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My second apartment here in Austin didn't work out as well as my first. It has a second bedroom and is larger in square footage, but the individual rooms feel smaller and cramped. It was good to move to a new apartment when Maureen moved in with me, but we never got past the feeling of, "Oh, it's smaller than I expected."

Our first year in the apartment ended about a week before our wedding date, so we rolled over the lease for another six months. We did some casual looking before the wedding, mostly to narrow the search to a few zip codes instead of whole bloody city, but also to validate our hopes that with current mortgage rates, we could in fact afford a house without too much hardship. We resumed the search a month after the honeymoon, after our realtor finished a trip of her own, and found something we decided we wouldn't do better than fairly quickly. Good size for us, good price, good highway access, backs up to green space, not someone else's back yard.

We close on the house in two weeks, so today it was time to... liquidate my stock market holdings. My employee-purchase-plan holdings. My stock-option-incentives that had vested and become stocks I can sell. And, of course, the general stock holdings I've held at Charles Schwab over the years. I sold some in February to pay for some wedding expenses; now I was selling a lot more to cover the down payment (20%) and a bit more for all the related expenses.

Part of me cringes at selling so much at once, and part of me realizes: what are financial holdings for if not to use when you need them? I suppose we could have put down 5% instead of 20%, but that would have introduced a few extra fees and costs, not to mention the proportionally higher mortgage payments every month.

My company's stock has dipped a bit in the past two weeks, but I'm still way ahead on my purchases of it. The rest of my stocks? Generally profitable, and here when I needed them. All's well that ends well, right?

And if the market starts a long, vigorous rally now that I'm almost completely out of it, well, you're welcome! 

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February 2013

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