All men are essentially building their own little empires. Some men have lots of things going for them, others not so many. Sure You can be a pretty smart guy and have a well-toned body, but is that all You got? Men are materialistic and like to own things. There are some things that every respectable man should own – a reliable car, a pair of formal shoes, a good belt, a nice watch and a formal suit. But there is one more thing. And this one’s the hardest to acquire – his own place. And that’s not something You can pay for just by playing poker with friends…
I’m 26 years old and I’ve never lived alone. After moving out from my parents’ place, my friend and I started renting an apartment in the ‘ghetto’ part of Tallinn. After one crazy year we moved on to Australia, where we got to live in different hostels. That isn’t exactly a luxurious lifestyle. Usually You get to fight for the top bunk while sharing the room with 5 other people. After GLive joined me on The Australian Quest, we started looking into rental housing. You could easily make it cost the same as a hostel bunk bed when You brought in other housemates to cut the costs down. The problem was, that we only stayed in a single city for 6 months tops. Being that mobile really forces You back into hostels. Of course once we had a more permanent plan in place (and by more permanent I mean, when we knew we were staying in a city for at least some months), we always tried to rent another house.
Moving back to Estonia was the biggest hit to my pride. Boom! I was back at my parents place. Up until that point it didn’t really matter where I was staying. I used to tell everyone that “My home is where all my shit’s at”. But now a few years had passed and I’d come full circle. I was back where I started. While family is great and all, they do live by their own rules and expect You to follow theirs. I had no nowhere else to go to. After a while I found myself back in relationships and so I started moving in with women. When things went to shit, I simply checked some Facebook ads and usually found myself a place to move in to pretty fast. That’s how I basically moved in with this one random woman. A complete stranger, who turned out to be quite okay. Our apartment was a 5-minute walk from the old town. Just perfect for picking up women from the bars. The apartment itself was total crap. Built in the 1920’s with furnace heating and a simple self-airing system as the wind just blew right through the house walls.
After moving in with X and her 3 kids, I started gazing at myself in the mirror while thinking ‘God damn, I’m trash’. I was never happy about moving into someone else’s apartment. It turns straight into that ultimate trump ace card to play, as the argument reaches those top levels. “Well You can just GTFO from my apartment”. They know very well that it’s their winning move to play and they never hesitate to use it. So one night, as I was doing coke and hanging out with my trailer trash girlfriend, I put together a plan. I thought that it was going to be a walk in the park – 6-9 months and I’m done. Note to self: never underestimate shit. I had to get this eternal living situation problem of mine fixed forever. I had been toying with the idea of buying my own place for a while now. Only this time I decided to take it seriously. I knew that my plan would work. My plans always work. The hard part is going through the steps as planned, not the plan itself though. It’s a matter of submitting myself to the grind…
What was the plan You may ask? It was quite simple. After running some ‘best case scenario’ calculations, I came to some abrupt realizations. In order to save enough money for my own place, I’d have to keep living my nomad lifestyle for at least 10, maybe even 15 years. At the same time I’d be paying rent to someone else and that’s basically lost money. So my only option was a mortgage. I’d pay a substantial amount of money into the bank’s profits as interest, but I wouldn’t be paying off someone else’s mortgage. I’d actually own the place in the end. So what could I get for my current salary? Keep in mind that the banks in Estonia only let You use ~40% of Your salary to pay off any loans. The rest is meant for Your living expenses. The online calculators confirmed all my fears – my current salary allowed me to get a small studio apartment. I was at the ‘trailer park trash’ level of income. I wasn’t going to work 10 years to come out of my income level only to be able to buy a 1-bedroom (2 room) apartment. I understand that money makes all the wheels turn and simple problems require simple solutions. If I wanted to skip that low level grind, I had to start making much more money fast…
Step 1 – Acquire more currency
The banks normally want about 20% of the cost upfront as a deposit. I wasn’t even thinking about saving any money, so even that 20% seemed like a distant dream. My expenses have always been too fucking high. So my only option was to check all the other necessary boxes and then try to talk the bankers into giving me a loan. I can talk myself into and out of all kinds of things. One of my ex-girlfriends used to talk about how passionately I get into some subject as I’m in the process of feeding You the biggest load of horse shit. As if I had just run hundreds of tests on the subject in my basement laboratory and had now chosen You to be worthy of my new discovery. Why would that be any different? Bankers are human too. Or are they? The banks in Estonia want Your last 6-month bank statements to assess Your financial situation. So I left Estonia and started working in Finland. Boom! My salary was 2x higher than before. All I had to do now, was to grind long enough for it to become my ‘normal’ income level. At month 3, my Estonian home bank made me their gold member.
Step 2 – Apply for a loan
At first I only put in a mortgage application at my home bank. You know, because of the gold member thing. Figured it would have some kind of a meaning. It didn’t. It’s just a decorative item. They invited me into their office. I scheduled it to be right after my trip to Egypt, so I’d be well rested. So there I was. Nicely tanned and full of arrogance. They told me what I already knew – that since I already had financial obligations (my leased Beamer), I would now be eligible for a good 1-bedroom apartment together with a living room, a kitchen and a regular water closet if I could also come up with a 10% deposit…
Step 3 – Back to the grind
We all saw it coming. You did. I did. There I was. Thinking “if I sold everything, I could probably get the deposit together”, but then I’d be going all-out on a mediocre accomplishment. That was not going to happen, so it was back to the grind for me.
Step 4 – Try again
I spent most of my summer working and slowly perfecting my plan. It wasn’t going anywhere. I wasn’t going to stop, before I got what I wanted. Determination is a great word to describe me. I was able to pay off my car at the end of the summer and now it was time to try again. This time I decided to branch out. I looked into all the banks in Estonia. Some banks told me that they don’t want to deal with people whose salaries come from other countries. Some probably sent my applications straight to the trash. I was still left with my home bank, who was willing and now required a 6% deposit. Until they started raising their conditions with every call and email. I guess at some point I had perhaps showed them some weakness? After a couple of days the deposit was up to 15%, while I was still offering a good collateral which was intended to bring the deposit down. I was now thinking that maybe I wasn’t destined to get my own place after all. I mean I wasn’t going to take a totally garbage deal either. When my home bank mortgage manager called, I calmly told her that I was no longer interested in doing any business with them. And that I was, in fact, going to join another bank and move all of my ‘business’ out of their bank. All because of the totally scum move on their part where they tried to squeeze their loyal customer. A customer that had been with them for 20 years. They tried to call me back, but it was done. I was bluffing of course. There was no other bank, but at that point it really didn’t matter. I went on to party all that shit of my system and reboot myself at the Weekend Festival.
After the whole ‘Daddy no. 4’ shit-storm, I got an idea. There was one more bank that I hadn’t tried. So I sent them a letter in which I went into great details on how I told my home-bank to fuck off and am now looking for a new bank to join as “I’ve only heard good things about Your bank through family and friends”. They were very willing to add my steady income into their own arsenal of investments. Having paid off my lease, I was eligible for a much higher loan. Thanks to my own collateral, I was able to talk them down to 0% of deposit. That’s also a very rare thing for a bank to do in my country. At some point they even told me that “nobody does these kinds of deals”. Of course the interest went up because of it, but overall it was definitely worth it.
Step 5 – Buy a home
As if it hadn’t already been a pretty absurd roller-coaster of constant haggling and negotiations. I had now come to the point where I’d physically have to visit all the apartments, that I found suitable. And trying to set that up from another country just made it a lot worse. I was going back and forth between the 2 countries, every weekend, for about 2 months. A lot of the apartments looked good on paper, but had major flaws on the spot. I probably met about 20 different realtors. It seemed like flirting was the only selling tactics most female realtors had. That was fun to watch. I didn’t dare to take it any further, but I wonder how many of them fuck their potential customers to seal the deal? A lot of the homeowners and realtors didn’t seem to take me really seriously, as most buyers in Estonia are much older than me. I ended up finding a pretty nice apartment in a good suburb of Tallinn. Top floor, has a nice kitchen and a spacious living room. With lots of room, closet space and neat lighting systems. It also came with a small hot tub and a queen size bed in the master bedroom. It also has a nice second bedroom.
The realtor, who had this one listed, seemed to be a couple of years older than me and I was his first sale. He got to start with a big enough bang. Good for him. My plan was a great success after all. It took me about 2 years to complete my mission. From that coke-filled night all the way to getting my home keys handed to me. Had I stayed in my own country, it would have probably taken me more than 10 years, if we count in that I would’ve had to learn a skill before I could’ve started earning more than I did.
So, ladies and gentlemen, this is how You become an independent trailer park trash…