Tag Archive: real estate


For many years my husband was in the Air Force and we lived on base. Before that, we were just young, stupid kids who rented and never thought past our 6 month lease. Ah, yes. Back when we “knew everything.”

Then, he separated from the Air Force and, after a time, we were faced with the *exciting* prospect of buying a house. Sounds fun and easy, right?! WRONG. It’s the most perplexing thing I’ve done…and I’ve learned French and successfully filled out insurance paperwork.

First, you have to find a realtor. Thankfully, though I hear this can be arduous, in and of itself, I knew one who is trustworthy and good at her job. I feel like we won the lottery, we are so happy to have a competent realtor. If you are in the San Antonio, Texas area and looking to buy or sell a house. comment below and I’ll give you her name and number. Okay, first job done…now, we just find a house, right?

No. First, you have to decide what kind of house you want and where you want it to be located. Think of the price you can afford to pay, the layout you want, the amenities you must have, and extras you’d like. Take some time, write them all down, and make sure you know exactly what you want.

Now, take that list, crumple it up, and throw it away. Don’t be ridiculous. You think you’ll get any of those things?? Nope. The next step is to  search for houses in your price range, in areas with reasonable property taxes, and maybe a few of the items on your list. You’ll need about 10 hours a day for a few weeks to really get your spirit broken. Once you’ve snapped, give in to reality.

You’re going to find a house that is more expensive than you’d ever expect, in a decent (but not great) neighborhood, and you’ll deal with that galley kitchen, no fireplace, and small rooms with no closets. No, in fact, by the time you find a house, any house, that isn’t currently condemned, you’ll be happier than you ever thought possible.

Then, just when you least expect it, you’ll find a great house, just in the location you wanted, with all the things you wanted…and it will have sold two days ago. So, you’ll go back to putting an offer on the house you are going to buy and the real insanity begins.

Next up: Paperwork and check writing…you’ll be an expert in both!

 

I Was Raised By Wolves!

Well, okay, that’s maybe a bit of hyperbole…or, if you want to get technical, not true at all.

 

What IS true is that I was raised by conservative hippy parents. My father grew corn and soybeans, ran a dairy farm,  flew helicopters  and T-38 jets for the Air Force (truth be known it was several types of airframes), and has a law degree thrown in for good measure. My mother has done everything from running daycare centers to being travel agent to selling real estate to bartering with old Frenchmen to acquire antique pieces for her shop.

 

My folks met in Texas after my father had returned from flying O-2’s as a forward air controller in Vietnam.  My grandpa got sick and they took over the dairy farm in Wisconsin where my father had grown up. After 5 years (and one tragic barn fire), they up and moved to Texas where my father got a law degree while my mom sold real estate. They still operated the farm as a cash grain entity from afar. Then, they decided to rejoin the AF. (Trust me, there are quite a few stories about all this that I’ll dole out, in time).

 

Yep, after all that hard work, countless hours of study, my father passing the Texas and American bar exams and being all set to be able to work as a lawyer, they went, “Hey, let’s travel! How about we get back into the Air Force?” (Side note: maybe we are part gypsy, too??)

 

While in the AF, my family lived all over the US, including Hawaii, and in Germany. My father was also stationed in England, the Philippines (well, until the volcano – Pinatubo – blew and melted all his stuff), and Japan, but that happened on tours where he could not take the family, or when my sister and I were in college.

It’s no wonder that when my husband and I were first married, in 1999, that we thought to ourselves, “You know what’s a good idea? We are young, stupid, and childless…and we CAN…so, let’s move to Hawaii!” So, we did.

 

It’s no wonder I have found myself in some interesting situations. Just to get a taste, I’ve wandered around Paris with my mother and sister looking for our hole-in-the-wall hotel room, armed only with my mom’s good sense of direction and my (then) sophomore level French-speaking skills; driven (well, I rode at this point) around Europe in a ’78 Volkswagen camper bus we named Sweet Pea; and used my last $14 to visit Carlsbad Caverns while driving home from an impromptu trip from New Mexico to Texas (don’t worry, we had a full tank of gas to get home) and the truck made it in one piece!

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