Climbing Out of a Hole

Zillow has good news for us.

zillowEvery day or two, I check Zillow to see what it says about my house. And it always goes up at least $400 any time it changes.

We bought this house five years ago – just about to the day. And for the next four years, it kept going down, down, down in value. Last year we refinanced, purely on faith that it might recover some value. And it seems that that is happening.

In fact, a realtor friend tells us that Zillow is like three months behind. So that is great news. We are still a long way from this house being worth what we paid for it, but we might actually have positive equity. And that’s an amazing thought.

Every spring, when we come back down the mountain and see the damage from a winter without maintenance, I’m ready to just walk away. It’s not that there is that much damage; it’s just been that feeling of “we keep paying for this place, and working on it, and it keeps losing value”. Now, that sentiment is changing. It’s a joy again to do stuff to the place. Perhaps my attitude is mercenary, but so be it. I don’t think anybody likes losing money, but I’m willing to accept the possibility, unlikely as it seems.

If this place does go above water again, I don’t know that I’ll be in any hurry to sell it. We’re watching the yard fill in from all of the planting that we’ve been doing for five years; that, in itself, is a pleasure. The mesquite in the front yard, that was a twig in a 24″ box in the fall of ’08, has almost reached the point where the canopy is completely above the house. When that happens, then we’ll have a real shade tree.

The queen palms out by the pool keep giving me grief, but maybe someday that will be the quasi-tropical paradise for which we’d hoped. And the volunteers – desert broom, creosote and palo verde – are doing all that they can do to lush the place up.

So we’ll keep it, and keep paying for it. And keep working on it.

And keep climbing out of the hole.



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