Going Under Contract

I meant to write this over the weekend, at least on Friday when it still was so big and scary and big-feelinged. But then Jon left for a 9-day trip, I felt mopey, and I went to my mama’s house for some gratuitous molly-coddling.  BUT. I can still remember the terror of last Friday, so here’s the next step after putting in the offer…

They didn’t accept it. They countered, after two agonizing days of waiting for a response. I told myself I was expecting it– that they wouldn’t, by the laws of probability and common experiences, accept my first bid. They countered, with almost no concessions. But it still felt a bit like a slap in the face, honestly.

So I countered again, this time meeting them on price but not on conveyances and closing costs. I told myself sternly that if they didn’t like this one, I wasn’t offering again. I wasn’t going to play that game. So when their “Final Offer” (yes, I imagine it in caps like that) came through, it was all down to me.

I was the decision maker here.

My voice would determine it.

If we were to move forward, it would be solely on my shoulders.

Which honestly, it had been that way from the beginning, but for some reason I really felt it then. I completely understood how powerful my signature actually was. I learned how putting in that initial offer was just opening bat–it wasn’t the game.

When my agent gave me the specifics of the Final Offer, it was literally right before I went on lunch. I told him I needed a little bit of time before responding. What they were asking for wasn’t unreasonable, and I have the resources to make up the difference. It was the choice now laid before me that made me hesitate. I felt how very wide open the future was–and also how narrow. There was a feeling of needing to tread a fine line, of absolutely not making any mistakes. That’s what I was–what I am–terrified of: choosing wrongly.

If this wasn’t the right house and I said yes, was I settling? Was I just grabbing at the first decent choice to avoid a (potentially long) wait while I searched for another? What if I said yes and then two months later my dream house went up for sale?

But what if it was the right house? What if I declined their offer and moved on and regretted it for months, maybe years, after? Sure, it isn’t the house I envisioned myself buying. Like I said before, no gleaming floors or character-adding crown molding. But it does hit all the check-boxes on my ‘needs’ list, although only one of the ‘wants’. But I can make this little bungalow a magical place nonetheless. Dreams can be made reality, life can flourish here.

I spent that lunch hour talking to my mom, who is the wisest and most reasonable person I know. Besides, she loves me so unconditionally. I called her, saying that I needed her help making this decision, and she immediately told me that she couldn’t make it for me. But she asked me all the right questions:

Can you see yourself living there?

If you said no thank you, would you feel relief or disappointment?

Is this an investment you actually want to make?

And then she reminded me that even if I bought it and then discovered it really wasn’t or couldn’t be the place I wanted, I wouldn’t be living there forever. That’s the beauty of owning a home–you can sell it whenever you need.

While desperately trying to know my own mind and heart, I considered another option–what if I just waited a bit longer, saved up more money? After a few minutes of reflection however, I rejected that idea. In all likelihood, my yearly salary won’t be changing very much. Sure, I could squirrel away more money, but I wouldn’t really qualify for more from lenders. And interest rates will probably never be as low as they are at this point in my life. Besides, I do not want to be paying Julia’s (my fabulous landlady) mortgage for much longer–I’d rather pay my own and get it back someday. I want that clothesline and sewing room NOW.

That entire lunch hour, I was as nervous as when I put in the initial offer. I felt I was on the precipice of the rest of my life. I was teetering. Which way would I go–which was the right way to go? But as soon as I made the decision to accept the offer and move forward, my heart lightened. There was no more agony or stress, no more worrying about how correct my decision was. I may have not chose best, but I’ve since learned–there is no right or wrong. It was my decision to make, and the power was in the choosing. Having decided that this house will bring me happiness, it will, because I have declared it to be so.

The greatest part about all of this is the support and love and excitement I’ve received. From family–who are just so excited to see me get what I want they offer their vacation days to help me install gutters and wainscoting. From Jon–who is so proud of me for chasing my dreams he promises to help me every weekend (well…most of them). From friends–who can’t wait to help me paint and want to know when the party is and take me out to dinner because it was My House Day. I’ve tried so hard to not let myself get all worked up about this–I don’t want to get giddy until the keys are in my hand, or at the very least, until the week of closing, when I’ll be so sick to my stomach I won’t eat. So thank you all for getting excited for me. It makes the whole process more real. It gives me affirmation I didn’t know I needed.

So there you have it. It didn’t get any easier after putting in the initial offer like I thought it would. Inspection is tomorrow. I’ve been worried about that all weekend, but I’ll be there, camera in hand, so don’t worry. Pictures are coming soon.

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