Like most people, you probably need a place to eat, sleep, and securely stalk people on social media. Some of you might even prefer to do those things inside a building.
Where you live is very much tied to your state of mind (I have no idea if that’s true, but it sounds really smart). That said, if you feel lost, aimless, or depressed, you obviously live in an apartment. Well-adjusted, thoughtful people don’t settle for apartments. They figure, “Why waste my money on a place where the landlord takes care of all broken appliances, all landscaping, all trash removal, all neighbor issues, and pretty much any other problems that arise? I think it’s much better to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house and do all that stuff myself.”
When I was an unenlightened glob of twenty-something protoplasm, I used to think that renting was a waste of time. The absolute agony of having to pick up the phone and call the landlord gave me Vietnam flashbacks, which is pretty impressive since it’s a war I wasn’t even alive for. Also, I twitched like a football fan who just found out the live draft feed had been cut off. I wandered around the apartment, mumbling to myself, “I really wish I owned the dishwasher so I could have the pleasure of spending hundreds of dollars to get a new one instead of watching some guy do it for free.”
I had an in-depth conversation with my wife that went exactly like this:
Me: Renting is just a fancy way of throwing money into a furnace.
Wife: You are the wisest man I could have ever married.
It made much more sense to buy a house, because then it would be an investment. But, I remembered reading some article about how people end up spending so much money on home maintenance that, even if they sell their house for more than they paid for it, they’re pretty much in the same financial state they were when they bought the house. But because that article was on the internet, it was clearly false (I disregard everything on the internet, because I read an article on the internet that told me to do that). After all, I’m not stupid enough to let some online drivel like Forbes and The Wall Street Journal tell me how to manage my finances.
Long story short, my wife and I decided to ditch our money pit of an apartment and move into a house. When you want to buy a house, you have to go over the home disclosure agreement, a document that is about as exciting to read as Fifty Shades of Grey with all the sex scenes cut out. (Random fact: if one removes the sex scenes from that novel, it’s slightly shorter than Green Eggs and Ham and has less literary depth than Ariana Grande’s lyrics).
The home disclosure agreement is where the previous owners have to tell you everything that’s wrong with the house before you buy it. And just to make sure, you end up hiring a home inspector, which is a person whose job it is to make a last-ditch effort to convince you that buying a house is a really dumb idea. That way, you can emotionally prepare yourself for the cavalcade of problems you’ll face, largely because everything that works in the house will break as soon as you sign all of the other paperwork.
For those of you who’ve never closed on a house, you have to go through and sign a stack of paperwork that’s a few thousand pages longer than War and Peace and a little more exciting to read than the end credits of Titanic. To give you ample time to understand the enormity of how crazy you are for buying a house, an attorney will speed read his way through the reams paperwork in about five minutes, the most memorable portion of the ordeal being that you’ll get carpal tunnel from signing so many papers.
Unless you’re fabulously wealthy, you’ll have to get a mortgage, which is a fancy word for “a loan so large that if people really thought about it, they’d live in apartments.” All I know about mortgages has to do with the fact that there was a mortgage bubble, or something. And it burst, as bubbles tend to do. There were lots of fancy terms involved like “sub-prime,” “low interest rates,” and “Ponzi scheme.” But, being the intelligent person I am, I reasoned it was just better to ignore all of that complicated stuff, because anything that’s complicated probably isn’t worth my time. For the record, there’s no connection between that previous sentence and the fact that I’m not a millionaire.
Sometimes I think about moving back to an apartment. But the sheer convenience of it all would probably kill me.