Posts tagged real estate

Bilbao during Santa Semana. no wait, first a word from my future… :-)

The story of Bilbao is a dull and rather existentialist one full of ennui and lonesome misery in the endless rain, which I can’t rush through. I will try to give it justice sometime tomorrow, but really think it’s more likely to spark a novel.

Right now, I’m in a better mood after rejoining my friends in Barcelona. I’m even grateful to be back in Raval,  because the muslims store owners see no reason to shut down on Easter Sunday, unlike all the devout Catholics driving this country deeper into financial ruin by taking damn near an entire week off for Easter. Speaking of which, I finally went to church in Barcelona! 😉 Paddock Motard Bar (which I happen to live very close to, and you’ve read about before here), was open for Sunday services: to show the MotoGP races. They had set out all the chairs they had in rows facing the TV’s and the place was packed with rabid fans watching the 125 race when I arrived. It was awesome! Everyone was going crazy, and it felt so damn good to be somewhere in Spain where Easter didn’t seem to be bringing life to a grinding halt. However, mother nature brought MotoGP to a slippery halt, as it was rained out. grrrr. It rains like 4 days a year in Qatar, and it seems those 4 days are always when the GP is in town! They actually had to cancel the race because they run it at night to show off some fancy lights. The problem is: bright lights + rain = zero visibility. pffft. do it in tha daytime, people!

I’m more interested in keeping my eyes on the prize. Whenever I need a boost, looking at real estate in LA makes me happy. It’s a pleasant way of daydreaming about what I want in life, thinking about where I want to live next. So today’s entry is this third floor loft in the fabulous Barker building. I went to a party at a friend’s loft there in August (which feels like a million years ago) and fell in love with the place. The sexy rooftop pool/spa, the Urth caffe across the street, the whole downtown arts dist. vibe. Love it. Would sacrifice a private garage for it…

omg! Shoes. and debt economics

these are the most gorgeous sensible shoes I’ve ever seen. Look at that low, sensible heel! Lucky for me, they’re out of my size.

in real estate news (some of you may recall I made a commitment to write about real estate more often, to counter the potent lure of designer shoes.) well, let’s see. prices are plummeting! even in cities I want to live in! I think if I can just keep my FICO score up and get a decent salary at a full-time job, I might even be able to buy me a nice place to live next summer. The only debt I have right now is my 1% car loan (astronomical in today’s market, I know, but how does one refi a car loan without buying a new car?), and my ridiculously high 8% student loans.

The car’s almost paid off, but the student loans are pissing me off because, hey! I’m doing my part to get the US out of this ditch by becoming a high value-added employee who will help some lucky US company find ways to make more money, responsibly.

So why is my federal student loan locked in at this ridiculous rate, yet I can waste money on short term economic stimuli like cars and junk at only 0%?

MUST!!! THINK!!! OF!!! Real Estate!!!

Home! I need a home! For real. home is so much more important than these shoes. but is it really? I mean really really? Of course it is! Oh, how I yearn for the smell of wood burning in the fireplace, the joy of gutting and redecorating, the bliss of floating face up in the pool alone under a starry night. Arrrgh. If only I knew what city I was going to live in, It would be so much easier to resist these fleeting temptations. Especially considering my #1 choice is getting cheaper by the minute. I’ll be able to buy all of Silver Lake by the time I graduate if this keeps up. LA, baby, LA. NYC is much better to visit while LA is much better to live in. I have my city choices narrowed down and prioritized, but I need to get on some things first to make sure I get the job I want, which will of course determine where I must live. And of course wherever it is it will be a place I can ride to work in these boots, and all the other shoes worth blogging about.

price cuts

I have my realtor sending me listings for land in Silver Lake, because I really want to move back and have this fantasy about buying one of those LEED certified prefab homes. The good news (for me) is that real estate in LA is officially down to 2003 prices. This listing has me in mind when they say: “You could build a 3 car garage on this property.”

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This could be my view. For the low, low price of $259k. Just reduced! All I have to do is put up some sort of structure.

Something like this would be real nice…

And it’s on the opposite end of Silver Lake, so I’d be able to walk to all the places I used to have to ride to.

real estate

OK, time to get on it. Get my eyes on the prize. For awhile now, I’ve been covering up the ugly formica cabinets here with pictures of prettier places. But now that I must blog about them, here’s the first one. It’s from a recent Anthropologie catalog. Sure, the furniture is gorgeous, but what I need is the room. That is one awesome room.


I realized, after buying the Dior shoes (below, at 40% off, of course), that I’ve bought every pair of shoes I blogged about & really wanted. So all but the purple boots.

Because each pair chips away at the down payment on my condo, and because I suspect there may be something deeper happening here, I’ve decided I should start blogging about real estate. This should help me keep my eyes on the prize…

Two very good reasons to go to bed so I can get up early and go to work and kick ass so I can keep makin’ money…


Busy stuffing some food in my face after a day of flying, but made it home much more peacefully this time. Which proves that either the crew on American are way nicer than those on America West, or that people are just nicer to me when I don’t dress like a thug. At the conference, my presentation was probably well-received, although it’s hard to tell. I was seriously upstaged by the fabulous professional moto-journalist, Mark Gardiner, who read excerpts from his forthcoming book on his experience racing the Isle of Man TT. He left the entire room desperate for more, I can’t wait until it’s published. This is the same guy about whom the documentary “One Man’s Island” was made, just the description of which made me want to follow in his footsteps. I’m fast on the IOM video game! But I’d probably just be a speed bump on the real deal. Yet, I have scared fellow racers with my high-speed street riding, so maybe the fact that it’s on public roads will make me faster. Or maybe I’m only fast when squeezing between undulating taxis in Manhattan. Anyway, it’s on the list. Much higher on the list than the ice hotel, of course.

I’m really bummed that there was no racing this weekend. I’ll be pretty far from TV’s and sports bars for the next few weeks, so I may have to ask my roommate to fedex me some dvd’s of races I’ll be missing. Didn’t get much sleep last night, but it was quite an adventure. Mark and I discovered that we both used to race (sometimes even each other) at Loudon, so we had fun reminiscing about the old place, and getting lost in the Georgia (or was it Alabama?) woods on a wild goose chase. Saw more of Atlanta than we would have if we’d just done the normal thing and gone to a movie. I really like Atlanta, especially when I tell one of the locals how much I admire the lovely HOMES in Little 5 Points (the cool neighborhood) and she says “OH! They’re sooooo expensive!!! They start at about $500,000!!!” Hahaha. I’d trade up my 2br condo for a gorgeous house in a bucolic neighborhood much like Silverlake, without having to spend a dime. It’s amazing how much cheaper it is to live just about anywhere other than California.

Led Astray…