You know what’s really fun? No, actually like super duper mega fun?
Planning a wedding and buying a house. At the same time.
Ha. Hahaha. HAHAHAHAHA.
I was given many gifts in this life, but patience was not one of them. I’m stubborn, cranky, and sometimes overly-opinionated. My mother can attest to all three of these.
So how I got it in my well-educated mind that it would be a great idea to try to buy a house before my September wedding is BEYOND me. It’s April, and we just started looking only a few weeks ago. Yup, just commit me right now because no one with a sound mind would have been like “what a great idea! Go for it!” Most people say things like “oh….wow! That’s…uh…ambitious!”
Patience lesson number one: ambition sometimes disguises itself as ingeniousness. This isn’t always a good thing.
Luckily for me, (and my mother), most of the bigger wedding stuff was done late last year and earlier this year. So now we’re in this lull stage where all the major stuff is done but it’s too early to start the little stuff. So, naturally, it’s time to buy a house.
House hunting has been the most frustrating process. Granted it’s only been about a month since we started, but even just trying to understand the lingo has triggered some major eye-twitching on my part. Our poor realtor has explained to me what “seller’s assistance” is about seven times but lord help me I don’t think I’ll ever get it.
It hasn’t all been bad though, it’s actually been kind of fun wandering around these homes that I’ve been staring at for days, pointing out where I think our furniture will go and imagining future kids running down the hallways (calm down, mom). But also listening to my fiancé point out things like the garage door needs replaced, or there’s a crack in the cement basement floor, or there aren’t enough outlets in the kitchen. Which bursts my little naïve bubble every time, but I know he means well.
Patience lesson number two: sometimes things left unseen are better kept that way, but pay attention to what you aren’t seeing.
Don’t judge a house by its listing photos. (Or, absoLUTEly judge a house by the listing photos.) I’ve learned the hard way that there’s a lot that is purposely missing from those photos. So I’ll end up going into a house we’re looking at full of wonder and excitement while my fiancé is much more of a realist and keeps my head out of those ever-elusive clouds.
I’m so ready to have a house though. Our one-bedroom apartment has overflowed into a storage unit with literally half of our stuff in it because we simply don’t have the space. I won’t settle for just any house, but I’ve eaten a concerning amount of chocolate trying to cope with houses being on the market for less than a day and getting sold before I’ve even had a chance to tell our realtor we want to tour the house. So my mental state and my waistline are both suffering.
I’m doing my best to turn these frustrations into learning experiences though. Which isn’t always easy (which my fiancé can attest to, I’m like an easily distracted and just as easily frustrated kitten). I ask different questions at each house, I look through the fact sheet that our realtor provides for each one, and try to do simple math in my head of how much we can put down with or without my nemesis, seller’s assistance. Needless to say, we go home disappointed.
Patience lesson number three: the cliché’s can be correct – it’s a marathon, not a race.
We’ve been getting too much advice from too many places. Everyone we know is telling us “do this” or “don’t do that” and it’s been mind boggling trying to keep everything straight. I just want it to be over already.
But the best piece of advice came from our realtor. She said “when you know, you know – you won’t want to leave the house. THAT’S how you know you found your house.” So far, I haven’t had that moment. I’ve gotten so caught up in my own headspace of getting a house before the wedding that I haven’t stopped to actually SEE these houses. We’ve looked at them, yes, but I haven’t really seen them.
So many houses we’ve wanted to make offers on have slipped through our fingers that it’s been a challenge for me to be okay with letting go. But it’s true – nothing worth having comes easily. (Yup, more clichés.)
So while my bank account will become much thinner (hopefully) soon, at least I can work on keeping my patience at normal levels. (My patience and my waistline.) Notes to self: ambition is good in small doses, pay attention to what isn’t being said, and trust that what’s meant to be will be. We aren’t just looking for a house, we’re looking for home.