An article in the WSJ yesterday projected that, while rents continue to increase, the overall rental market may be cooling as the housing market continues to rebound.
Exactly! Now is the time to put the brakes on the home search and start scouring Craiglist for rental deals. Markets are cyclical. Buy low, sell high. Did we all forget the golden rule of investing?
A quick update on this 2-unit property I was pining for in Rockridge, Oakland. If my condo sale had closed in time, I would have pounced on this.
It was listed for $825,000 and closed at $910,000. Pretty insane, but worth it considering the guaranteed rental income.
Hey people, if you haven’t noticed, we are experiencing a housing bubble: skyrocketing rents, zero inventory, and astronomical offers in terms of both volume and price. This is not the time to buy. Back away, people. Back away! I’m completely flabbergasted at how many people have decided that THIS is the time to buy. Very odd. Don’t get me wrong, I’m in the hunt myself, but I’m not paying up for a shack. I’d rather stick to our 1-bedroom, thank you very much. I have zero pressure to buy.
A coworker said that NOW is the time to buy into a new condo development because the price just keeps going up and up. And I’m like, dude, that is not sustainable. Use your brain! I asked him what the monthly HOAs are and he said $450. What a joke. Seriously, these people deserve to go into foreclosure for making such dumb mistakes.
Let’s do the math with an example.
37 years old – because that’s how old I am
$700,000 purchase price for a nice 2-bedroom condo in San Francisco
25% down – because these days that’s how much you have to put down to compete
30 year loan at a 3.5% interest rate – which is generous for rates right now
Mortgage + 1.14% property taxes + $450 HOAs = $3,425 housing expense per month – that doesn’t even include electricity, water, garbage, cable
Imagine still paying $3,425 at 65 years old? Because I’d still have another 2 more years to go. I don’t want to be coughing up that much money in my twilight years. I want to be on the beach in Central America drinking raw coconut water and eating shrimp.
I have this ongoing debate with my mom because she is a firm believer in owning a home. She’s one of those old school types. I questioned why should we be shackled to such a high mortgage 30 years from now when we can easily rent a 2-bedroom in a podunk suburb for peanuts. She countered that once your home’s paid off, the only expenses left are utilities and property taxes (which I should add are insane if you live in San Francisco). I don’t know. I’m still not sold on this home ownership dream. But since my parents are, it’s good to know we can always move in with mom and dad!
I am under so much pressure right now, I feel my heart is going to burst out of my chest. Work is insane. I’m in escrow with the sale of my condo closing any day now. And we still have a bunch of crap at my place which needs to be vacated any day now. Best thing to do would be to toss all our stuff on the sidewalk. We don’t have time to deal!
Over the weekend, we did manage to go to the Treasure Island Flea Market which was so much fun. I’m really trying to stay away from being such a consumer, but the weather was fantastic (albeit a bit chilly right by the water) and you can’t beat the Chairman food truck which was there on Saturday. I’m a downer when it comes to food trucks (overpriced with no seating), but the Chairman is orgasmically delish. OMG! The pork belly is TO-DIE-FOR! Follow this truck! I swear they’re catering my next party. I can’t get enough of their buns.
Dean and I both ‘splurged’ on $10 hats at the popular hat booth. Then proceeded to play skeeball, which proves once again, how bad my hand-eye coordination is! I think my total score was 10. I promised the owner I’d blog about his business. Check it out. JoeytheCat.com for skeeball rental. Tons of fun. He’s the one who took pictures of me and Dean having a jolly good time.
Here are the two babies we ‘adopted’ over the weekend. Hyper Timmy is in the foreground. Timmy loves to cuddle and gets super jealous if we start petting the other dog.
Laddy is the big fat Cavalier King Charles in the background. Now I know why people love these dogs. They are so good natured. I learned that Laddy is “big-boned” because the owner’s youngest daughter loves him so much she can’t stop feeding him! When we took the dogs for a walk Friday night, someone called out, “That is the fattest Cavalier King Charles I’ve ever seen.” So offensive!
Both dogs snore (and have foul breath) so I insisted we close the bedroom door at night. I reasoned we wouldn’t be able to sleep with them wheezing all night, but they cried and whimpered non-stop right outside the door. Dean glared at me. I put my foot down as the disciplinarian and covered my ears. But even I came around. They kept howling and crying so Dean opened the door and each dog fell asleep beside us.
Not only was it a holiday weekend, but this is the last weekend before the close of escrow on my home. I’ve kept mum on the sale because I didn’t want to jinx it, but we’re all set to close in a couple days. So we spent part of today (Easter Sunday) moving stuff out of my condo. Not fun! S-T-R-E-S-S!
I wanted to post this on Friday, but got caught up with other things.
Not sure why the pencil-thin Asian eyebrow look has been trendy for so long. They need to go away! I used to have thick brows, but after years of waxing and plucking, they’ve lost their lustre.
I love this look. Thick, defined, and classic.
My previous post ended on a whimper, and I don’t ever want to be viewed as someone who isn’t tremendously grateful for everything in her life, so let’s start today–Good Friday–off with a bang.
First, I want to thank all of you for supporting me. I am so grateful for every comment and email. Thank you, thank you!
All these years of hard work moonlighting as a blogger are starting to pay off. I signed with the Clever Girls ad network which opens my blog up to brand name sponsors and is a major milestone in blogging. I freaked out when I read their email.
I’ll soon be a featured blogger on the SITS Girls website, which is a phenomenal community of bloggers. SITS is simply amazing. I love, love, love the community I’ve become a part of through SITS. I’ve been patiently waiting since November and I’ll get my turn in April or May. Stay tuned on that.
Our world is full of beautiful people, from my husband who cooks me a gourmet dinner every night (yes every night!), to this lovely couple who has entrusted their home and animals to us for the past 10 days, to the coworker who brought in bagels for the whole floor today because it’s her 1-year anniversary.
Lastly, I need to comment on my environment because I am a San Francisco-based blogger, and this is one of the facets that makes my blog unique. After I lived in Chicago for two years, I returned home, thinking that SF wasn’t as illustrious as I had previously thought. I felt I had grown up in a bubble with every Bay Area person believing that we lived in a coastal paradise, not realizing there was another world of beauty outside of the sunny state of California. In cocktail conversations, everyone seems to be surprised that I’m native. They say that most of the people living around here are transplants. I think that’s so wrong because 98% of the people I grew up with still live in the Bay Area. They never left!
But particularly now, having experienced a multitude of locales, I can objectively say that San Francisco is one of the best places to live in the world. Yes, it’s expensive. Yes, it’s often bone chilling cold. But where else in the world can you travel easily to enjoy wine country, snow, and Burning Man! The food, arts & innovation, the funding & intellectual capital. It’s here. It’s all here!
I’m starting to lose hope because nothing seems to be working. All the acupuncture, vitamins, gluten-free, sugar-free, fun-free eating hasn’t helped a damn bit. How do I know all this hocus pocus crap doesn’t work? Because I haven’t gotten my period since the beginning of the year. That’s right, people, since the beginning of the year.
Bottom line is that my menstruation was more regular when I didn’t do all of the above things that the doctors and the acupuncturists and the dietitian told me to do. I should have simply done nothing, lived my life normally, pigged out like I usually do, and I would have been better off!
Mostly, I’ve been an emotional wreck because I can’t do the little things that make me happy. And isn’t it always about the little things? Hot chocolate in the morning, ice-cream in the afternoon, chocolate chip cookies for dinner? Also, these “remedies” aren’t cheap. When I can’t eat $2 Lean Cuisines because I need to eat a meal that’s warm and fresh and gluten-free, that shit costs money! I’ve spent at least 10x more on food in the past couple months that I would on a normal basis.
I’ve scheduled a call for both of us to talk to a reproductive endocrinologist in a couple weeks and hash through our options. I know what he’s going to say because he said it last time I got spritzed with semen. “Have you thought about IVF?”
Well of course I’ve thought about IVF, doctor. Duh, it’s all women my age do these days, so yes I’ve thought about it. Whether I want to consider it is a whole different story.
But after all the above rigmarole that has tortured my lifestyle, I started to do some research.
What I read made me physically ill. Let me copy some of those sentences from my IVF informational packet here.
One remedy for multiple pregnancy is (multi)fetal reduction. Multifetal reduction is the process of eliminating one or more fetuses if you become pregnant with a multiple pregnancy. Fetal reduction is generally carried out at 10 to 13 weeks’ gestation. The pregnancies are visualized on ultrasound and the gestational sac that is technically easiest to reach is injected with potassium chloride, which will stop the fetus’s heart. After fetal reduction there is a possibility of losing the entire pregnancy that is thought to range from 2 to 5%.
If your treatment cycle results in more healthy preembryos than can safely be transferred to your uterus you will have several options: 1) cryopreserve the preembryos for future use, 2) donate preembryos to another couple, 3) donate the preembryos for research, or 4) discard the preembryos.
I know we live in a scientifically advanced world, but IVF does not ethically feel right for me. I know many others do it, but I cannot wrap my head around it for me personally. It’s kinda like how I feel about abortion; while I am pro-choice, I don’t think it’s something I could have done if I’d gotten pregnant as a teenager.
Anyhow, just a little something that has been occupying my mind lately.
Kujo the Kat disappeared on us this morning. After waking up and shuffling to the kitchen, I realized no cat. Kujo is always sitting atop the kitchen table (where he’s not allowed) early in the morning. He’s ready to pounce on you and the closer he can get to your eyes, the better. But this morning, he was nowhere to be found.
Enter: Catherine the Cat’s freakout. “OMIGOD, we lost the fucking cat!”
I look outside the windows (as if that’s going to help). I immediately run to the rat’s cage. The rat’s safe and sound. I count the fish. Then I start calling him by his Christian name, “Scooter! Scooter!!” The cat’s nowhere to be found. I reason that I don’t have time for these shenanigans and if the cat’s gone, there ain’t nothing I can do about it right now. When I’m one foot out the door, Dean screams from the back, “Scooter’s here! Just came in through the doggy door.” Relief. Cannot believe I care that much about a bitchy cat.
Must share an email that my friend sent me last night. Me and Dean cracked up reading it.
Cats are the worst. The worst. I grew up with two of them and can’t stand them. And don’t even get me started about crazy cat owners. I advise single women I know who want to settle down not to get a cat. A cat is man repellent.
I agree that all dog owners are morning people. Or anti-socials who don’t like happy hour. But the thing is, a dog will *always* love you back. A cat would eat you if it could.
Awww no, did she just ask that question? For those of you who are pet owners, I know that question is synonymous with asking parents, “Are kids worth having?” Of course precious little, spittle-inducing babes are worth it. Of course that mutt you got at the pound is worth it. But as someone who currently does not own a pet, I’m questioning the logic.
We’ve been house sitting a zoo for the past week. It’s literally a zoo. There are 3 aquariums, 1 rat, 1 cat, and we get 2 dogs on Friday night.
Love the fishies! They’re low maintenance and mesmerizing. I can sit for minutes just staring at them, with the stress of the work day dissolving away.
Even the rat, I can handle. Dean not so much. But like the fish, the rat’s chill and easy to feed.
This cat is something else. We call it Kujo the Kat because it’s the meanest cat I’ve ever encountered. On our first night, the cat drew blood on my fingers and thigh because apparently I didn’t scratch him correctly, even though he’s the one who purred right into my lap. And even though he waits for us to wake up in the morning, the first thing you have to do is feed him. If he hears that you’re up, you’d better be scooping out the Fancy Feast because Kujo will roar incessantly until he’s fed.
Like I mentioned, we don’t get the dogs until the final night (they’ve been staying with someone else), but I assume we’re going to have to wake up early on Saturday morning to feed them. I’ve done the dog walking thing before and it’s not like you can just sleep in! So here’s my question for people who own dogs. You must be morning people, right? Day in and day out, when you have to wake up to take the dog out, don’t you feel like you’re compromising your beauty sleep?
I told Dean, “I don’t think we can get a dog. I really like my sleep.”
We both sleep at least 8 hours on weeknights and at least 10 hours on the weekends. Obviously, at some point we can’t live like teenagers and eventually we’re going to have to wake up early whether that’s for a puppy or a child, but wondering how people do it. I mean seriously, isn’t a lack of sleep bad for your health?!
The first rule of Flick Club is: You do not talk about Flick Club.
Sorry fellas, I can’t help but blog about our fabulous movie night. I’m really into the classics and have to say I LOVED Casablanca. Such a great movie. Good job, Brian, on picking the movie and hosting a fabulous dinner.
I think forming clubs is a really good idea. Book club, movie night, girls night…whatever. It’s a perfect excuse to get together around a common interest. One of my book clubs is starting book #38. How incredible is that.
Here’s what we’ve watched so far:
1. Midnight Express
3. Sunset Boulevard
4. Spoorloos (i.e., The Vanishing)