We bought a house! What. A. Ride. I have to admit there have been at least a half dozen times I’ve wanted to quit. At some point in the process, I realized how much it was like being in a committed relationship with a person.
It’s been many years since I was in the dating scene, but certainly I can liken house hunting to searching for men I desire to court. Even the online component is the same! It would have been handy to have a real estate version of Tinder over the last several months. Admittedly, I was quick to judge a home by its exterior cover photo. My husband, on the other hand, would continue clicking on each and every photo to assess the potential of us living in that space. Ugh! So deliberate.
After finding homes that seemed interesting enough to see in person, it was another piece of the puzzle to coordinate showings with our realtor and the seller. Yes, much like setting up an actual date with someone! There were moments when we were like, “Do you want to sell your house or not?” Either the seller had minimal showing availability or they didn’t bother to tidy up the place. It was like being greeted by that guy in his grungy jeans and stained t-shirt. Eww!
And then came the time to make an offer! “Will you be my steady girlfriend?” We would anxiously wait, knowing there were others who were possibly more attractive for the choosing. At one particular address, someone offering cash was picked over us, leaving a feeling of being less-than-worthy. The emotions were real! It was like she said, “Thanks, but no thanks. I found someone better than you.”
Oh, but when we found the seller who said yes, there was such joy! It was exciting and scary at the same time! This one said yes to a long-term commitment … 30-years to be exact! And so it began. We were seeing first time flaws during the inspections and, despite them, still choosing to move forward. External factors, including the mortgage lender, were getting in our heads and stirring up doubt and insecurities. Yet, we knew this was the one we desired to build a future with.
As the actual closing date drew near, the impact of commitment got more real. Wait! What? No more renting? What seemed like an insignificant change of address quickly began to reveal itself as something bigger. We were buying a home! To have and to hold, to honor and cherish! Closing was very much like the wedding because there was a particular deadline that allowed us out of the contract and still get the earnest money back. Although not for long, we did consider running away. <gulp>
Now that we have moved in together, just like with a human being, new discoveries are constantly made. “Hey! When we dated, your dryer worked. Now there is no heat. What the heck?” The expense to repair was not expected and discouragement was triggered. It seems, in this century, people in relationships encounter unexpected circumstances and call them deal breakers. Imagine if we could get out of the mortgage at anytime after closing because of too many irritations with the house. That would be nuts! If only the same accountability held true for people in a couple situation. Oh right, that’s called marriage!
What I know for sure is, owning a different home would only bring me another set of issues to navigate through. This wee nugget has served me well with my husband … reminding myself that being with another man would simply mean dancing with a different set habits and behaviors. I gladly choose my husband and our new home, with all their quirks, and am in it for the long, rewarding haul.