Home-buying is one of the most exciting and exhausting experiences ever. I have gone through the process twice, in less than 3 years, and I can tell you that knowing what was coming the second time did not make the process any smoother than the first time.
The first house I made an offer on I fell in love with, only to be incredibly disappointed after the inspection. I was completely distraught. I gave up on the search, and when I picked back up a couple months later, I found my first home! The place I bought was funky and cute. It had subway tile in the bathrooms and tin ceiling as the backsplash in the kitchen. It had open cabinets and lots of windows. It had a laundry room with a window in it, out to my quaint, adorable backyard. It was also at the end of a giant hill that was treacherous in the winter, and only had one other way out, which was through an alley that was not paved. It wasn’t even really filled in. I didn’t see those things when I found it. I just saw a place to call my own, and I loved it.
The home we are in now is the home for my family. When I walked in, I immediately had visions of our son learning to walk in the front room, running in circles around the main floor, playing in the backyard. I saw a kitchen I could cook Thanksgiving meals in. A bedroom that would accommodate two adult humans with some room to spare (our old house barely fit a king size bed in the room, and it prevented the closed door from opening).
The steps toward home ownership can feel like the incredible journey. These 9 gifs accurately manage to describe the experience.
Found the house of your dreams!
There is no feeling quite like finding the house that could be the backdrop for years of memories to come. To learn it’s still on the market and available means there’s still a shot!
Made an offer and waiting for the response back
The anticipation made me crazy. I had to keep myself busy doing other things and would jump erratically every time my phone rang.
Getting into the back and forth trying to agree on a price
This was one of the worst parts of the whole experience for me, both times. Thankfully we had an excellent realtor who helped to make the process as smooth as possible.
Congratulations – the offer was accepted!
What a huge milestone moment. My husband and I found out that we got our home while playing Risk at the table with his family. Our realtor was my sister-in-law’s brother, and he was so excited to give us the news. It was something that we’ll never forget!
Time for the inspection
And then there’s the inspection. This is, probably, the most difficult part. Waiting to have someone look over the home to see what is wrong with it, identify any big issues, and then negotiate back with the sellers what will be done to fix it, if anything, and what repairs will fall on the buyer. But it is so necessary, because it truly saved me from buying a money pit the first time.
Realizing all of the work that goes with buying a house
So many things to sign. So many documents to provide: tax returns and pay stubs and proof of employment, proof of marriage, IDs, not to mention signing up for insurance. It was all a bit overwhelming and looking back, I’m actually pretty impressed we made it through.
Inspection’s over, negotiations are done, and the deal is final. The house is yours!
This was a huge relief. Behind the scenes of all this was finalizing all the paperwork for the mortgage, and there was a lot of paperwork. But it didn’t take away from the excitement of the purchase, either time.
Packing all of your things and moving
We purged a lot of our belongings before we even put our house up for sale, which helped with the whole packing and moving thing, but trying to pack and move while working full time after 3 months of maternity leave, with a 4 month old baby, 2 cats, and belongings in multiple places was so much work.
That first night in the new house
The work was so worth it. Being able to relax and relish in the moment was absolutely worth every moment of anxiety, frustration, excitement, fear and joy.
Buying a home is a lot of work. It is an emotional rollercoaster that, quite honestly, I wasn’t expecting. I learned a few things the first time around: don’t get emotionally invested before the inspection, always have an inspection, be willing to compromise on some things (but not on the important things), prepare to sign a lot of paperwork, and celebrate! It’s one of the most exciting things – finding a house to make into a home.
Becky is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty on Tap. To apply to become a Contributing Writer, please click here.