This whole Salida house buying thing has just been quite an education in grace. Not only did this place fall in my lap when I was only daydreaming about a house in Salida and not even looking. Not only is the place perfect for my needs. Not only did I not have to compete with any other offers and my soon-to-be neighbors are friends of mine. But my bank called today–the very day that I had decided to lock in whatever rate was available–to let me know that they are running a one-day special: 1/4% off market rate with no points.

In fact, when I woke up this morning, I thought to myself, “Dear God, what an incredibly easy and lucky thing this has been. I wonder what good thing will happen today.”

Hey, Universe, if I haven’t said it lately, then a big THANK YOU. You are truly amazing.

Late breaking edit: Apparently, my credit union’s contract with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doesn’t allow the purchase of a duplex as a second home. It would have to be bought as an investment property. They were still going to offer me the low rate but the closing costs would have nearly tripled (which would have eaten up the equivalent to about 13 years of the savings that the lower rate would have given me). So, back to my mortgage broker with the normal interest rate. It’s not a bad deal, I’m just pissed for all the run around and having my emotions messed with. Grrrrrrr.

I win! I win!

The little house in the country is mine! It’s a 105 year old, cottage-style duplex near downtown Salida. It’s in need of no immediate repairs (although the floor in the back of the house is going to need some help at some point because the locusts are managing to grow their way up through the floor boards).

It was built just after 1900 as housing for workers during the railroad boom. (Salida used to be a major link in the Denver and Rio Grande railways.) The two-bedroom side would have housed a family and the one-bedroom side would have been used by multiple, single men rotating through their shifts. It is two blocks from Colorado’s largest historic district (beating out Leadville by about a block). It is 3 blocks from the Arkansas River and some of the best river rafting in Colorado. It is a 20 minute drive to Monarch, the only ski area in Colorado that doesn’t need to make any of its snow. It is about 30 minutes from where Christo and Jean Claude’s new art installation will be. It is within 45 minutes of 5 natural hot springs. (In fact, the local public pool is fed from a hot spring.) It has been rated in the top 100 art towns in the US for its many galleries and local artists. And it is nestled in a big valley that is ringed by some of the most beautiful and mountainous scenery you could ever hope to see.

I’ll keep the duplex as a fully furnished vacation rental for a while and let it help pay for itself. And when it isn’t occupied, it’ll be my 2nd home.

cut for pictures of my private paradise

Happy Birthday

I have been horribly remiss this summer and fall with passing along birthday wishes to my friends. Although these moments in their lives have not gone unnoticed by me, they have gone unacknowledged. Let me turn that trend around today, only one day late …

Happy Birthday, !

May this next year be full of happiness, friendship, and wealth. I’m glad you are in my life and in the world. Your ongoing pursuit of integrity and depth continues to inspire and uplift me.

Little House in the Valley

Remember the little town I stayed in this summer while I was finishing my thesis and recuperating? Well, I picked it because I had a suspicion that I might like to live there some day. And the more I was there, the more I fell in love with the place and, of course, made friends. And when I got back to Boulder, I just hated how frenzied and crowded it felt. Neither my positive feelings about my little town nor my negative feelings about city living have worn off.

Well, “some day” is starting to look closer to reality. I made friends with the landlords of the place I rented there. We’ve gotten together when I’ve gone back and when they’ve come here. And last time we met, I told them that if they ever wanted to sell their little rental property, they should let me know.

Last week, they sent out an email to their friends, asking for interest in purchasing the place. They are going to collect offers for the next couple of weeks and then decide. Apparently, there is quite a lot interest and my offer is going to be only one of what sounds like many.

I’m working on magic on my end with my credit union and my mortgage broker. On one hand, I gotta be crazy to buy a second home that I won’t be able to live in full-time or even seriously part-time for years to come. On the other hand, looking out into the future, this town is where I wanna end up, and I really like this little 100 year old house so close to downtown but not in the fray, and housing values (and costs) are going up there (contrary to national trends due to some recent positive publicity) so I might be able to quickly build equity, and I could offset the mortgage payments with a little income by keeping it as a vacation rental for a while, so ….

It would be a shame for something like financial fears or burdens to get in the way of something like this. And, as my dad pointed out, it all seems so perfect that it must be ordained!

So, please wish me luck! I’ll submit my offer sometime in the next week and should know by the end of the month if it’ll be my little house in the valley.

Resting Place

In October, Habiba and I did the rounds of Boulder art studios during their “Open Studios” weekends. I found a potter whose work I liked. One of my favorite pieces was a blue, salt-fired jar, with a totem of movable ceramic fishes on a pole that came up from the lid. But I couldn’t figure out where I would put it in the house where I could enjoy it, and I can’t justify purchasing something that I wouldn’t have some sort of relationship with.

But, last week, I had the idea to see if she’ll make me an urn for Doo’s ashes–one like her fish jar but with a little floppy-eared, brown dog on top. She said yes! She even asked for pictures of Doo so that she could try to make the dog look as much like him as possible. I’m going over to her studio tomorrow to talk about a style and shape and I’d like.