So, long time no blog. Partly because long time, no craft, no knit, no sew, no bake, no nothing! We decided this spring seemed like a good time to buy a house, and all my spare time (and more energy than I ever thought was possible) has been sucked into the whirling vortex of house hunting.
Mostly it’s fun…looking at other people’s houses and decor? Having carte blanche to snoop into nooks and crannies and try out all the cabinets and drive by like creepers in the evening to check out the neighborhood? Totally fun.
Sometimes it’s crazy stressful (like when you discover that the online bank where your earnest money has been sitting earning pitiful .0000000000something% interest considers “overnighting” a cashiers check to you to be a 3-day process). Or when you’re trying to figure out that magical tipping point between the most house you can afford and the most house you want to afford. (Yay for budget spreadsheets and amortization schedules, no?).
But since none of it was terribly germane to this blog, I didn’t really post much about it. Decorating the house–that you’ll see lots of. But for now, probably not so much of interest.
Despite that, I’ve been feeling itchy to blog, so I think I’m going to pop in once a week. As a first time home-buyer, lots of this is very new to me, and sometimes I just need to brain dump to really process stuff. Also, I think there is a lot of the process that is needlessly mystified, so on the off chance that my ramblings make someone else’s life easier, I’ll share.
My first soapbox: I don’t think that we, as a society, talk enough about major life decisions (like buying a house!). It’s almost as if, as an adult, you’re supposed to be capable of handling it all on your own, making really tough, far-reaching decisions with zero experience, and getting a pass/fail grade. It seems so black and white!
Nobody talks about the process of buying a house. It’s a high-stakes game, it’s super stressful, it’s an emotional roller coaster where, as an added perk of the ride, you get to examine a lot of assumptions you have about what kind of person you are, what you truly need in a living space, what your future might look like, and how much wealth you really can muster. The answers aren’t always what you thought they’d be! And that’s OK! You don’t have to have it all figured out from what your perfect house looks like right on down to how to express your style through decor. And you don’t have to do it alone.
Even if you are a super capable adult, there’s no way you should have to do it all on your own. That’s why you hire a team: realtor, finance officer, and house inspector. And then your wider support network kicks in…friends who have been there, done that. Family and friends and coworkers who can tell you way more than you may want to hear about house repairs and how to keep the house “alive” and in good health (it’s sort of like getting a giant pet you’ve only ever seen from afar…it requires proper care and feeding, and the fact sheet at the pet shop really only scratches the surface).
Obviously you don’t need to share everything with everyone. Nothing is public information unless you want it to be. But I’ve found that sharing where you’re at in the process and how you’re feeling about it tend to elicit great feedback from people who have either been in your same shoes, or who have a bit more emotional distance and can tell you that you’re over- or under-thinking things!
Anyhow, that’s my impression. More discussion is rarely a bad thing. I’ve learned a lot from the process so far, and most of it has been from talking with other people and sharing where we’re at with our process. Not googling and reading articles.
So anyhow, that’s what I’ve been up to lately. In just the few short weeks, we’ve gone from house hunting to putting in an offer, and having an inspection. Right now we’re trying to figure out where to go from here (the inspection was mostly good, but it’s a 103-year-old house, so it has a few issues). I know we have to do a bit of hardball negotiating soon, which is not my strong suit…but we’ll get through it! And then we’ll have a house to decorate, and hopefully the blog will get a bit more love than it has lately!