No. of Recommendations: 7
Good morning from north of San Francisco!

As some of you know I grew up living in houses in the San Francisco Bay Area. My dream has always been to own a house with hardwood floors, bay windows, a front yard filled with English garden flowers, and land which contains a running stream, willow trees, and woods. *POP* That's the sound of my popping my fantasy bubble with a Victorian hatpin.

Here's my reality: I am still a single moderate wage earner living in a very expense area of California. While I had dreams of moving to New Zealand or England, those are merely dreams. I am staying here to be close to my family.

Here's the good news: I have an open escrow (he owner has accepted my bid and is looking for a new home for herself) on a one story (my knees will be very happy!) condo. It is a wee bit bigger (it is 920 Square Feet) than the two bedroom, one bathroom apartment I have been living in for the past 17 years.

No backyard, but it has a fenced front patio. I can put vegetable plants in planter boxes. The fence is tall, which means I have privacy, and more importantly, when I get a dog (after I retire) we can both enjoy the patio without my worrying about him or her running into the street.

My apartment complex was built over 50 years ago and the ugly pinkish-beige bathtub is too shallow for an adult to fully enjoy a bath. The condo has a normal depth, white bathtub (and the bathroom has a high window on the back wall!). Fools, the condo is utterly charming! I call it the Hobbit Cottage Condo. The outside of the building is brown with dark green trim. The owner painted the living room and dining area a light caramel, the kitchen and guest room a light green, and the master bedroom lavender. And I am happy with all these colors! The condo kitchen (it has white cabinets) is huge compared to my current galley kitchen. And the kitchen and dining area have faux hardwood floors.

Oh, and the complex has a small pool and a clubhouse.

Water, garbage, the roof and the grounds are covered under the monthly HOA fees.

For those of you who own homes, what has been the unexpected expenses for you? What do you wish someone had told you before you put the key
in the front door of your new home for the first time? (I am getting a pest inspection done before I sign the final papers).

Cheers,

Shire
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