I can find places I quite like in locations I’d enjoy living, but the response I get when consulting with expert is basically the equivalent of a warning siren and the robot from Lost in Space flailing its arms in a panic.
When I find places that are really quite solid investments, well made and reasonably priced, I look at their location and the streets that surround them and realise, should I live in this place alone, my future will involve unacceptable levels of boredom and self-loathing.
There have been suggestions, in Australian media of late, that we’re far too hard on suburbia. Perhaps this is true. I grew up in the suburbs. I live in Brisbane, which is mostly a sprawling suburban expanse that goes on forever and ever, amen.
I’m not good at that. I like the idea that there are people around, people I can go engage with. I like the idea that I can leave my house and there will be things to do within walking distance, regardless of the hour.
This limits my options, in Brisbane. It limits my options quite a bit.
I started this process expecting to be renting, trying to find a place to move before Christmas. When I realised I could afford a mortgage, the plans changed but I stayed packed, ready to move at a moment’s notice.
All the advice I’ve been given about buying a house suggests taking your time is the best option. Find the place that’s right, rather than the place that’ll do.
It’s been two years since I last had a place, since I gave up my flat and moved into a friend’s spare room. It’s been two good years, but I’m anxious to move on. To have a space that’s mine again, to unpack all the books.
To think, I’d like to read the opening scene of Less Than Zero again, just to see how Ellis uses the language in that bit, and know that I can find the book on a shelf instead of realising its sitting in a random box and it’ll be impossible to find it.
I’ve had the opening line stuck in my head for days now. People are afraid to merge on freeways in Los Angeles. It isn’t in a hurry to go away.
My irritation at being nowhere is infecting other parts of my life. You can’t build without a foundation, and right now I’m on shifting sands. Work bugs me. Writing bugs me. I’m sick of being around other people.
And so Thursday comes, and I go look at apartments. Saturday comes, and I do it all again. Slowly, inevitably, my standards get lower, ’cause eventually the need to be somewhere will outweigh good sense.