Home-buying: the heart vs. the head

If you read my last post, you’ll know that The Man is making moves to buy a little piece o’ Austin. He, and by extension, we, have been looking seriously for about a month now.

Now that we’ve got some space in between us starting this process and where we are currently, I can say that I’ve spent about 50% of my waking hours entirely overwhelmed. Some of that is positive, feeling joyed at the possibilities of setting down some roots and making smart life choices, but most of it is elephant-on-the-chest anxiety. Over-extending financially. Nagging The Man into making the convenient choice, not the best choice. Not taking risks when we’re best able.

I’ve needed to take lots of deep breaths and we’re not even close to making offers. I’m fortunate to have a yoga practice, which gives me a healthy, safe way to relieve stress (not that drinking heavily wasn’t considered).

Home-buying is a constant negotiation between your heart and your head. You can’t decide to buy a house for exclusively financial or the emotional reasons. The Man and I have done a lot of back-and-forth on this exact point. From the get-go, he has been thinking primarily with his head and I primarily with my heart. He naturally understands things first, I naturally feel things first.

THE HEAD

The Man approaches buying a property as a smart life choice: you can get some serious ROI, real estate is always good to have, you’re investing in yourself. I agree with all of these things, but buying an investment property ultimately serves your emotional needs.

When you buy a rental property, you expect income from that property to support some other part of your life that you do measure emotionally. In The Man’s case, an investment property is his first step toward being able to have more freedom to control his time how he pleases. A second income stream independent of his 9-to-5 could help him reach that emotional goal.

THE HEART

I approach buying a property as the start of setting down my roots. I automatically fall in love with each brand-new home with a giant kitchen, imagining dinner parties and cooking together. Every walk-in shower with one of those big square rain showerheads seems like the ultimate luxury. Short walks to restaurants and flowershops make my heart skip a beat.

Of course, getting everything you want comes with a big price tag. If the numbers don’t line up, it’s simply a no-go, and it’s harder to make the numbers line up in Austin than most other cities in the US.

So, The Man and I continue to compromise. I work on reconciling heart and head in my own body, he does the same, and we come together to meet in the middle. Slowly we’re whittling down our neighborhoods and requirements, although that all seems to change every 48 hours for whatever reason. We’ll get there eventually.

But until then,
I’ll be right here.

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