Chris and I used to live in Boston, where parking spaces would sell for tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Renting an apartment was expensive enough, not to mention finding a parking space when you did not own one. Now that I live in the Pacific Northwest, even the process of renting an apartment is different. Ten years ago when we lived in Boston, you would have to give a landlord the first month of rent, last month, sometimes a security deposit, and a realtor fee. If the apartment was $1000 a month (which was definitely on the low side) that would mean $4000. A lot of money just to move into a place. Yes, $3000 was investing in your future, but the $1000 to the realtor was lost.
All cities are different. No rental process is alike in each city. Portland has nothing on Boston. Which I appreciate. When we moved to Portland, we thought, oh we just need to have the cash to move in, instead Portland is very particular in a different way. Landlords in Portland want to ensure that you have a job and you can prove your monthly income. It makes sense due to the high homeless population. Landlords want to know you will continue to be able to pay your rent. I understand that completely, but it is just so different from Boston.
Portlanders complain about finding parking spaces, just like any other city, but I know Portland does not have quite the market on parking spaces that Boston or New York have. I recently read an article that discusses the IRS auctioning off two parking spaces in Boston for a man who owed back taxes. The parking spaces sold for $560,000. It is shocking to think how much someone paid for a parking space, especially since it is much, much more than many pay for their homes.
Chris and I moved over the weekend. I had not mentioned it before because it is not official until it is OFFICIAL! Saturday morning Chris was meeting the movers, and I was getting the keys to our new place. On my drive over it was pouring down rain. Ah, Portland fall weather. Everyone is driving under the speed limit. Ah, Portland fall weather…
In any case, I am driving to our new place, and Bob Marley comes on the radio, and I start to cry. Now, here is the thing. I do not cry that often. When I do it usually hits me hard. At first I cannot figure out why I am crying. I think oh it is this mellow song. Then I think oh you are just utterly exhausted. Then it hits me.
They are tears of gratitude. Oh gosh, they are coming down now as I write this blog post. Gratitude of the adventure that Chris and I just started. Each step we take in life together is always better than the last experience. We have been living in a townhouse, so buying a house has been something we have wanted to do for a few years. The real estate market had not been in our favor, but that has gradually changed. Without boring you with all the details, we just purchased a beautiful house.
What brought tears to my eyes was the excitement for what is next, gratitude for how smooth the transaction went, and awe of what “home” will be for many years to come. Lastly, I think the tears were just a glimpse of what my life was as a child to now. It is not that I never had an imagination for what was possible as a kid, but my life has given me so much more than I could have ever imagined growing up poor in the Midwest. I am so grateful for what life has given me. My husband, my family, my job, my home. Tears of gratitude. I wiped them away, and drove into my new driveway to meet my realtor.
By the way, if you live in Portland and need an amazing realtor, send me a note.