My husband and I are buying our first house together. We have been looking forward to this for a long time. For myself, it is because I am so excited to have a home that is mine to customize and personalize, without retaliation from landlords. For my husband, it means I can’t force him to move into yet another rental every couple of years, one that I promise will be better than the last for some reason or another.
Because I have been so anticipating this development to our life story, I thought only of the fun part. I imagined us walking through empty homes, envisioned our furniture and trappings in various layouts. I browsed catalogs for items that would replace the temporary crap on which we have been living for months. The anticipation of finding the perfect house to make a home filled me with such joy– like waiting for a vacation.
When I enlisted my boss’s husband as our realtor, he opened with, “Hi, how are you doing? It’s great to hear from you. I want to tell you now: buying a house is not a fun process.” That may be a bit of a reductive retelling of our conversation, but thank you, Mr. Buzzkill nonetheless.
Still, I smiled. This man does not know just how crazy I actually am. I like things like this– things like organizing and planning. The thrill of the blank slate of an empty house would overshadow the potential issues he assured me that we would face. Plus, this has been a dream of mine, of ours, for so long, we felt all kinds of prepared for the challenge.
It’s been four weeks since that little chat, and I have something to tell you: I’m not having any fun.
I won’t go into detail here. It’s honestly very boring to anyone on the outside of the situation. If you’ve bought a house, you understand. It’s fairly standard. Things move quickly and everyone is happy for a minute. Then, it all changes, and you have to wait for answers. Happy news, sad news. Ups, downs, mishaps, appointments, phone tag, he-said she-said. It has been a harrowing and eye-opening month.
Right now, we’re doing some waiting following some not-so-great news. I want this house for the large open living room, the loft upstairs (read: craft room) and the proximity to my daughter’s Kindergarten come September. I want this house because it’s move-in ready and the dark wood floors and granite countertops make me drool. I want this house because of the storage– every room including the foyer has a walk-in closet. Mostly I want this house because I do not want to play this game all over again with a different house.
But if the result comes in unfavorably, and we must move on, I have promised myself I will not be devastated. Eventually, this will all be over, and we will move into some damn place that we own. That being said, I also thought I would have fun.