So James and I are thinking of buying a house.

We’ve been renting halfway to forever, and I’m bloody sick of it, and we do seem to have enough money for a small house. I think. Our credit’s good, and whenever we enter anything into a loan calculator, they wave money at us in numbers that would result in a monthly payment we couldn’t possibly afford.

This worries me a bit, ‘cos even though my income’s been pretty good these last two years, as a freelancer, I get antsy about relying on this sort of thing. There’s making a fair chunk of money and feeling pleased that you’re doing well, and then there’s saying “Okay, now I’m gonna assume I will get at least X amount every month, period.” And in order to afford a house, my income is a key function, and even though my last two years of tax returns bear me out…well…I fret. What if the economy tanks? What if people stop loving me? What if my fanbase hits a saturation point and decides that if they see one more damn hamster or poofy T-Rex, they’ll puke, and I am left penniless, friendless, and alone?*

And then there’s paperwork. With numbers. Large numbers. Alarming numbers. Numbers that translate into Actual Money They Want From Me. And other numbers that translate into apparent gibberish, and incomprehensible gibberish that probably translates into James and I living in a cardboard box and having to eat the cat.

I did what daughters have done since time immemorial in times of financial terror–I called my dad and said “Daaaaaaad! How do I buy a houuuse?” My dad, it turned out was–I kid you not–driving a truck load of doll-house miniatures over the border from Canada. He was delighted to have someone to expound to while doing so, which took his mind off the horrific possibility that he would get to the border and they would ask for an itemized list, which would encompass more than 1200 individual items like wee little paint cans and wee little ears of corn and god knows what all. (I suggested he present a list stating: *One (1) Truckload of Dollhouse Parts* and leave it at that.) So he walked me through the process including things like the termite inspector and the housing inspector and having the condition of the roof be a deal-breaker, and I feel a little better about it.

He also said selling a house was much worse. In five years, I will call back and say “Daaaaad! How do I sell a houuuuse?” and we’ll see.

I take comfort in the fact that people much worse off than we are in both the money and brains department still manage to buy houses. Surely we can do it! People do it all the time! Hardly ever do they fail to notice the critical bit of paperwork that would prevent them from being killed and eaten by angry blue pygmies in a dark warehouse down on the docks! Surely James and I can manage this!

I’m scared.

*This fear gnaws at many artists, and not just when they buy houses, mind you, so it should probably not be taken all that seriously. I also wouldn’t be nearly so fretful if I weren’t in the deadest season of the year for sales–February and August are traditionally my worst months.

Leave a Reply