Way back when, before we were even married, we decided that we wanted to buy a house. The idea, at the time was that it was terribly difficult to find a house/apartment to rent that would take a dog and that was affordable. We’d been looking, but everything we had found was $600 or more a month. To me, it seemed smarter to buy a house where the mortgage would be $400 or so, and build some equity, at least. I was partially right, I suppose. Where I had gotten it wrong was in the fact that we weren’t really ready, financially, to buy a house. We had no savings for a down payment, no idea of the costs involved in buying a home, nor any idea of the process itself. We were young, in love, and ready to get on with our lives together.
At first, my then girlfriend (now wife), wasn’t on board. She thought, rightly, that it was a big step and, not as rightly, that it was not a good idea for us to buy a house before we were even married. I tried and tried to convince her that it was indeed a good idea, and that we needed to do it. One day, while we were driving around town, looking at rentals, she happened to be talking to her mother on the phone and mentioned the idea of us buying a house. While I couldn’t hear my future mother-in-law on the other end, I’m told she said something along the lines of “Why not?”. Turns out, she thought it was a splendid idea. (I should pause here to mention that it’s not the last time me and my mother-in-law have agreed on something where my wife disagreed with us. It annoys my wife to no end.)
So, we left the rental we had been looking at with a copy of all the current listings in our area, and went home to peruse. Over the next few days, our youth and inexperience showed through with what, in hindsight, is an extreme brightness. We drove by 4 of the listings that I remember. Of the 4, we looked at 2. Only 1 of them had a yard that was large enough for the dog, and we bought it. I can’t really say it was a mistake, but it wasn’t our smartest moment either. Turns out the kitchen was small. So was the bathroom. The number of outlets in the entire house can very nearly be counted on one set of hands. But, we bought it anyways.
We still had a full month of time at the apartment that we were then living in, so we took the time to paint every room in the house before moving in. We replaced a bunch of the old, yellowed outlets for fresh white ones. We replaced all but three of the light fixtures. And we removed what felt like a ton of wallpaper. And, we made it our own. We’ve since lost the dog we had, and one more. We’ve got a puppy three or so years ago, and he likes the back yard enough for both of them. We’ve managed to squeeze two kids and all of the stuff that comes with them into the house. But, we began to realize that our time here was limited. It was time to move.
I’ll write more about the process of finding a house, putting an offer in, and then preparing our current house to sell a bit later. Hopefully, I’ll have a nice post about the process of actually selling a house too, but we’ve still got that hurdle to jump. But, the short of it is that we’re moving. We found a nice house with a small patch of land that should fit us just fine for a nice long time. We’ve put in a great deal of work to get our house ready for the next owners and listed it on the market, and we’re ready to go. And, as long as we can sell our house, we can buy the other house. It’s an interesting balancing act that I’ll write more about later too.
The only thing left now is to show the house and sell it. Which, considering all the effort we’ve put into it to get it ready, I hope is a quick and easy process.
photo credit: wb4klc