I had a rather interesting day yesterday. Sister A's life got upheaved, and shortly thereafter, so did mine. Call it a "domestic dissolution" at her end. At my end, it's called invoking "the M word", as Max puts it.
Lo, these many years, Sister A. and I have planned to throw in together after I retire and/or after her hubby passes. Then yesterday morning, A. called me at work first thing and asked me to look into HUD or rent-supported housing for a disabled person. Even though I know she's on disability, it didn't occur to me that she was talking about housing for herself. After I found that out and realized that the meltdown I'd seen coming for two years had finally happened, I invited her to live with me until she got settled in her own digs. She hopped in her car and drove straight down to set up a checking account here and otherwise start the ball rolling.
While A. was en route, I tried to find out what could be done in the way of rent-supported housing, but I really didn't like the idea. A's income is not vast--she's retired on disability, after all, and Social Security ain't that generous. She'd have to rent a hovel in a bad neighborhood just to make ends meet. And since we'd probably be seeing each other every day, anyway.... Well, long story short, after she turned up at my place o' biz and told me the whole situation (and I got in a good bit of swearing at her soon-to-be-ex), it only seemed logical to suggest that maybe we should speed up the joint-digs idea--buy a house together now, here, instead of several years hence in some pleasant small town, as originally planned. She sighed and said, "Boy, I'm glad you said it first."
I put my head on my desk and groaned.
Not that I don't want to live in a better neighborhood--that would definitely be an improvement over my current locale, which now has the highest crime rate in the entire city. But my cute little house...! My beautiful bathroom I had remodeled less than a year ago! My beautiful, brand-new French doors! And all the plans for other remodeling in the years to come....
OK, I'm not sorry to get out of all that remodeling. It would have been extremely difficult to get so much work done and paid for before retirement, especially since I'm still working on paying off a load of credit-card debt.
But buy a house? Now?
Obviously, I have a house, and we could live there (as, indeed, we will for a few months), but it's quite small and we'd be practically living in each other's pockets. We are middle-aged ladies with broad interests and LOADS of books and other diversions (not to mention a little OCD and a slight tendency to pig-headedness), and there's no way we could live happily together in cramped quarters. So...enter the realtor.
This is actually a primo time to buy, and not a bad time to sell, either (at least here), since there are lots of low-income people wanting rent houses and that's probably what my little house will become. This area wasn't hit as hard by the recession as many other parts of the country. Plenty of landlords would be happy to add another property to their holdings. And financing should be no problem through my credit union (although A. may have to be the "main man" in that arrangement, considering my debts). And my house is so close to being paid off, I should clear a good amount in the sale to put toward the new house.
Plus, my "hood" is heading downhill; if I want to get a good price for my house, today is better than tomorrow, and certainly better than a year from now. So I decided to sell the place and buy a larger one in a better neighborhood with A., and the realtor went to work for us.
Now, picture that. I got up in the morning thinking about nothing more than solving a little software problem at work, and four hours later I was selling my house and moving.
Morning = Normalcy; Noon = Bizarro World.
You just never know what the day will bring.