Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Suggestion Number 2: The House


This one probably isn't going to pan out all that interestingly, but here goes. In late April Danielle and I moved into a house. Specifically, we moved into a SoCal family approved house that it has been Danielle's goal to purchase for several years now. And interestingly, I have zero financial interest in the house. That's right, I'm still living life as a tenant, although admittedly paying well below market rate for my current situation. As an aside, that's the tautology that was used to convince me that I couldn't actually argue against the house purchase (aside from the fact that to be honest it wouldn't make sense to); I'm paying about the same rent to live in a nice house instead of a cramped 2 bedroom apartment in a complex I could not stand (and yes I liked our apartment up north just fine...for some reason the complex we lived in down here just didn't do it for me....maybe it was living on the first floor for the first time, or the people constantly smashing into my parked car...who knows). Objectively my life is better, so what argument could I make? Moving right along...a lot of people find it weird that Danielle and I have completely split finances nearly a decade into our relationship. I don't. I find a lot of the financial decisions that a lot of people make to be extremely weird, though, so maybe I'm the weirdo. I do play poker for a living, so right off the bat my views about money and risk are way the fuck out in left field compared to most human beings who don't work on wall street. For example I've had not one but two conversations recently with poker players who live down here that were centered around the fact that their bankrolls had shrunk and they can't replenish from family finances basically because their wives do not approve. This is probably because way back when they started playing poker their rolls were generated out of some funny money (a bonus, a Christmas gift, something of that nature) and since then the money has been behind a funny wall and the wives haven't had to worry about it. But recent circumstances, be it a downswing or using funds from the roll to cover some expenses, leaving them kind of up the creek without a paddle. Danielle and I would never be in a situation like this; even if we do get married, we will have 3 distinct pockets of money, and the "ours" will be far and away the smallest. Maybe I'm not committed, like you read about, on this, but that's just the way it is and I'm fine (in fact more than fine) with it. What was I supposed to be talking about? Oh yeah, the house.

I've decided I don't want to put up pictures because I don't know anything about what metadata would be in them and don't really want the exact location of the house out there for everyone in the world to know. This is probably kind of silly but whatever it's my silliness so that's the way it is.

I like the house a lot actually. My only real problems with it are that it's really far from the LA casinos and not situated in a place where it's easy to walk the dogs. My understanding of owning dogs in a house from my days in Pennsylvania was that dogs just did their business in the yard. Apparently that's not really the way you roll out here in the land of fruits and nuts, so we're walking them way freaking down a hill to this little public field/park space and well I mean it's fine and all but I hate it when something I like ever feels like a chore and from time to time when I'm down there at 11pm trying to convince Clint to poop well to be honest it sorta does. And as for being far from stuff, well it just kind of...is. DosEquis and I had a discussion yesterday about how far I live from him (he invited me to go house partying for Halloween) and I said 50 miles and he said 40 and we looked it up and it was like exactly 50. I mean, that's just REALLY far away from something, and when that something is "the place where two of my co-workers who should be good friends often hang out". Like growing up I lived 25 miles from downtown Pittsburgh and we NEVER went there. 50 miles across LA traffic is just...epic. But yeah, in general I like the house, and I'm learning lots of stuff. First of all, everything is super expensive. Furniture, painting, carpeting....fortunately Danielle basically paid for almost all of that because you know it is HER house and everything (I paid for half the fridge actually, which mind you was super expensive, and I did point out that most tenants don't have to buy their own fridge) but things come up. And landscaping...holy shit I'm about to go on a rant so get ready for it. We got a letter from the HOA basically stating that we need to get our shit in order because we are apparently the red necks with two cars on cement blocks in this part of the world. OK so they give us a week to get landscaping done which is just fucking preposterous, am I right? A week? Seriously? Danielle starts meeting with guys and they are coming like every morning at like 8am and sometimes they are just standing outside waiting for her when I leave for work (that one was pretty funny I'm like "who the fuck are you" and he's like "I am the Mexican guy who wants to plant shrubs in your yard" and I'm like "I'm going to leave now" and he's like "....") and she's getting estimates. The guys you know have some good ideas and stuff, and the whole operation is going to be pretty pricey but you know that's the cost of doing business in Orange County where everything is coated in platinum. And then it happens; Danielle gets a bid on the work for...drum roll please....thirty eight thousand dollars. Not pesos or yuans or whatever; American dollars. This was one of those moments where I had to face the cold hard truth that I no longer live on the same planet on which I was born. I live on a planet where a guy can come to your house, spend 45 minutes walking around your yard that isn't big enough to play catch in, and with a straight face and in all seriousness suggest that you pay him THIRTY EIGHT THOUSAND DOLLARS for him to make it look nice. And this man....he's not insane. He's an upstanding businessman. He does good work, he makes good money, and likely has put several children through absurdly over priced private schools using this exact same model. And do you know why? Because people here are fucking insane and some of them sit there when he says "thirty eight thousand dollars" and think to themselves "well we really do need a 4th palm tree over there I'm pretty sure that's what will make my life complete" and HIRE HIM.

I just spent 5 minutes trying to figure out how to end this post and to be honest I think there's just nothing that can be said after that. So have a good weekend.

6 comments:

bellatrix78 said...

Make sure to specifically say how you want your finances ordered if/when you do get married, because the default is definitely different from how you are handling it. Default: parties have everything separate that was before the marriage, but after the marriage every income that is generated gets split evenly, no matter what. That three "account" thing you're doing is a nice way of doing it privately, but could be a potential nightmare if worst comes to worst.

jesse8888 said...

The length and detail of the prenuptial agreement I'd be signing cannot be concisely expressed in a blog comment.

notmitch said...

If poker doesn't work out maybe you can go into landscaping

Matt said...

MSPaint of the new house plz.

that_pope said...

I sure hope that a full on sprinkler system is part of that estimate, and even then, that is just way too much. We've basically done it all ourselves except for the sprinklers. It was a few years to turn it into what we (she) wanted, but it is finally there.

Not sure the condition of your place, but for the week time period, just put some rock in your front yard to make it pass the HOA standards, and then go from there at your leisure.

jesse8888 said...

So a couple things I maybe didn't make clear in my stream of consciousness rage rant here. First of all, we got an extension on the one week by basically saying "it takes more than a week." Second, she's not going with the $38K guy. It's still going to cost an unbelievable amount of money, but way less than 2 car's worth. And third yeah I'm pretty sure a large overall of the sprinkler system is involved, as well as the removal of a "wall."