Cindy and I bought our first house in 1994 after we'd been together for about 2 years.
I guess we both thought it was more than a fling and decided to take up roots. We bought this little box in Venice and were more than a little nervous.
We did a lot of work on the house and the yard. We loved the neighborhood. But being the film gypsies we still are we were more often than not, away.
And someone else was enjoying our house. Sometimes it was a house-sitting friend. Other times we had short-term renters. But after several years of paying more than we thought we could afford and the house doubling in worth we decided to cash in.
We were going to be in Montreal for the next 8 months, so we sold our little cottage.
We're in a hotel a few blocks further from the beach, so we looked up our Clune abode on Zillow.
Yeah that little box is at 1.8 million right now.
It's impossible to know what would have happened if we had never sold that house. I can tell you some things that I know wouldn't have happened.
An amazing, life-changing trip through Croatia before it was was fashionable.
Driving across America the days after 9/11.
Beyond those, who knows.
It wasn't the only house we sold that's worth more than a million now.
Our sweet Culver City duplex got torn down and made into a massive 5 bedroom 4 bath house that's on Zillow at 1.25 million.
Selling that allowed us to move into our Don Milagro estate.
The Baldwin Hills is the most under-appreciated area in Los Angeles as far as I'm concerned.
We had looked all over Los Angeles for our next house. I had probably seen 200-300 houses in a few short months. When we checked out 4568 Don Milagro we were blown away.
It was 4200 square feet. We'd been living in around 1200, maybe.
It had 180 views of downtown LA and the Hollywood Hills.
The ceilings were in some parts of the house 30', and in our bedroom suite, and it was a suite, the ceilings were around 14'.
It was a palace.
We knew we were stretching. But what the hell you only live once.
We thoroughly utilized the space.
We threw amazing and epic parties.
We had a vertical urban garden complete with a lively flock of chickens.
I taught a home-school eco-class.
We hosted salons.
We had absinthe tasting events.
I moved 100 tons of materials off that hillside and brought 100 tons in. Cindy was not sure of what to do about my obsession.
And a few years ago we gave it back to the bank in a short sale.
Odds and Ends
We also had an amazing house in Corvallis, Oregon.
But we were never there, because nobody makes movies in Oregon.
We bought some slivers of land in Nicaragua in a development that went bottom-up when Ortega rather unexpectedly came back into power after trying unsuccessfully for the last 20 years.
It is with that history that I can even start to talk about and consider, buying property again.
The short-sale of our house kind of stung.
Yes we were stretched beyond our means.
Our monthly was un-godly and ridiculous, but we were paying for it by going deeper and deeper into credit debt.
We have weathered the storm, as it were, put our credit back together and with both of us working and Skye being the trooper that she is, we have cobbled together enough money for a down payment on a house somewhere.
Let's Go Shopping
I wasn't in Atlanta much in the last year, however when I was.....
On two occasions, we have headed out when we were both exhausted and not in any condition or state of mind to make big-life decisions, and gone out real estate hunting.
At one point I was out on a run and had a moment of brilliance that we should buy a church.
As it turned out it had a quarter million dollars in repairs just to get it to a starting point.
Still, we looked at houses, condos, lofts, farms, and all sorts of domiciles in between.
From Another Time
Cindy and I both have an affinity with New Orleans.
The city made an impression on me when I was 15 when my parents took us on a road trip of the South.
New Orleans made sense to me then and it has every time I've passed through since then.
But at the end of the day it is a city that is more below sea-elevation than not and subject to the whims of Mother Nature, not to mention the politics of Bobby J and others.
Love Affair from Afar
We have been talking about buying in Mammoth for over 20 years now.
We have pictures of Skye in the Village before it was the Village that it is now.
We have seen the ups and the downs.
We will be setting up camp there tomorrow.
The place is in my veins for some strange reason. But once again the timing isn't right and so it looks like we will be sitting tight with our bags of cash and missing out on that home-owning tax break and trying to figure things out in a topsy turvey world.