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Yow! April 3, 2005

As of this writing (Sunday), I'm on the cover of the LA Times! Right under the Pope! I'm right under him on the website, too. Permalink to article here.

David Streitfeld was a fabulous interviewer, and I had a great time "sitting" for the piece. Mom, Christy, I'm not going to lose my house -- I hope for equity and cost-of-living raises. But David does raise some good questions about the newness of these interest-only loans. I live in hope, however. You know me. And I have a door and a key to it that I call my own.


**added later: I will admit that I was not going to blog this, because I did NOT want my family to read it and get scared. They're already tripped out that I have so much debt. But I got a call this morning from my mother saying to go out and buy the paper, "you sneaky kid," and she had seen it because her neighbor called her and told her about it. She then called the sisters, who called me. I think they were just stoked that there was a picture of me in there. And that's good.

It comes down to this: I make enough money now to make the mortgage. In a few years, hopefully I'll have made enough equity to refinance and change terms. If not, it'll raise by 2% plus principle payment, and I'll have to get rid of TiVo, cell phone, all extraneous yarn purchases (gulp), but I'd still be able to make it. And honestly, before David interviewed me, I'd had my head so far in the sand that there were grains in my bellybutton. I didn't want to know what the rate could raise to, I didn't want to know how high my highest payment could be -- and it's true, I would have signed anything. But now I know. It's scary, but it's do-able. Facing fears feels good. (Although turning away from them feels just fine mostly, too....)

It's a cold, windy day here, and we just went on a walk through Mills College with the dogs, who romped all over the old grounds. It's lovely. Later, The L Word with friends and knitting, in my little house. Happy.


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Hey, at least its a cute picture.


adorable picture - "avec chat" - and a rather subdued yarn mention - clearly they haven't yet heard about your spinning obsession yet!

fantastic article, though - he did such a good job of capturing your situation without making you look naive. and DAMN, girl - the FRONT PAGE!!!

Holy cow, you are an interest-only super star! You look a tad healthier than the Pope (oh dear, am I going to be lynched for saying that?). Optimism rules!

Oh my gosh, you're just getting more famous all the time. First the marathon, now the newspaper front page, wow!

Good story, though I get all faint when I think about those sorts of loans. Woohoo for you for taking the plunge. The place really is great.

And your blog personality (the only one I know) comes out nicely in the article.

I think you're brave! Great pic!!

Great article. I'm on the verge of buying my first home - a little late to the game and very nervous. But hopeful too :)

Well, I agree, super cute picture of you and Adah! Also, based on what I've been hearing from everyone, you could probably sell right now for a leeettle beeet more. Plus, you'll be a crazy successful novelist right?

Hey! There you are! This is what I get for reading the Comics before the front section. And, amusingly enough, the Real Estate section. How cool!

And my fiancee has one of those interest-only loans, too, but it looks like we'll be able to sell the condo within a year.

When we got married, Richard and I actually did you one better (worse?) -- we had a "negative amortization" loan. Yeah, each month's payment in fact did NOT COVER the interest, so at the end of the three years we owed MORE than we had owed the day we bought it. But our gamble paid off (honestly, we figured the bank was less risky than we were, and if *they* thought it was a good idea, it probably was), and the rate once it switched to a "regular" loan, given the increase in value, was easy to cover. And as with you, with a "regular" mortgage we couldn't have afforded anything.

Good for you! And how cool to see you on the front page....

You famous chick you ;) My gawd is real estate brutal down there... You can and WILL do it!

I've been reading your blog a while, but never really commented. I'm a knitter in the South Bay.

But today, I had to comment. Why? I saw the subject in bloglines, and had a bit of a start. My last name is Yow, you see, and my first thought was "ooh, a post about me! Except, why would it be? Um...." And then I read a little further, and of course it's not about me. :-)

The interest only thing is kinda scary, but that picture is damn cute, my dear.

Well, risk happens with every breath. I would be a LOT better off financially if I had taken some risks that I was afraid to take back when I was 32--specifically, buy a house. So I applaud you and feel confident that you have made the right choices.
Plus, you look great in that front page photo! Did you reupholster your sofas?

What, romping with the dogs and no pictures? No pics of little Miss precious? (no, NOT the adults!) Sorry, obsessed with that little dog.

I hope the fame doesn't go to Adah's head.


Hey, now-a-days, who wouldn't sign anything to have something of their own? I hate throwing money away every month on rent, but it has to be done, unfortunately. Good for you for taking a risk and trying to make something work out for you.

Ooh, Digit must be pissed.

When you're a world-famous successful novelist in a few years you'll hardly even remember that you were ever the least bit concerned about mortgage payments.

My thought is pretty much in line with Christie's: When you finish that book of yours, and you're sittin' pretty with your first million, you'll look back and laugh at all this fear of not being able to pay, right? Well, we'll all cross our fingers for that, anyway.

Wow! Check you in the paper!

This life of mine - simple and always struggling with $$ -- has taught me one huge lesson:

Live for today my dear! That's all we got.

This life of mine - simple and always struggling with $$ -- has taught me one huge lesson:

Live for today my dear! That's all we got.

That is one freaking awesome picture! I get a little faint when I hear money talk like this, too, but that's just because I'm also so far in debt and, you know, unemployed.

I'm definitely one of those "here and now" people. You'll be fine. Besides, you could always have your girl move in and help with the payment. :)

We always do what we need to do and the good part is you don't have your head in the sand. The pic is great!

hey! you are a rock star!

you'll be fine. i can't say i would have been brave enough to do it your way, but that would have been my loss. in fact, your story's kind of given me some ideas...

Hey cutie! Did you tell him that if anything is going to "provoke your ruin," it's the yarn?

Bea cannot be-LIEVE Adah got the front page!

Cute picture of Adah. Mommy looks good also. And now you can clean the sand out of your belly button.

Let us know when you need yarn, Rachael-with-an-a. We can supply emergency packages if necessary :) Belly-buttons are for keeping salt in for when you eat eggs in bed - clear that sand out right now!

Yeah - what happened to Digit? Don't worry, a lot can happen in 3 years. You'll be fine.

Always here to provide for any yarn needs...just speak up. I had a high fever last night and had nightmares about your loan. On the TV here in WA there is a commercial about preditory lending. I wonder who benefits? The banks in the end? I agree with Janine and I wish that I would have been able to get into the housing market sooner. Coming clean to your family and friends feels good. I think in your case the money will come.

Such a cute pic - and a sweet, sweet crib you have, there. Nice that he recognized the importance of the tub.

Uh, which exactly are the 'extraneous' yarn purchases?

this is good to know since i'm currently contemplating a move to Cali in 2006/07. hope springs eternal!

Congrats on the story - I've seen it linked all over the place (in Not-Knitting blogs.)!

What a freakin' adorable picture of you and Adah! And having seen your place in person, I know it's a risk worth taking. :) You are so sunshiney today!

What a great photo! That's a pretty funny thing to get into the paper for, though... while waiting for the page to load, I anticipated an article about 911 operators, or possibly knitters or novelists or marathon runners (boy, you could have your own section of the paper, now that I think about it). Never thought it would be about your status as a homowner, though! Soooo jealous of you taking the plunge and buying a place of your own...

That's awesome that your pic and article made the front page!! You rock! I completely understand about the interest-only loan. That's how I got into my 2 bedroom condo last June. The only good thing with mine was that my offer on the place (in Colorado) was $9K less than what she asked for, but she wanted to get out of the place and she had plenty of equity, so my $9K is equity in the house. But my credit has gotten so much better just by buying a place and I plan on refinancing in two years to get a better deal. But I'm with you, it got me in and I'm very happy with my place.

My boyfriend and I were talking about the ridiculous housing prices in the area recently and he started telling me about an article about "this single woman and a cat that lives close to the freeway and has lots of yarn...she must be a knitter like you!" I got all indignant on your behalf and told him "She's more than that, she's RACHAEL, hon!!" I set him straight! ;)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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