A post or two ago I mentioned that I was still looking for a house. I’ve been debating whether or not to renew writing about my house-hunting experiences, since I felt so foolish a few months ago when I couldn’t manage to pick a decent house. But today, I figured that so what? That’s part of the journey!
I gave up looking after the second house’s inspection fell through, because I was a) frustrated & disappointed and b) I needed to purchase a vehicle, and I only had money for a truck OR a down payment, but not both. So I bought my truck, and tried to forget how very frustrated 400 square feet can be. I ate my way through the holidays, and struggled to find peace amongst the growing clutter of my house. My truck was definitely the better purchase, but my heart still longs for a place of peace and growth.
This is going to sound absurd and a very silly first-world problem, but honestly my cats drove me back to searching for a house of my own. Well that, and the ever-increasing desire to grow my own food. They’re large furry monsters, trying to get their kittenish energy out by running the tiniest of laps over the desk, sofa back, then under the table. I feel so bad for them, but when they’re scratching at my back door I feel bad for ME.
So earlier this month, as soon as my refund check came in, I started hitting Zillow and Trulia every day. I got so frustrated because everything I wanted to look was usually under contract already, even though it had only been a few days on the market (according to my realtor, it’s because I was competing with investors. That should give you an idea of how low my budget was). And then, if it wasn’t under contract, it was falling apart. Literally–some of those homes would have been better razed to the ground. Finally I realized that since I”m making more money than I was last year, my range had probably gone up as well. I contacted my lender and double-checked with him, and sure enough–my ceiling was MUCH higher than I thought.
I went to look at a few homes yesterday evening, and the difference in quality was immediately apparent. Well-kept, solidly built homes. I didn’t feel disgusted just walking into them, or worry about what the foundation looked like. I was able to ponder if the home would serve my desires well, rather than “will it still be standing in five years?”. The last one we looked at, though, just took the cake.
I knew, walking through it, that it was meant for me. This is MY HOUSE. All I could think was how much this house was going to change my life. Sounds ridiculous, but consider this: my beautiful dresser takes up so much room in my closet (read: ALL of the room in my closet) that I can’t hang dresses. They pool up on the top of it. I can’t stretch in my home, because doing so means rearranging my furniture. I can’t remember the last time I just sat on the floor. I have piles of books on every flat surface, because I don’t have enough room for another bookcase. I don’t even want to can anymore, because there isn’t enough room in my kitchen. My stove isn’t even full-size–I can’t fit a cookie sheet in the right way, because it’s too long! I’ve made do with these little nuisances for two years, but enough is enough.
What clinched this house for me, however, was when we walked into the backyard. I couldn’t tell “what sort of project” was happening in half the yard (it was dark by this point), and then I realized…there was already a garden started! And the shed in the corner? Looked like there had been chickens kept in it at one point! We took those as signs that this house was meant for me. This house isn’t especially luxurious: it’ll need new carpets soon, and it DESPERATELY wants painting, but those are things I can handle, that I’m looking forward to. I have wanted a home project for a while-something to do after derby on the weekends!
So this morning, I submitted a pretty tempting (I think) offer. Which means this afternoon, I’m sitting here, feeling like a crazy woman. Work has been very difficult to concentrate on, as I keep refreshing my inbox, waiting for news, anything, from my realtor & letters from my lender. I “know” that realistically they’ll want time to think the offer over and respond, maybe consider a few adjustments, but the other part of me, the part that’s afraid of yet another house slipping through my fingers, thinks they probably should have responded already (it’s been about six or seven hours). And the whole part of me just wants this day to be over with.