So I bought a condo (as in I'm under contract and the contract is ratified and accepted by the seller). It's the first time I've made a major purchase in my life, and taken out some amount of credit that I can't pay in a week.
Before I start rambling, I thought maybe it'd be good to show some pictures of the condo. I actually haven't seen the place myself yet, but I will next week.
This is the front:
This is the dining (?) area:
This is the kitchen:
This is more kitchen:
This is the combo washer/dryer:
This is the bedroom:
This is the bathroom:
It's pretty much the exact same condo as the one I'm currently living in. Like literally room by room the same square footage and the same length/width/height. The tiling might be a little different, or the mirrors might be shinier, and they have real hardwood floors vs. laminate, and the walls are straighter, and there's a washer/dryer, and the kitchen is re-modeled, and I guess the apartment I bought is nicer than my current pad.
So basically this all started when I was browsing on Zillow mindlessly. I see this place and I'm like woahhh the price is good and it looks pretty nice. So I reach out on Zillow in order to learn more about the place.
I think this one realtor reaches out to me in like 30 minutes and kickstarts this super-quick process. Two weeks later here I am under contract.
Everything seemed pretty straightforward. The realtor gave me a virtual walkthrough, then toured through a number of other apartments. I really wish that BrightMLS (specific multiple listing service that $REALTOR used and the source of truth for Zillow listings and where I got these pictures from) had the ability to just execute and show SQL queries, instead of doing the whole back-and-forth:
Me: Yoooo $REALTOR what query did you run? Why are all of these other condos skewed towards more expensive housing, making this one look more attractive for its cost basis?
$REALTOR: No it's just cheap, I just geofenced to this neighorhood like you asked and set last 90 days closed and $STUFF_STUFF_STUFF. Like there's nothing else, this is all.
Me: Oh. Okay, never mind.
Same thing when talking to the lender.
Lender: So we're gonna need to run some pre-qualification checks. How much is that apartment listed for?
Lender: Okay, and how much are you making for your salary?
Lender: …okay yeah no pre-qualification checks necessary. Let's go ahead and pull your credit report. Have you had any outstanding lines of credit that gives us signal on how you'd handle paying down a mortgage?
Me: I have one credit card.
Lender: …like one active card you're using, or like literally one credit card?
Me: One credit card.
Me: Your silence doesn't faze me, I've seen what makes you cheer
Apparently I've discovered I'm pretty stubborn about what I want. I want pretty much the exact same apartment I'm living in. $REALTOR showed me a bunch of nicer apartments than mine. I'm like no, not my apartment. $REALTOR showed me an apartment that was about the same price as the other apartment, but ratty and dinged like mine, and I'm like yesssss. $REALTOR managed to talk some sense into me eventually.
Same thing when it comes to crafting the offer.
$REALTOR: So 3% settlement would go towards your closing costs, and it would make your offer more attractive, but it is more expensive -
$REALTOR: You sure?
$REALTOR: Okay. How much do you want to offer them?
Me: Is asking price good?
$REALTOR: Yup. Loan type?
Me: 15-year fixed at 20% down for interest rate of 2.25%.
(Bunch of other stuff but not as important)
I should thank my parents for that last bullet point, they're loaning me some money at 0% interest so I can cover the down payment. That way, I don't need to sell any stock, because if I did, I'd need to pay income tax because I haven't held my stocks for a year.
Honestly, I wanted to just pay off my mortgage in 2-3 years and be done with it. Like, 15 years…? Do you know how much shit goes down in 15 years? 15 years ago was February 2006. The Great Recession hadn't happened. Nor did the coronavirus and the current recession. Nor most effects of climate change. Nor all the political instability. I don't know if the U.S. is going to be around in 15 years, let alone be there to accept my final mortgage payment. On the other hand, if you view the mortgage as a security (because all securities are technically debts) with one layer of leveraging (e.g. not a mortgage-backed security), you could just sell the apartment off to the next guy and take the difference for the amount you paid into the mortgage. Apparently my apartment does not increase or decrease with price really. So that's cool. And if I paid it off, and then had to refi later at a higher interest rate…that would be horrible and I would feel so much regret.
Sigh. I HATE debt. And the only job security software engineering really provides is your ability to execute (which to be fair is probably for the best), so I'm only one brain aneursym away from being a vegetable with a mortgage. Maybe I'll pay down my mortgage like a madman for a year, and then when its less a terrifying abyss and more a cutesy little sum accruing a little bit of interest, pay it off leisurely.
Hmm. What upgrades to make to the place. Honestly I like it. I might replace appliances as they break, like the washer/dryer I'd probably replace with the $3k speed queen stacked washer/dryer combination (because Speed Queen is awesome and makes appliances for enterprise in the U.S.) if it breaks, and maybe the dishwasher with a Bosch 24’’ white one if it breaks, and then dare the fridge to break down on me because I'm bluffing and haven't found a fridge I like yet.
The biggest upgrade I might make to the place might be energy management. Like I might get a Tesla PowerWall for $10k and see whether I can backup successfully if the main power grid fails or buffer energy based on the cost, and get smart meters for my electric and gas utilities, and add in insulation for all the walls and ceilings to get an upgraded LEED rating. That shit will be hella fucking expensive (because my place is really friggin’ old), but I think it'll be worth it. I love being warm.