Homing In

I've taken to buying our community newspaper every week. First up, I check out what jobs are going, then scoot over to the house-for-sale section. It's not like I can afford the least of what they're offering, but it doesn't hurt to dream! :)

Costs in South Africa have soared in the past 2 years. There's very little you can buy in this area for under half a million bucks, and that doesn't get you much. On my salary, even a shed in the back yard is out of my league. But I still browse the listings, wishing.

It doesn't help that I've hauled out all my old British Good Homes and Country Living magazines, chock-filled with wonderful ideas for decor and home renovation and garden goodies. I'd love to subscribe, but am limited to the overflow mags we get 6 months late at a cheap-book shop. However, that works out pretty well - by the time they reach us, they're applicable to the correct season! :) Well, I've been browsing the pages, thinking about my "look" and what I like. Up until now the house has been filled with stuff we bought cheap, hauled off some dump or was given. Doesn't make for much cohesion, though it's good enough to live with.

Still, I find myself fantasizing about "my" house, one I own and don't mind spending cash painting, filling the garden or re-doing the light fittings. I'm sure as heck not going to do that on an unmaintained rental that's falling apart, and for which I will not be reimbursed! It would take full ownership for me to invest cash and time into making the house into a home.

Unfortunately it's unlikely to happen, given the cost of buying a place. I hate getting into debt - but who has ever paid for a house cash?! And even if I were to get into debt at the bank, they'd hardly be able to give me the chunk required to own property.

So I sit and dream about my ideal home, drenched in my little fantasy world. I recreate bits of it, scenes on a shelf you could call it, but it's never more than that.

Recently I was pondering my son's potential art-school attendance in 2007, and realized that it's actually in a (relatively speaking) cheap area. IF I have a well-paying job by then, and IF we find the right house, and IF the prices drop considerably, we may be able to live nearby. It would mean he could walk/bike to school and back again. And IF I happen to work either from home or in the area, so could I! I think I just added a new dimension to this fantasy world I've created around the local community papers... :)

But like I said, it doesn't hurt to dream.