I’ve heard it said while languishing in scarcity-mind: G-d has a bigger database than you.
And this is good, because frequently it’s hard to imagine a life bigger, more full, more “optioned” than the one I invent from my brain. In particular at present, I’ve been having a brain-expanding (exploding?) moment around property, homeownership.
Perhaps if you’re like me, you’ve considered that owning a home is something for people who have saved a ton of money, who have worked in high-earning fields, or who have family to help them out. I’ve certainly thought this way. I’ve made homeownership to mean “something for other people.” People who are lucky (and in my darker moments, ungrateful) enough to have family to support them (ingrates). People who earn copious amounts of money that I never imagine I’ll attain. People who’ve scrimped and saved, while I’ve rubbed two pennies together, hoping for a nickel to pop out.
But. G-d’s database is bigger than mine. I don’t know everything. (Luckily, cuz then I’d die!) For example, I didn’t know that my paltry-for-the-Bay-Area salary means I qualify for affordable housing opportunities.
Like this one-bedroom condo on Lake Street in San Francisco.
This all came to pass because of an email describing a program I don’t even qualify for. At work, my boss forwarded an email from the County Education Office heralding a program for teachers to get assistance in the downpayment on a house. Galvanized by this idea, I emailed the company and they replied that it’s a program only for public school educators, not for a private school teacher like me.
But between the moments of excitement and deflation, I went to their website and used their calculator to discover that with my (paltry) salary and their loan terms, I could afford a house costing $350,000. So I went onto Redfin, typed that number into the search features in San Francisco, … and found the most wonderful home.
Wait a second, even teeny tiny condos on Lake Street go for $600,000 — what is this? Well, it’s an Affordable Housing unit where the prices are held artificially low for people, like me, to have a chance.
This led to a flurry of activity. I discovered yesterday that to qualify to be considered for this property, I have to complete a housing education class, I have to apply to the program, I have to talk to one of their loan officers, and then I have to wait in the lottery to win the place or any place in their program.
Huh. Okay. … Well, I can sign up for an education class. I can apply to a program, talk to a loan officer, and carry on with my life while my number may or may not come up. In other words — I can do this. I can do this.
Absolutely zilch may come of it—it is a lottery after all—but you can’t win a lottery unless you buy a ticket.
And furthermore, the remarkable idea that a person “like me” could own a home in this crazy messed up market makes my little heart flutter with possibility.