting forever and saving up money in preparation for buying a place. I had the money. I had the plan. Then when the time came that to finally make a purchase, I rushed in like an idiot. I had the money to buy a really nice home. However, for some reason, I went out and bought a fixer-upper. I have no idea why I bought a place that needed so much work. I am not in the least bit handy. I have a hard time changing a light bulb. However, I went out and bought a disaster of a condo thinking that if I buy it cheap, I can spend a little bit of money and make it a whole lot nicer and worth a whole lot more.

Of course... I greatly underestimated how much it would cost to fix the place. Now, I'm struggling to figure out how to make all the necessary improvements with a very tight budget. I said "yes" to buying the place so quickly that I didn't really pay attention to all the things that were wrong with it. Since, I can't do anything by myself, I have to hire someone to do it. Contractors are coming in with estimates of over twice as much as I have to spend. Therefore, I'm trying to piece this giant home renovation project together for the cheapest amount of money possible.

Of course, if I was a person that actually liked to do little projects, this wouldn't be so bad. The problem is that I fucking hate it. I hate being bothered with this stuff. I hate calling electricians. I hate calling plumbers. I hate Home Depot. I just hate doing this kind of handy work even if I'm not really the one doing most of it. To save money, I'm trying to paint the place myself. I've never painted anything in my life before, and I already know that I hate painting. The last 2 weeks have been a living hell for me.

Through all of this, I learned the hard truth that I'm just not mature and responsible enough to be a home owner. I like the apartment life. If something goes wrong, I call maintenance, and they fix it. As long as I pay my rent every month, the apartment complex takes care of everything else. It's nice. It's hassle free. It perfectly suits my personality.

I kind of think of my apartment as a really nice college dorm room. It's not my home. It's just a place where I hang out in between going to work. You can't think of a house or condo in the same way. You own it. You're ultimately responsible for everything. No one is there to bail you out if something goes wrong. You have to take the initiative to get it fixed yourself. I'm not responsible enough for that. When I get home from work, I just want to throw my stuff on the floor, sit down, and relax. I'm often too lazy to hang up my clothes, so they just pile up on my dresser for a week or so. When you're not worried about your apartment's future value, you tend to not care what happens to it. With a home, you're constantly trying to protect your investment.

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if I actually bought a nice place in the first place. I was so set on living only a couple miles from work that I would not even look at a nice place that was more than 5 minutes away. I wanted to live in a certain condo complex, and I chose the first unit that became available. Unfortunately, it was a piece of garbage, and instead of saying "no," I bought a place that I didn't even really like that much.

I don't know why I do these things to myself. I limited myself to a certain price range even though I could easily afford twice as much. If I spent even just a little bit more, I could have gotten a place that I really loved that required little to no work. Then, I wouldn't have had to deal with all the shit I'm dealing with now. But nooooo.... I had to make it difficult on myself.

Sometimes I think that I subconsciously punish myself whenever the opportunity presents itself. I constantly have to rationalize to myself that I'm a good person and worthy of whatever I desire in life. However, in the back of my mind, I think there's always this lingering feeling that I don't deserve nice things and that I've taken the cheater's way through life. I try to convince myself that I'm nice and do a lot of good for a lot of people, especially at work. However deep inside, I can't stand myself. Therefore, I constantly sabotage myself to keep me from getting what I truly want.

I would say that I'm destined to be miserable for my entire life, but I don't believe in destiny. I'll just say that I don't think I'll be anything but miserable for the foreseeable future.


pharmacy chick said...

Mike, gotta love ya, but you are such a head case :-)
Do yourself a favor buddy, hire a contractor and a designer and just get the job done. You bought a fixer upper (why? what a pain) so fix it up and then enjoy it. you bought low so take the money and in 90 days you will have a beaut of a place and you will hate it less, and maybe love it a lot.
The chick family has done lots of home projects including a new kitchen and for each and every one, we WAC'd it (Wrote A Check)..
We love our home now.
To quote the swoosh company.. Just Do It.

Pharmacy Mike said...

I did look into hiring a contractor. I got an estimate and everything. The estimate to do everything that needs to be done was for over a quarter of the entire value of the home.

For one, I don't have that much money. In fact, that's double the amount of money I have. Secondly, even if I did have that much money, it's not worth putting into the place because it will never be worth that much on resale.

I'm just disappointed in myself for rushing into something (despite years of preparation) that I ultimately don't want. I was happy where I was. I didn't need to buy a home. I guess all the pressure from EVERYONE about how it's stupid to rent when you can buy finally got to me. I forgot the reasons I was in an apartment in the first place. I'm perpetually single. I don't need a bigger place. I don't entertain friends. I don't throw parties. It's just me. Why do I need a house?

Even now, I'm wondering what the hell am I going to do with all the extra rooms in the condo. I'd have to buy more furniture just to fill the place out... furniture that I don't really want or need for anything other than to fill space. It'll take years for me to get back to the comfort level that I enjoy in my apartment.

Just a stupid decision on my part. It seems like whenever I'm left to decide something on my own, I make really dumb decisions.

Shamra said...

Hey Mike, I know you feel as if made a bad decision in this purchase and anyone else would have done better. Let me tell you however, that almost everyone that buys a first home has many regrets (they are not called home virgins for nothing). Please just think of it this way, you went through the process and learned what does and does not work for you, so imagine how nice your second purchase will be with all of this required knowledge.

The best of luck to you.

Anonymous said...

Dude, you have seriously got to chill. First of all, you're putting WAY too much emphasis on the condo being an investment, instead of a home. If you bought it strictly so you can rent it out, then that would be a good viewpoint. However, you bought it so you can live in it. It's now your HOME, not an investment!! Stop looking at it that way. Now, I don't know how big the place is, but seriously, it can't cost more than $25-30k to fix it up... if the contractor told you more than that, you need to keep shopping buddy!! Talk to your customers at the pharmacy and find out what they do for work.. you never know.. they may be able to help you out either doing the work themselves (if it's their thing) or they may know someone who does. KEEP SHOPPING!!
There are 2 types of people when it comes to home buying. Those who want the "perfect place" (clearly this is you), or those who will buy a "dump" or someplace that's run down and fix it up (this is me) and the latter makes more sense, because even though it's a pain in the ass, the place will end up being the "perfect place" for you because it would be exactly how YOU would want it to be and have what YOU would want it to have. By the way, painting is a pain in the ass, but it's pretty simple, so stop bitching and get to work!!

Anonymous said...

Did you have a home inspector look the place over before you bought?

If you've got so much extra space, consider getting a roommate who works the opposite shift, or a roommate who is handy and will do all the fix-up work in lieu of rent.

Amanda said...

If you don't have the money, only do the necessary fixes now. It's as simple as that. Save, and when you get enough, finish the "project" of fixing it up. Clearly it's inhabitable now, so there can't be THAT much wrong with it. More simply put: do what you need to do in order to make it something you're okay with--in phases if necessary.
And for Gods sake, suck it up. ;)

Anonymous said...

No advice about first home ownership from this blogger, just that we paid the mortgage off 7 years early, so that we own it free and clear. It still needs as much work as it did to start out with. Guess we're thinking that $700/mo. that we don't have to pay anymore, should be going for resale?

On the other hand, Mike, glad you share feelings of vulnerability. We all have them; mentioning it says you're good at self-analysis, and helps get the 'dumped on' feeling off your chest, perhaps. Don't let profundity of this situation color everything in the past, or future. You're young. You're supposed to be learning from all this practical experience! (So you can tell sons... who won't listen to you anyway!)

My dad with five small children underfoot built our house in summers when he wasn't working at school. He may not have liked learning to build houses at first, and he may still not like it, but he definitely didn't appreciate kids trying to help out! (For disciplinary measures, he rarely spanked us kids, but I do recall getting whupped--probably a slap, but shocking due to its rarity no doubt, for casually turning on a power drill where he was working.)

Anonymous said...

It is certainly not my place to advise you or tell you what to do, but I can speak from my family's experience. Sometimes diving head first into projects like these forces you to branch out, learn something new, set new goals, and feel accomplished at the end. You are a goal driven person. Face your fears, do what you don't desire, and then you can truly be proud of all you have done.