I’m here to break the news: house hunting is nothing like it looks on TV. You don’t always (or ever?) find your dream house with everything on your wishlist, your offer may not be accepted, once you are under contract you (or your inspector) may find things that send you running, and it definitely takes more than 30 minutes.
My husband and I started our house hunting with excitement. We both wanted land. I wanted an old farmhouse that we could restore with all of our free time and budget surplus (ha. ha. ha.) and he wanted something newer and reliable. Seems simple, right? Ironically we sound just like the couples on HGTV, but without the crazy budgets (and questionable careers).
I’ll spare you the obstacles and sob stories, but to give you an idea, we are on our fifth closing date on the third house. Our loan officer assures us that they aren’t all this rough, but as a first time buyer, it’s all I know. “There’s always something” is one of the most used phrases around me lately.
So why am I raining on all house hunting parades? Actually, hoping for quite the opposite effect. The first two houses that we didn’t end up getting, both revealed to be bullets dodged. In the moment we were crushed and discouraged. Now we look at that as a blessing. We learned a lot throughout the process. (I was concerned about the water stain in an Airbnb basement, and I now give tips on avoiding termites, just to give you an idea).
In addition, I’m learning much more than house hunting tips, what to look for in an inspection or even home loan language. This experience has taught me a great deal of patience. As I write this, we still haven’t moved. We still haven’t closed. Surprisingly, I’m less anxious and frustrated now than I was two months ago. I’ve changed my mindset of “get in there and start projects” to “get in and take a deep breath, thank God we have a home.”
To end, here’s a cheesy quote that is all too true: “Home isn’t a place, it’s where I’m with you.”