I am ashamed to admit this but…my name is Holly…and I have a problem. I am addicted to real estate….so much so that I lose all rationality and self-control when I see a house that I like. Even though we already live in a nice house, I am always finding different homes that I love from the seemingly endless supply coming on the market. Until recently, I had been “clean” from my house shopping addiction. Yet, like a former fatty stuffing her face with Little Debbie cakes, I recently found myself caught up in old self-destructive habits.
Falling Off the Wagon
It started innocently enough. My neighbor across the street recently put her house up for sale. I thought it would be no big deal if I got online to be nosy and check out her house listing. After all, I had been clean from my housing addiction for quite some time. “Just a little look won’t hurt.” Unfortunately, a story that is typically told at the local AA meeting quickly ensued, and I found myself looking at many, many houses. And since it had been some time since I had “used,” there were lots of new prospects on the market to look at. I was quickly hooked.
Getting My Real Estate Fix
I found a few that I loved. I got high on granite countertops, jacuzzi tubs, and cozy back porches. I hallucinated about 3 and 4 car garages. I stood on imaginary back porches and screamed “I’m the king of the world…” Titanic style. I even went so far as to email my
dealer realtor and ask her a few questions. Of course, she replied to my email at lightening speed. She knows of my insatiable appetite for real estate and was quick to offer me the goods.
“Do you want to see it? I can go as early as right now.” RIGHT NOW?? Unfortunately, not everyone wants to see an addict get out of their situation.
Luckily, my husband was (as always) by my side. He reminded me that we can be 100% debt free in about three years. He promised me we could move and pay cash for any house that I choose. He whispered sweet nothings of new kitchen cabinets and walk-in closets. He always knows just what to say.
Am I really willing to throw that away just to get a newer and nicer house right now? Do I really want to forgo our planned trips to Hawaii and Europe that we have talked about for hours at a time? What kind of moron would I be to buy that bigger, better, nicer house and have to work another 5-10 years at my job in order to end up in the same financial position? Is that what I really want?
Of course it isn’t…and I quickly remembered who I am and why I do what I do. I want to be debt free. I want to see the world. I want to pay for my kids college. I want to retire early. I don’t want to be a debt slave. I don’t want to follow the status quo. I don’t want to work longer and harder to achieve less and less. I don’t want to be “normal.”
As any recovering addict knows, this could happen to me at any time. New and nice houses are everywhere, and there will always be someone willing to give me a big fat loan to get what I want. Luckily, I have my level-headed husband by my side to talk me off the ledge. He is always there to remind me of how lucky we are for what we have. He never lets me forget what my real dreams are.
So, here we are still in the same home we have lived in for the past four years. As I write this, my girls are rolling across the floor wrestling and laughing. My great room looks like some kind of toy explosion took place, and I am as happy as I have ever been. I don’t love this house, but I do like it. My family is what makes my house a home, and there is nowhere else I would rather be.