Around here the bars close at 2:00 AM.
At 2:30 AM the Nightclub Of My Neighbor opens its doors to anyone still lucid enough to hold a beer and do a few dance moves.
It’s 4:00 AM as I type this, and the party’s still going strong next door. The music’s thump-thumping and the patrons are talking loudly as they puff puff their smokie-smokies on the outside porch. Since we live in a typical suburban tract home with thin walls, and our neighbor’s thin walls are only ten feet away from ours, we can hear it all.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve been up clicking away on the computer on nights when the all-hours disco is too raucous for my light sleeping. It’s been a regular occurrence since the new neighbor moved in 6 months ago.
And while he’s over there partying, I’m usually over here hosting my own personal pity party while looking up his house on Zillow and cursing the fact that his mortgage is half the amount of ours.
I may have mentioned in previous posts that our house, like 80% of houses in America(<—- made up statistic), is upside down.
We purchased in 2005, when the market was H-O-T and prices were H-I-G-H.
We were young, had just moved back from the east coast, and people were camping out for houses like they would for a Beatles reunion tour with all four original band members and Elvis as the opening act.
We were quick to dive into the housing game, thinking if we didn’t get in now, maybe we never would. Maybe house prices in Phoenix, we thought, were becoming like those in our neighboring California – overpriced.
The banks were giving away mortgages like candy, even though we had no right to qualify, having just started our new jobs. Our broker actually filled out our application for us.
We signed an interest-only, fixed rate loan, with a balloon payment due at the end of five years, thinking, in that time we could either sell or refinance. The rule of thumb being that houses always gain equity in five years, right?
Wrong. So wrong.
Here we are five years later, and our house is worth half of what we paid for it. Being too proud to foreclose and before short sales were the norm, we were fortunate to refinance in early 2009 – but not without a lot of tears, stress, and emptying of pockets.
Then there’s this house….
Recently I introduced you to the concept of my future self in this post. And a few weeks later JD over at Get Rich Slowly talked about this concept too. He put it best when he said, your future self is always “richer, smarter, stronger, and more successful.”
Well my future self lives in this house.
This chic, modern, classy, newly remodeled, awesome home located in a coveted neighborhood is currently for sale.
And the short-sale price tag is less than the mortgage we hold on our thin-walled non-modern upside down tract home next to Party Central.
I’ve seriously been irrationally depressed ever since I found this house listing.
My future self could have been my now self if the cards had fallen differently – if we hadn’t been so quick to buy five years ago, if we hadn’t sunk so much money into this house to save it, if we had short-sold it like everyone else did theirs.
If, if, if.
Why is my crystal ball so broken?
I sometimes ascribe to the belief that we are all in charge of our own destinies. If we want to live in a refurbished 1960′s mid-century modern ranch style home, then we can find a way to make it happen.
Other times, I ascribe to the opposite belief – that we are NOT in control of our own destinies. That there is a higher power who knows more than we do, and knows what’s best for us. And for whatever reason, we aren’t meant to live in the dream home. Not right now.
It can be difficult living under these opposing belief systems at times.
But one thing has made me snap out of this pointless depression pretty quickly.
It’s called, thinking of someone other than myself for a change.
While I’m over here whining about what I can’t have, the owners of the above house are most likely losing their dream home – the one they refurbished with their love and their money.
And countless others are in the same boat, or dealing with far worse.
I’m shutting my mouth now.
But back to my all-nighter neighbor, I think tomorrow at 6:00 AM I’ll be setting up the weed whacker and hedge trimmer on his side of the yard and rigging them up so they run simultaneously for a few hours. And maybe for good measure I’ll set up a microphone and speaker to blast the Wonder Pets over to his house when the kids wake up, when our all-day party is just getting started. What do you think?
House picture (and resulting depression) courtesy of ModernPhoenix.net