House Hunting — Phase 1

I started house hunting about a month ago — this time it’s a bit different, because I am looking to buy, for the first time.

I’ve been moving once a year since I graduated college, so that’s almost 10 years now.

First year, my roommate decided to quit work and study abroad.

Second year, my other roommate decided to quit work and study abroad.

Third year, my roommate decided to move back to her parents.

Fourth year, I decided to quit work and study abroad.

Fifth year, I decided to change room within campus so I was closer to free alcohol — that must have been my rebellious year.

Sixth year, I graduated and needed to get out.

Seventh year, we got kicked out by our apartment’s leading office, no reason given.

Eighth year, we got kicked out by our landlord because her son was moving back from LA and needed the apartment.

This year (yes, you’ve reached the end), I wanted to move out from the 60 year old house because it’s in Millbrae and I couldn’t deal with airplane noise anymore.

I’ve always been opposed to buying because it’s just too expensive in the Bay Area until the other day I accidentally did the math, a math I probably should have done a couple of years ago. Turned out that if I keep paying rent for 30 years, I am actually throwing millions of dollars into the dump. So why don’t I buy a house and avoid being kicked out since after 9 years, it doesn’t seem like a coincidence anymore.

So I started the search, we first narrowed our area down to San Mateo — San Carlos, west of El Camino Real. I needed to rule out Millbrae and Burlingame because of airplane noise and I am just a horrible sleeper. My most recent record is 8 hours sleep with 29 minutes deep sleep. It’s almost a disgrace to the word “sleep”.

After a few weeks searching, we realized that we wouldn’t be able to afford a non-peasant 3-bedroom house in San Carlos. So we narrowed down the search further to San Mateo and Belmont.

By this time, I was getting a bit nervous, we are looking at quite a small area, most of the houses are still quite expensive. Although people have been saying that the market has slowed down, what I’ve seen is that any good house would go out in a week. I was also under some kind of a time crunch because of the low interest rate — you don’t know when this is going to go up, and that the election is coming up — honestly I don’t know what that will do to housing price, even if Trump gets elected.

So last week I saw this house that I really liked, open floor plan, good views, perfect neighborhood. The rooms are bit small, but at that point that didn’t seem to matter. The neighborhood felt like destiny when a Stanford alum, who lives there, came to say hi to us and said “I hope you move in to this house.” When he was walking away, I almost saw light coming out from his back. I am that kind of person that can get very impulsive and at that point, I thought I should bid for the house.

Then it was the constant do I do I not phase, that lasted over the night which triggered my 29-min deep sleep record.

The next day I woke up, feeling that my brain was going to explode. It was not a headache, it felt like there were so many threads in the brain and they were all tangled up together and you just couldn’t streamline them no matter what you would do.

So I decided to do what I always do when I feel trapped. I called my parents. They helped me analyze the house and also kept saying one thing to me — there is no need to rush. That helped me tremendously because my problem is basically FOMO. What if I don’t bid now and then I wouldn’t find anything better in a year. What if I don’d bid now and then the market skyrockets again. But talking to them helps a lot — why would I want to spend so much money on a house that I don’t absolutely love. Looking back at the destiny house, I tried to imagine myself living in there and having to use a bathroom that’s so small it doesn’t even have a cabinet for the next 7 years, the answer was pretty clear to me.

Anyways, there’s not much of a point to this article. It’s more about me trying to document this whole process.

And if you are looking for a house to buy(not to invest but to live) too, remember, there’s NO NEED TO RUSH. Keep calm and go on more tours.