Right now we are in the in-between of home buying. Waiting for paperwork to be gone over, waiting for things to be officially approved, waiting for other people to do their jobs so that we can move forward. We have nineteen days left until the closing date, and it feels like everything has slowed down because there is now very little for us to do. So far as we know, we have submitted all of the paperwork they needed, made all the clarifications and changes, signed all of the revisions… and so we wait.
I am so thankful that we are able to live with my in-laws during this period of time. While I feel antsy because I’m not in my own space and I feel as though I have very little to do here, I am glad we can save a little money this way. And, it is easier in the long run, as we’ve already packed up our house and need only to move boxes when the time comes! I am trying to use this as a time to relax and revive.
But, I feel restless.
In a sense, we are completely without a home right now. We wait for a space that will be wholly our own, and have moved out of a space that was half our own, and live in a space that is entirely someone else’s. I know that my wonderful in-laws do not mind in the slightest – they offered for us to live here, unasked, after all! – but I still often feel as though I’m invading someone else’s space. I do my best to keep up after my kids, but when you live with children in someone else’s home it often feels as though you cannot let them do anything, or go anywhere they want to, or play outdoors even without worrying they might ruin something valued.
And, knowing you will soon be in a space you own, where anything is possible, makes the waiting all the more impatient. I have so many plans for our home. So many dreams, so many wishes, so many “I can’t wait until –” thoughts, and I’m bursting with the possibilities that wait now upon someone I cannot see approving papers we submitted electronically via an email that holds the key to our future.
There are so many little things about buying a house that baffle me. Why, for instance, is being approved for a loan one of the last things that happens? It is arguably THE most important thing you need to be told, and yet it has been the last thing we wait upon. Before you are told whether you will be granted the borrowed money to purchase a home, you must go through applications and inspections and appraisals and so many letters and phonecalls and the seller must decide to fix things you might want fixed and you have to decide what you’ll fix yourself, and you get so involved in hopes and dreams and plans and yet… even though you’re told your numbers look good there’s still that “what if”?
What if, after all this work and all this time, something happens and they’ve decided you can’t have the loan? What if something is discovered that is astronomically wrong with the home? What if it doesn’t work after all, and all of your hopes are dashed into the mud?
So we wait, and trust in God’s timing and guidance, and pray that solid answers are given quickly and the closing date perhaps somehow moves quicker than we think it will. Meanwhile, I’m trying to work out good daily schedules for the things I’d like to accomplish, and listing as much as I can for sale, and planning all of the things we’d like to do to the house before we move. We’ll need to rip out carpets, paint walls and cabinets, and potentially purchase new flooring for the living room. We’ll need to fix the corner of the house that is sinking- simpler than it may seem – and decide what to do with the refrigerator that doesn’t push all the way back into its hole in the kitchen because it’s too tall. We’ll decide where to plot the garden – and potentially plant a few things that will mature in the fall – and where to put a small chicken coop, and clean up the yard and prune the fruit trees and get rid of the moles and take it from just a house to our home.
And while these things might sound intimidating, in my mind they’re simple. They’re exciting. The prospect of taking a house and fixing it up excites me so much. Because it’ll be ours.
And that is something that is hard to fathom at this point. A space that is ours. Where we don’t have to approve changes with anyone but ourselves, where we can paint what we want, plant what we want, own what animals we want, and nobody is in charge but us. While some would find this to be a huge stressful responsibility, for us it’s a relief. A relief to be able to fix things immediately rather than waiting two weeks for someone to get their act together and replace a broken refrigerator (which actually happened to us, while our dishwasher was also malfunctioning, our stove didn’t work, and I was 8 months pregnant. Oh, and then our toilet overflowed because the septic tank hadn’t been pumped in 9 years). A relief to not worry if the kids accidentally dent the walls, or color on the walls, or generally make a mess of things. A relief not to worry about bothering a landlord with issues, because we can just fix it ourselves.
We can garden how we want. We can change the yard to suit our needs. We can take out trees and bushes we don’t want in certain places. We can remove walls in the house if we don’t like them. We can do anything.
As the daughter of a man who routinely bought and remodeled homes, this is a dream come true. And in roughly 19 days, unless something unexpected happens… we’ll be stepping into home ownership and literally fulfilling our dreams.