Disappointment. It is an acrid taste in my mouth. It leaves me disoriented, achy, and fuzzy-headed. It feels a bit like a break-up. Even though no one lost their life today, a dream did die (or at the very least, lies comatose). And that’s a hard thing to not cry about.
My inspection for this second house, this beautiful, spacious, light-filled corner home was Monday. And going into it, I knew that there were foundation issues with this house. But there was also a foundation warranty guaranteed with it, so I wasn’t too worried. I told my fabulous inspector (who is seriously a gift from God and worth every dollar) to go ahead with a complete inspection this time. And let me tell you—inspections are not easy things. Its three hours of learning absolutely everything wrong with the house of your dreams. Emotionally exhausting hardly covers it—by the end of it I was second-guessing my decision to even think about owning instead of renting.
Brian was concerned about the foundation and showed me all the evidence for his assessment, but I weighed my options: terminate the contract and lose out on this house, OR trust in the warranty and live with a sloped kitchen in a dream-house. I decided that it was worth the risk of a tilted foundation and that finding another house that combined what I can afford and what I really want probably wouldn’t happen again. I requested the warranty documentation and all assessment and work on the foundation just to be safe, and passed it along to Brian, thinking that now his mind could be set at ease.
How wrong I was.
Without getting all technical, let’s just say that the warranty didn’t cover the entire house, which was in active failure. (Tip: It’s ok to freak out when you hear that term during inspection. That’s a scary term, and it means bad things.) So then the choice was before me: move forward and hope the house didn’t move much more and cause more damage, possibly to the plumbing underneath, or terminate the contract and start all over again, this time out $500 from option period money and inspection costs.
It sounds so cut and dry, but it wasn’t an easy decision. I wanted to live in this house; I wasn’t interested in selling it a few years later. I saw myself really settling into it, making it my own little dream cottage world. Things could grow and flourish, be created and set free in this home. I didn’t want to think about the eventual moving-on. That’s why I felt it was the place for me.
But then there was everything Brian was saying about the damage versus what the warranty actually covered, and he sounded concerned that I was still interested in this home. I’m glad I got his expert opinion. I’m so thankful he isn’t interested in making his money and walked away. He’s interested in my well-being as a first time home buyer, as a young single woman who doesn’t have much money to spend freely. That’s why I trusted him—he helped me with the first house, and didn’t charge me a dime to tell me how terrifying the foundation was to him.
Let me tell you that I was BEYOND STRESSED at this point in the home buying process. After the inspection I still felt as if something could go wrong (and it did) but I was so nervous, felt strung so tautly. I couldn’t imagine that it would actually happen, that things would work out for me. I have a slight problem in that I tend to be pessimistic about my dreams. They are beautiful but rarely are they fulfilled in the manner I imagine them to be.
So somewhat tearfully (although I masterfully hid it on the phone) I told my agent to terminate the contract. Although it was just one issue for the whole house, that is an issue that can plague you for YEARS and cost thousands of dollars, and I wasn’t willing to spend either.
So last night was extremely difficult, and sad, and painful. I didn’t feel like eating, I didn’t want to turn on my computer, or listen to music. I was so upset at work that I actually broke down in front of my boss (who is amazing and almost cried with me!) and I considered taking the rest of the day off to lie on my couch in misery.
That’s not what adults do. They understand its part of the process, and that someday it will work out. A woman recognizes that a temper tantrum is not an appropriate response to not getting what you want. (She also recognizes that a glass of wine and chocolate cake are not unreasonable responses either though.) She listens when her mom tells her how proud of her she is. She hugs her boyfriend back. She eats her dinner, and doesn’t sob in the shower.
But it doesn’t mean it’s an easy road, it doesn’t detract from the experience and the disappointment. I still felt the effects of being so stressed and unsure about my decision—after making the offer and especially after the inspection, I was wondering if perhaps I was trying to do too much, if I was shooting too high. Should I wait until I’m married? Until I have more money? Until until until…
The problem with thinking that way is that there will always be something that will get keep you from pursuing your dream, and you can always have an excuse to not be brave. I didn’t want that. I wanted to be brave. I wanted to show myself that I could do something outrageously scary and try things I could fail at (I like to play it safe far too often), things that would have actual, real consequences.
And these are it: the real, painful consequences. I tried something big, and it didn’t work out. It hurt, and my heart was bruised a little bit, but at least I did it. And I’m not done doing it. I’m still going to keep looking, but maybe not so intently this time. I’m going to get a car, and buy a new rug for my (still tiny) apartment, and let things come to me. The best things in life come to me when I am not striving for them, when I let them happen to me. So whenever it’s the right time, and the right place, it will find me.