Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Failure of the Day: There and Back

We spent a good chunk of last week in Seattle. It was my first actual business trip: Big Software Co. sent me to an all-day copyediting workshop. Chris came up with me and when I wasn’t happily discussing the finer points of punctuating adverbial clauses, we visited our old neighborhood and saw friends and enjoyed the city. It was a really great trip. Chris took a lot of photos, but most of them are of the R2D2 mailboxes.

And then we came back. To San Jose. Which we really have made our peace with; it’s not a bad little city, it just needs a little love, as Linus says. But comparison does it no favors, and a two hour flight is nowhere near enough time to recalibrate my sufficiency meters. It was a difficult re-entry.

As a result, I spent much of this week looking at SF condo listings on Craigslist. And I couldn’t help it, I got sucked in. For a brief period, $550,000 actually started seeming like a reasonable price for 900 square feet, and I even convinced myself that we could swing it on our income. I was able to do that because I don’t know a single thing about mortgages or down payments or closing costs or homeowners insurance or property taxes or HOA dues or really, anything.

Suffice to say, after some fairly simple long division, it’s clear we’ll have to make due with the ridiculous level of luxury in our rented south bay townhouse. I don’t guess we’re going anywhere any time soon. It’s an interesting excursion, though, into that most grown-up of financial leaps. Like every thing else, I’m ten years late, but I’ve finally internalized the idea that it’s time to keep one eye on interest rates and housing stats and our down payment savings. For now, we’re content to just line our toes up against the edge of the ravine that must be spanned and wait a spell before we’re ready to cross it.