How does buying a house make you feel? In short, the answer is everything. A large purchase of this caliber — possibly the largest purchase that you’ll ever make — can challenge your tenacity and fortitude. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that is normal. Read for our experience in buying a house for affirmation that you are not alone.
Expectations of buying a house
The beginning of anything should be like a honeymoon, just like the start of a romantic relationship. It is a time full of hope, dreams, love, anticipation, but an assuredness even when times get a little uncertain. The start of many journeys almost feels like you are on the precipice of something so amazing that you wake to ecstatically take on the new day.
I was hoping to feel that feeling purchasing our first home. I wanted to feel like this major accomplishment that few people in my immediate family have been able to achieve was going to feel this good. To feel like we would walk into the home “and just know” it was ours for the taking. That the decision would wash over us and everything would naturally fall into place because that’s the way things happen when they are “meant to be.” Yes, there would be lots of paperwork, but we’d get the keys, plop down in our new abode, and revel in the dreams of renovations to come.
How buying a house really makes you feel
Buying a home was one of the WORST experiences of my adult life. That sounds CRAZY – I know — but the amount of stress and quick decision-making involved wore on me. I am not a person who makes quick decisions, especially when it come to money! So, the expectation that the largest purchase of our lives had to be made in the matter of minutes or hours because of the “seller’s market” was mind-boggling. (To this day, it still ticks me off.)
We toured about five houses before our current home. One decrepit house that was abandoned and destroyed for years – flashlights necessary. A dark, awkward home steps away from our rental. A house with a wet atmosphere and a wonky roof (read unaddressed WATER LEAK). My dream home stuck in the 50s, but out of the budget. A house of 1980s I-retired-from-Xerox grandeur with a steep walk-up to the front door. Sometimes it was quickly apparent that a certain home was not for us, but others were more difficult to leave behind. We still lovingly imagine what life would have been in the 1950s pier-and-beam dream.
The home buying process was one of the WORST experiences of my adult life.House Hunters doesn’t want to tell you that.
How come no one ever talks about where you live while buying a house?!
Meanwhile, we were pushed to buy even more quickly due to our landlord’s pressure and unwillingness to fix anything until we left the house. So, imagine lacking basic western accommodations, feeling pressure to move out, feeling pressure to buy, drowning under pressure to make a quick decision about something you’ve never done before, and OH – I almost forgot — your belongings just GOT FLOODED since the rental’s dishwasher broke while you were at work.
We felt overwhelmed and uncomfortable, without solace from the stress of buying a home. How come no one ever talks about where you live while buying a house?!
Buying a house…not quite what we expected
We toured our home in five minutes.
Each tenant was still home.
We carefully tiptoed into each room, trying to view each room while the family watched TV. BIZARRE.
Real life tends to destroy your dreamy ideals of how things should be.Amen, sister.
The house checked the boxes – proximity to the places we like to hang out. The garage was rear-facing and seemingly large enough. It was the cosmetic fixer that we wanted. A flat lot. No tripping hazards for our parents. (Funny how your list of wants change with all the other pressures of life in mind.)
So, in the yard, after walking the house in five whole minutes, we put in an offer.
Were we sure? No. Were we ecstatic, brimming with hope, and dreaming of reno? No.
We were tired and pressured and wanting the process to end.
Months went by. Still living with mildewed carpet. Still getting asked every week, “When are you moving out?” Still worried if we made the right decision. Still looking for other houses just in case.
An anti-climatic ending
January 2019 was our new beginning. It was the beginning of either one of our dreams. We began with the title company rushing us out the door and not wanting to take the picture of us with the WE GOT OUR KEYS! 😊 sign. It was a joy suck. We began with me realizing what the heck we really walked in to. I began thinking, “Can I return this house back to Target and get my money back?”
In short, when buying a home, it is normal to feel frustration, fear, insecure, and annoyance. I urge anyone still reading this to never make a decision based on pressure. As I return to the beginning of this journey, there’s resentment still inside. But life happens. Real life tends to destroy your dreamy ideals of how things should be. Real life beginnings are messy, imperfect, difficult, yet rewarding. It’s rewarding in a way I imagine raising a teenager is: the up-and-down emotions, the skin breakouts, the know-it-all stubbornness, but the ultimate pride you feel when they graduate from school and you think, “Wow, they actually came out alright.”
So, our beginning to home ownership was living with an imaginary teenager. We’re approaching a graduation of sorts. And just now, I think to myself, “Wow, we came out alright.”