Ever since my landlady called me last week to tell me she's putting the house I rent on the market for just over a half a million dollars (she did offer me first dibs on buying the place), I've been stressing about buying a place of my own.
I have rented for most of my adult life, first because I wasn't sure if I'd stay in Charleston, then because my credit sucked too hard to buy, then because I didn't have any money, and now just because I don't want to deal with the stress of owning my own place. Everything about owning seems so haaaarrrd, from inspection to taxes to regime fees to insurance to how much it costs to fix a leaky roof. I have a huge place right now with a working fireplace; my rent is much less than a mortgage (at least the mortgages of the people I know), I don't have to pay taxes on the place, worry about my house payment skyrocketing because the loan people randomly decide to raise the interest rate, and I can pick up the phone and call someone else to pay for whatever's broken.
I am the first one to admit that I am mulishly resistant when it comes to issues of finance and investment. I don't open my 401K or bank statements. I don't balance my checkbook (I have overdraft protection and a vague method of keeping up with how much money I have by accessing my account online). I have a few minor dings on my credit report that I hope will just go away eventually (magically). I don't like to talk or think about money, period. And I'm defensive as hell whenever someone launches into the "why you have to buy a house RIGHT NOW" speech.
What I don't like to admit: Being single is hard. I like to think of myself as single by choice (as opposed to single and desperate). Most of the time, I'm really happy that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, without having to consider someone else. This weekend, for the first time in I-don't-know-how-many years, I actually wished I was half of a couple so I could have someone else help me deal with the Business of Me. Perhaps what I really need is a financial advisor, but what I was thinking is more along the lines of another person to worry about this stuff with me (not for me); and then there's the factor of having a second income.
The whole thing makes me feel weak. It also brings my self-esteem down a few notches in the Feminism category (because a truly independent woman would have all of this under control). I should be able to deal with all of this on my own, right? Shouldn't I be able to act like a grown up by now?