05 January 2008

Housing in CA

I was saved by some friends who put me up for a month while I searched for a place to live in Santa Cruz. It was either SC or San Francisco. Obvious choice, but a close race.

I stayed for a month and helped them pack up their home and move into storage and it was W-O-R-K. Lost some weight that had accumulated while eating late and eating wrong at the House of Bad Chi, where I formerly resided.

Searching for housing at the beginning of the quarter / end of summer was difficult. I kept driving into SC from Summit Road to find that whatever place I wanted to lease was already gone. Too much churn with the students during that time of year. Certainly, if I aimed higher, I could eliminate some of my competition, but this was meant to be a temporary stay, not the one that broke the bank in the shortest time span possible. There are some really nice homes on the coast that college students can't afford. Desirable to all... I had to pass on them.
Meanwhile, I'm trying to get a purchase loan closed for my hosts --- who are buying a house down the street from some friends who had it rented out to a guy who was a Major pack rat. Two-thirds of an acre are nearly filled with vehicles, trailers, house parts, and ... junk! While the loan is being approved by the lender, the subprime mortgage fallout occurs. Listen: These people are not subprime in any way, but this type of loan suddenly falls into that category because of the market conditions. The first bank closes its doors mid-process. Ouch! We submit the loan again to two more lenders and for a good reason: One of those two closed its' doors, also. The loan is finally approved, and we use all of the 45 days of escrow. Down to the final day. Stressful? Hell Yes it was!

So, we're packing things for long-term storage, and removing parts of the home to be re-used in the older home that my current hosts have purchased. It's a very organized and chaotic event that lasts for weeks. People arrive to buy things for sale on Craigslist. People arrive to help dismantle and pack. Coming and going, I never know what's next. The best part is that we don't have to clean -- because this house will be mostly torn apart by contractors on August 18th.

About this time, I found a killer deal on a previously-titled Hobie Catamaran. I've owned two before. Found it on Craigslist. A fireman in the north bay was the seller. When I arrived at his house to buy it, he had all of the spare parts and boating accessories laid out on the driveway and everything on the boat looked as if it were kept up like a firetruck. I relaxed and we did the paperwork for the title transfer. It just felt right. Drove straight to the storage yard in Morgan Hill and couldn't wipe the smile off of my face for a day.
On THE LAST DAY before we had to get out of the Summit Road house (which was due for the wrecking ball in advance of a Major remodel) I found a suitable place. Oh, I had found several available places prior to this one, but they were all laughable non-options. My new digs are in a house purchased the month before by a guy whose office is a mile away from my office in SJ. The house has 4 bedrooms and 2 are masters with closets and each has it's own bathroom. We did a handshake deal and a quick rental agreement written on some tractor-style printer paper at the kitchen table. As it should be.

Shit, that was close!

One more day... and I would have been homeless.


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