I bought a house that costs less than a Tesla then interviewed for an out of state job!
It's true. I signed on Monday amid the COVID pandemic. The closing was quite sterile, literally and figuratively. The attorney representative asked me if I was excited, and I said not yet.
I'm still not there yet. Part of it was the fact that the transaction was purely financial on my part, I haven't told my extended family yet. I've only told a few co-workers from my old job just because I needed to tell somebody.
Other than the possibility of saving on my housing expenses in the coming years, another part of the process I liked was how it was almost entirely electronic. I found the property online. I "purchased" it online. I applied for a loan online. I completed documents online. Other than the signing, I never needed to meet anyone face-to-face, not even a realtor.
As one who practiced social isolation and sheltering in place before they came buzzwords, I was a big fan. For someone who doesn't always feel heard, I could appreciate having time to think through each process and make decisions without feeling pressured or rushed.
So yes, I did a quick Google search of the cost of a Tesla, and a little chart showed up with the base price of a Tesla Model S coming in at $85k. My house cost $77k! Outside of that, I've already spent more than $4100 in transactional costs and more to come, I'm sure.
Still, there are people in the world who are paying more a month on a car than I am on an actual house! Can you imagine?! Shoot, some of those people probably aren't even financing that fancy car.
I learned about escrow and it makes me uneasy. If you're unfamiliar with how escrow works, to protect themselves, the mortgage company or its servicer has you pay a monthly amount that covers a) principal and interest on your loan b) estimated property taxes and c) homeowner's insurance. You make 1 monthly payment each month forever and the escrow company pays those three individual entities. The way it was explained to me is if you don't pay your property taxes the county could foreclose your loan for unpaid taxes and this would be bad for the mortgage company. I was thinking...errr... what about the human living in the building?
I still don't get how this would effect the mortgage company because I would be the one homeless. But the reason the idea of escrow makes me uneasy is what if you have a subpar employee who forgets to send the payment to the tax office? I guess I don't know if I still get a tax bill? Is there a receipt that the taxes owed got paid? That would make me feel better if I could at least have access to the accounting of the taxes. I didn' t think to ask that exact question. There were some tense moments with the attorney representative. I'll just chalk it up to the stress of COVID because otherwise I'll just stay mad.
One of my hopes since I started my financial independence journey was to be better at downloading my monthly statements. It's so tedious and happily uneventful, but I really want to be good about tracking statements related to homeownership expenses. At least until I get more knowledgeable about the process.
So I had the interview today. And because I had an internal referral, we were able to cobble together some practice interview questions. Silly me being so on the fence about going through with the interview in the first place pretty much had access to the exact questions. (My biggest obstacle!) But I was like ugh, I can't think of any examples. I hope they don't ask this. Wrong, they did! Luckily I had at least browsed through the questions. Even with my mock interview with my colleague, I wanted to insist she go through those practice questions with me, but I already felt like I was asking too much. And she didn't seem all that interested. Another case of not speaking up for myself. I was a little bit annoyed at myself that I really could have knocked it out of the park, but given all that led to that moment, that just wasn't my reality.
Anyway, I still think I did a good job.
The recruiter asked if I was still open to relocating give the current climate. The short answer is yes, but given my recent closing, I felt the need to include that. My peers thought not, but I asked the internet and found once source that said it was okay, so I did that. Just like a human.
I've been trying to consider contingency plans for if I actually get offered this job, but my won't let my fingers really explore it as anything more than a passing thought. My county is supposed to pass a "stay inside" order tomorrow, so that has taken some of my focus in light of my pending move. I looked at the actual legal document of a neighboring county's stay inside order and it explicitly says that moving services can remain open. So, I think it should be okay.
I think part of the reason I included my current housing situation in my response to the recruiter was a) the possibility of subtly implying they may need to sweeten the deal and b) kind of having them make the decision for me given my situation. I don't want to have to consider an offer and wonder if it would have made a difference if they knew the burden of a freshly-closed house. Or wonder when to disclose it in the future - should I mention it at offer? should I try to negotiate? etc.. Maybe they'll think the job isn't worth the move, and take me out of the equation completely. This way I feel all my cards are on the table and the ball is in their court (probably not what you should do). My hope is just, if they decide to make me an offer, they'll make it their best offer considering all the factors. The recruiter had indicated that she would offer within the range if your asking was a little low, so I'd like to think she'd present a fair offer.
I'm not particularly confident in my negotiating skills, so I don't want to have to rely on them.