----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ ----------------------------------------------- */ The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire: Lakefront Property...Cheap!

The Fabulous Adventures of Astera: Writer/Actress for Hire

Meet Astera (aka: me), a star in her own mind. Our plucky little heroine has embarked on not one but two difficult, low-paying career paths: writing and acting. Witness the menial jobs! The unreasonable demands! The quirky friends and family! And the glimmer of success just ahead! Through it all, Astera maintains her core beliefs: 1) She is destined to be fabulous 2) Everything is more fun with a cocktail.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Lakefront Property...Cheap!

While Mr. Pink and I were in Florida, we spent an evening far from the madding crowds at all the theme parks. We headed out toward Winter Park, just outside Orlando proper. It's a quaint little town with a bustling downtown area full of cute little shops. We had dinner at a very nice Italian restaurant, and then we strolled around the streets and through the park. Then we made the mistake of stopping by a real estate agent's office and looking at the listings in the window. Why? Why did we torture ourselves so?

For those of you not acquainted with the California real estate market, it is completely out of control. Prices bear no relation to reality. For example, a 50-year-old home, maybe a thousand square feet, maybe three bedrooms, one bath, in need of quite a bit of remodeling...well, in my town, about 35 miles (and a hellish commute) north of San Francisco, that will list for about $650,000. After the multiple offers and the bidding wars, it could sell for closer to $700,000.

And what did we find in Winter Park, a charming and upscale community? Multiple listings for properties in the $300,000 to $400,000 range. In fact, we saw one newer home listed for $399,000. Now, where I live, those prices don't even exist, unless you're talking about something in a mobile home park. But in Florida, that price can buy you a five-bedroom, three-bath home on a lake with a swimming pool, in a good neighborhood with good schools! The mind boggles!

But despite the outrageous prices, I just can't see myself leaving California. My family is here, and it's home. It's where I've lived my whole life. I may never be able to afford a spectacular home, but the desire to stay is just too strong. Alas, for now, I have to content myself with my small rented condo and hope that someday in the future, Mr. Pink and I will earn enough money to make homeownership a reality. In the meantime, I'm going to stop looking at real estate listings in other states...far too depressing.


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