Pregnant with a House

Tim and I have been toying with the idea of home ownership for a decade or more. We’ve dreamed about it, talked about it, tried a little bit, and looked at other people’s homes. Suddenly one day, though, it was time. We are pregnant with a house.

The purchase of real estate, I am discovering, is less like buying a car (the next-biggest purchase I can think of) and more like having a child. You have some ideas in your head about what you want, and you fantasize about what your house will look like, what it will do, how it will grow for you. You imagine what life will be like in this house, and how it will be so interesting, and challenging. You imagine the cost, and disappointment, and sleepless nights, and (more) cost. It might have its hard days, but it’ll really just be a perfect part of your family.

You spend time with your friend’s and family’s houses, enjoying yourself and imagining how you would live in that space and make it different. You try for awhile (and that’s really fun), looking at houses that might work for you, envisioning yourself in that space. You might find one you love but can’t afford it, or lose one you were heart-set on when someone else makes a better offer.  Either it comes as a surprise, or you work and wait and worry, but finally it happens: you make an offer.

Either the offer is accepted, and you’re in, or it’s rejected and you’re out. Or, you get a counter-offer, and are bombarded with all the what-ifs.  You consider for the first time whether or not this baby is going to be worth it. Will you pay more, and work more to have it? Or will you let it pass and hope it works again next time.

You sign the papers and fill out the forms; offer accepted. All of a sudden, yes: you’re going to have a house. Now, you need to schedule appointments with specialists from a number of different specialties to make sure that house is healthy before you move in. It costs alot, but you can’t skip a step, because this is a whole new life.

It’s probably yours, now. You just have to wait. It’s almost definitely yours. You fill out a hundred forms and provide just as many ‘documents of proof’. And then, you wait. And fill out yet more forms while you wait. Things could go wrong in a myriad of ways, but you are trying not to think of those, and hoping for the miracle at the end: a healthy house in your hands.

Right now, Tim and I are waiting and watching like a couple in fertility therapy, hopeful and panicked at the same time, waiting for the doctor (banker in our case) to tell us if we are safe.  We made an offer on a house, and received a counter-offer within hours. We accepted the counter-offer, and are now waiting for the bank to finish the next step. If it’s no good, we’ve miscarried; we take time to grieve, then start fresh or give up. If it’s good, we are one step closer.

Waiting is hard.

 

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One Response to Pregnant with a House

  1. Pingback: The Shelter Saga: Part 1 | Paper-Tiger

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