An experience more addictive than crack

Not that I would know. In my case, more addictive than triple-dipped chocolate malted milk balls or vintage (yep, let’s face it; it’s that old now) Sex and the City reruns.

I’m ashamed to admit it’s consumed every waking minute away from work. Kept me from this blog and off the elliptical machine. Heck, it was all I could do to get my income tax done. How pitiful is that?

I’ve been on a nutzoid ride …

seattle restaurantfrom Seattle

Sarasota Beach1

to Sarasota

Miami

Miami

New Orleans beignet

New Orleans

nyc

NYC

Tampa Columbia

Tampa

St. Pete blow up doll

St. Pete

Raleighchick2

and Raleigh.

Not to mention all the places I’ve traipsed in cyberspace. DC, Annapolis, Costa Rica, Spain.

All in search of the perfect condo.

I’ve been doing this on and off for months now. But my search has intensified in the last month because I’d really like to get something to call my own before prices balloon even more than they already have. So I’ve been a zombie on a nonstop marathon. Fixated. Driven. And, realizing as I’m emptying out my head, totally devoid of humor.

How did this happen? Sheer panic.  Embarrassed to say at this advanced age, I’ve never owned any property. Chickened out a few times, due to money. Which actually cost me much more in the long run.

Now that prices are leaping, I’m trying to keep up and grab something while I still can. Gottafinditgottafinditgottafindit.

Call it Fear and Loathing on the Real Estate Front. I could write a book — or at least a substantive story. And I intend to.

The short version: I now know the difference between a condo and a co-op; what Redfin is (hint, it’s not a fish); what you can and can’t do in a 55+ (oh, the horror) community; why Florida is another galaxy; the crucial difference between a V and an X flood plain (why not knowing could spell real disaster); the intricacies of masonry and drywall; “comps”; and how to ace DocuSign.

I can sniff out the caliber of a real estate agent real quick. And I offer this nugget: A real estate agent is not your bud — no matter how much time you spend together.

I’m not done yet. Not by a long shot, I’m sorry to say. But I am inching ever closer to making the actual purchase. Not quick enough, I know, for those who still care despite my lunacy; and you know who you are.

The addictive part is looking at the myriad of properties online. The pathetic part is looking just for sport. And the really hard part is actually making the effort to move toward an actual deal.

That’s where the gripping fear comes in for me. Can’t make a wrong decision! Even though I know intellectually that I can always sell it. But … but.. what if it ended up like one of those dogs that lingers on Trulia for 180+ days! The ultimate nightmare.

I realize this is strictly a First World problem. And I’m lucky to have such a dilemma.

carry-on better

But trying to grab onto a speck of the American Dream means a lot to somebody like me who’s always been on the go and can stuff almost all her worldly possessions into a carry-on.

(If you’ve gone through all this, you know exactly what I’m blabbing about.)

If you’ll excuse me, there’s 140 new listings on Zillow. And an update from a realtor.

Listen, someone that I think is very together confessed it took her four years to find her place. So I don’t feel so bad …

Thanks for letting me latch on to some perspective. Feels so good to get back to the blog. Wouldn’t dream of staying away this long ever again.

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