Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"We're not looking..."

Americans are obsessed with houses. Big houses, little houses, townhouses, condos, etc. Even if they already have one. Even if they're really not in the market at all. I read a book with the provocative title, "House Lust." The author wrote about the popularity of HGTV and the recent phenomenon of "renovation counseling" for troubled couples in the middle of ripping out walls and putting in granite countertops. It's a sickness, I tell you.

And I'm caught up in it just as much as anyone else. I go online occasionally to a favorite realty website and look at what's selling in neighborhoods around us. I keep my finger in it. My pinky finger, but still, a finger.

This is not good for me. Because of circumstances completely beyond our control, we will not actually be "looking" for a house to buy unless something very specific happens between oh, say, tomorrow, and say, next March. At first, I was completely cheerful about this. I thought it was fantastic! I wouldn't have to decide when the perfect time would be to buy... this thing had been decided for me by circumstances orchestrated by the All Knowing Almighty. I was at peace.

But my peace is in danger of being chipped away. It seems that everywhere we turn, someone is saying, "So, are you looking for a house yet?" "Your lease is up soon, right?" "Where do you think you're going to go?" I used to try to explain, give a little background, and this would inevitably lead to frustration on my part as it brought to mind all the uncertainty of the unknown in this real estate market.

I know everyone means well. Shoot, I ask the same questions myself if I know someone might be in the market for a home. But, in order to keep frustration at bay, I've decided on a new answer when someone asks these perfectly innocent and friendly questions.

"We're not looking."

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