House Hunting

I've been stalking the 'net in order to begin what I am thinking is going to be at least 1.5 years of looking for a house, being told that I am too much of a financial loser to have a house, and finally acquiring a house that is most likely going to be moldy and in a zip code where no fewer than 53 registered sex offenders reside.

Dude, I'm so excited.
At least I'll have my attack dog all trained and ready to chew off the pinky of anyone who tries to burgle me. Dogs are the first line of defense, you know. Small dogs have big barks. I can't even joke about this. Who am I kidding? I'm getting a dog that I have every intention of carrying around in a fucking backpack.
When I purchase my very first home in a loser neighborhood, my dog is going to hide in the closet with me and hold onto the baseball bat with whiter knuckles than mine and Maggie and Grace will be the creatures who are all gun waving with all four paws and cussing and "Git off ma property an' I sayd naw!" and I'll be all "Thank GOD I let them do whatever they wanted to do when they were kittens... I won't ask where they got the guns... I won't ask where they got the guns... I won't ask where they got the guns."

And then they'll twich their tails at the intruder and let me and the dog know when it's okay to leave the safety of the closet.

There are houses that I can afford, and I'm not even kidding. It's just... here's the thing. I don't like to leave what is actually a very small radius of mileage. I stay so close to home that I've only put 4,500 miles on my Bitchin' Honda in the year that I've owned it. I don't know if it's like some kind of phobia, either about driving or leaving my house, or if I grounded myself permanently in some former life but the fact is that unless I'm getting on a plane and going to visit somewhere, I'm not straying very far from where I live. This presents a MAJOR problem when beginning a preliminary search for one's first home to own in a bigger town than one has ever lived in, a town where one is not familiar with even the tinest significant percentage of territory. I just don't know where these places are located.
I am surprisingly flexible on location - I love living in Central Tucson but I understand that I'm going to have to find an Uncle Daddy or move to the South Side if I want to buy a house anytime in the forseeable future. I'm cool with the South Side. I'll pick up friends, we'll go for a ride.

It's just that like many Tucson neighborhoods, the South Side is corner-by-corner in terms of aesthetic value and personal safety levels. I could see a potential home on the Internet and be all, "Whoo hoo! It's pink! Look, it has windows! And a DOOR!" and then who knows where the house is in this town. I certainly don't know. It could be in my price range because it is in a gang war zone, it could be in my price range because it's something that not many people have caught onto yet, or it could be in my price range because I got really fucking lucky one day and found THE HOUSE and THE RIGHT TIME.
But seriously, because the chances of that happening are slim, slimmer, and zero, PLEASE. Spare me the optimism, honey.
The bottom line here is that I am going to have to start leaving my shitty neighborhood so that I can find out where the shitty neighborhoods are in which I can afford to buy a house.
It's a perplexing logic problem, isn't it?
You're saying to yourself, Dear Reader, "Sarah? What about renting in an unshitty neighborhood? If you can buy a house in the next year, you can rent something pretty sweet, right?"
And to that response I reply, "Please."
And I roll my eyes.

No, I cannot rent a kick-ass cute house in the middle of a cute historic neighborhood! I am COMMITING here. It's all part of the Plan, the New Me. She's NOT AFRAID TO COMMIT to stuff. She's not going to look back and say, "Damn. Now I'm going to spend the next 3-8 years lamenting the decision that I wasn't happy with back in 2005."
If she's not happy, she sells the bitch and then rents or buys something different.
There's no need for a panic attack. There's no need for a temper tantrum. There's no need to stay huddled in the fetal position for 5 months, waiting to feel differently and dwelling on the trouble. I think 3 months is an acceptable maximum, since it represents one business quarter and asking me to go cold-turkey on the self-pity isn't all that fair. I'm old, dudes.

I have to get out there and find out where these freaking addresses are or I will be spending a year on the Internet, not knowing what in tarnation I am doing.
It's kind of sad to think about moving, though. It's not for a really long time but still... there's not one person who hasn't made fun of my apartment, or been disappointed by it but there's something about it that I love. I don't care that it's tiny and that it *might* smell like pee (Thanks Namoli, thanks for the complex). I love that I've had this incredible procession of neighbors who have become great friends. I love that it's all hidden away from the scary stuff that goes down all around it. I love that I can run across the driveway to dish and that we live a little communally. Last Sunday, I went outside to find two of my neighbors had made tacos and they turned me right around into my house to get a plate and get some grub, even though they really hadn't intended for their dinner to be a community affair. While I was eating, Sarah McCool-Coolio came over just to say thank you for the great weekend we had hanging out together. I realize that once you make friends with people, you don't end the friendship just because you rock yourself down to the South Side... it's not the friends that I'll miss about the place everybody loves to hate. It's that I'll miss the PLACE. Maybe the haters don't see the art and the flowers and the dumpiness as having any kind of secret charm but that's the way I see them and I love them and I will miss them when I go.
Hopefully, I can spend the weekend further away form my crib than at the grocery store across the street. Maybe I could...
to some of the neighborhoods where I have seen affordable housing and get a feel for what's where.
I've got a year - don't push me.

arizonasarah at 2:38 p.m.

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