It’s not as though I have had enough stress in my life for what, twelve years or more, that I had to go out and find more stress to pile on top of all the other stress I’ve had, especially for those who have kept up with my blog over the past year or so surely know the stress I’ve been under.
So here I am sitting waiting to hear if an offer I am making on a townhouse will be accepted or not, if not what the counter offer will be and then have to decide what my counter offer will be or whether I will accept their counter offer.
I’m nothing but a bundle of nerves. I couldn’t sleep last night. My mind was revved up to about 1000 rpms with not the slightest indication of slowing down. I may have gotten two hours of sleep.
I’m also torn between using a mortgage broker or, using the investment company where an acquaintance of mine works in regards to financing the mortgage. I’m sure that will all get worked out but it has me on pins and needles. The difference between how the two communicate with me is like talking to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Okay, maybe not that bad, one actually discusses what can be done, while the other talks about all the bad things that can happen when using the other person. Which would you choose? Which would give you more confidence in what they will do for you?
I honestly feel like it is a good move to put my money into owning a home instead of renting and having my money go towards someone else’s investment. I’m just a nervous wreck because if I don’t make a good sound decision it could potentially be detrimental to my finances and interfere with my ability to take care of my daughter or to have a decent retirement or life for us. But then I feel this way whenever I have a major decision to make. I tend to feel like I’m still a child who doesn’t want to have to go running to mommy and daddy for help. Does this ever go away? Does everyone feel this way at times?
So now I’m sure most of you are wondering what the place is like. It is about twenty years old, almost 2000 square feet, the kitchen appliances do need updated but they work so no hurry on updating them. No AC is a concern but portable AC units or window units are an option if I can’t afford to have central AC installed. The flooring in the living room is that beautiful rich looking dark laminate which I love. The kitchen is vinyl but old in not bad condition, has some wear. The house is painted in neutral colors which I love so no real need to paint unless we want to. It is 3 stories. The bottom floor where the garage is has a nice size room for either a family room or game room. Most likely a game room for my daughter. The 2nd floor is the living room, dining room and kitchen. The third floor has 3 bedrooms and the master is huge with its own bathroom. Carpet is in good shape in the bedrooms, hallways and stairs and the game room. It is a nice mix of really good condition with some room to make upgrades over the years but nothing has to be done before we would move in.
The best thing is if they accept our offer then we won’t be paying much more than we are paying in rent. I could walk to the grocery store if I wanted to and my daughter can walk to school starting next year until she graduates. There is an elementary school behind it which has a track and open field where I can walk and also backs onto a residential neighborhood for a change of scenery when walking. We already met one of the residents in the complex which is small, only about 18 units, and she had nothing but good things to say about the place, including the strata including the chair.
Oh and there is a gas fireplace. I have learned while living in this suite the importance of having an alternative heat source for in the case of a failing furnace or electrical outages.
Writing about this is helping to lower my stress level. It is helping to remind me of the good things which this place can bring into our lives if we are able to purchase it. Part of the nerves is this could possibly deplete my savings to nothing or very little. I’ll have to work hard on rebuilding my savings so I will be prepared for any maintenance items which may arise. I like the idea of being able to have control over repairs. While here, where we currently reside, some things have gone unrepaired or have taken months to be repaired.
The issue is not so much about wanting to have a mortgage or not but what I’m willing to take on as a responsibility. There are good and bad with both renting and owning. The bad for me in renting is not feeling as though the place is mine and always feeling as though it is temporary. Renting means there is always the chance the landlord would not want to renew the lease and then I would have to find another place. And then I am also at the mercy of the landlord in fixing or repairing any issues that crop up. But it doesn’t cost me for the repairs unless of course it is something I caused.
With owning my home, it is all my responsibility, financially and in keeping the place in good shape. Except in this case the strata owns the exterior and so there is no control over that. In some ways it is a mixture of renting and owning and maybe this is a good mix for us to start out with. We’ll see though since this is my first time dealing with a strata.
I just received a call and they counter offered with only coming down about $1900. We’ll go up $2000 from our offer and see if they will come down any more. It is always iffy how they will respond to the offer and so we’ll see. I have told the realtor my feelings on my top $, so we’ll see if they will come down to it. This is the hard part in waiting, but honestly, I could stay here and just keep looking. I don’t have to find a place this year or even next year. The longer it takes the more money I will have to put towards a down payment. It isn’t the end of the world if this offer isn’t accepted or we can’t find a satisfactory meeting point in the negotiations.
It is now 10:38am the next day. The offer has been accepted. I feel strangely at peace. Not excited but then there is still a lot to go through before the place is officially mine.
Writing last night helped me to see reason so my nerves would calm down. Even so I took some diazepam so I could function yesterday during all the stress and then be able to sleep last night. After the night before of only getting about 2 hours sleep, I knew I had to do better than that especially since it was decided the sellers wanted to sleep on the offer. The diazepam did the trick. I got a good night’s sleep and today I feel much better.
I often find my mind imagining myself in the townhouse, sitting in the living room either working, watching television or cooking in the kitchen with my daughter downstairs in the game room playing her games, working on homework or playing with her friends. Last night before I fell asleep my thoughts went to visualizing me sleeping in the master bedroom. My mind naturally goes there. It isn’t something I consciously think about doing. As I do things here it is like I am doing them there too, as if I’m existing in two different dimensions at the same time.
Does this mean it is the place for us? I think so. I hope so. Even driving the streets I drive almost every day has a different feel to it.
I will miss living in this suite where we have lived for the past five years, but I will enjoy getting comfortable in our new place, knowing it is ours and I’m investing in something instead of my money going into someone else’s pocket.
Will I finally feel as though I’m home? Will I finally feel as though I’m growing roots and am no longer just a nomad with no place to call home? Will being so far away from family and some of my closest friends keep me from feeling this is home? I hope not.
I know some of my friends and family will be disappointed. They have all hoped that one day I would move back closer to them. No matter how much I told them I can’t picture me doing that, I know they have continued to hope. My buying a house will help solidify what I have told them since moving here. I don’t like disappointing them but I have to do what feels right to me and living here feels right.
It is now 9:38pm, I had my meeting with the mortgage broker today. He is awesome. He went through my credit report explaining to me why I have the rating I do, that it isn’t bad and isn’t anything to be concerned about, and also told me what effects my rating and how to improve it. He has told me there will be no problem in getting a mortgage and I have plenty of funds to make the down payment and closing costs. I had all the documents he needed to go forward with finding a lender so now my next steps are to get a home inspection. He also helped me list the various expenses involved with the mortgage and the closing costs so I could see for myself that I have the funds. I will be able to go through the numbers we discussed and decide if I want to hire someone to move me or if I want to try and rely on friends and friends of friends to help. My experience in the past has been far more successful when hiring a local moving company and far less stressful.
Speaking of stress, I’ve come down off the stress from the past couple days and as usual my body’s response is the same but at least not as severe as it has been in the past and maybe that is because of the diazepam helping me to relax more.
Tomorrow will be time for making a few phone calls and hopefully getting a home inspection scheduled for next week fitting it in between the doctor appointments my daughter and I have.
The work will soon begin in going through our things to determine what we want to keep and what we want to let go, what we want to store and what we might want to use in helping to decorate. There will be other things we will want to pack away into storage, like some of my daughter’s things which she doesn’t want to let go of but doesn’t play with anymore. I don’t want to be in a rush to unpack everything to only have the new place end up looking cluttered and unorganized. I want to do this right and learn how to maintain it so I have a home that is not only neat but is a place we enjoy.
It is hard to believe that I am almost 55 and have never decorated my own home. In some ways I am looking forward to this but in other ways it is kind of scary. Not scary as in afraid to die scary but in can I do this and do it well? Can I learn to properly hang a picture without ending up with a hole in the wall because I didn’t do it right? Can I put together select items that complement each other and doesn’t look like it was just thrown together in a hodge podge sort of way?
Then can I maintain it? Can I continue to put it all together without ending up in a cluttered mess after a few years? This means changing the way I function and take care of my surroundings. If I can, then I know it will help me to feel better about myself. It will also help me to feel like wanting to invite my friends over or to come for a visit. Especially since I’ll have the room and they won’t feel like they are inconveniencing me or my daughter.
Then there is another thought I had in what this new home will mean for my daughter and me. We will have the space for us to create our own private domains and space where we can come together if we so choose. I can create a space where I can write uninterrupted or at least be able to minimize the interruptions. Where we live now, that isn’t possible. I can go to my room however since it is right next to the living room there is a certain amount of noise which flows from it into my room even with the door closed. If I watch television, my daughter has to put on her headphones to play her games on her computer but even so she talks to the other players so I am always having to filter out those noises in order to focus either on my writing or reading or watching television and so forth. This will not be the case in our new home.
The other thing is the stairs will force me to get more exercise. I will most likely occupy the 2nd and 3rd floor more than the 1st and our dog will have to be taken out periodically and that can only be done from the 1st floor. With no fenced yard it means my daughter or I will have to walk him. This is all a good thing. It means it will help us to be more active. We both, too easily, sit in front of our computers or television for far too long these days.
Tomorrow begins the work to prepare. The move won’t occur until August if all the subjects can be removed, meaning I am happy with the inspection, the financing, the insurance and so on which all has to be done in the next two weeks. You might wonder why the long wait before possession, partly because my landlord needs time to get a new tenant. The other part is because of timing for mortgage payment and rent payments, not wanting them to overlap and I just want to have a month so I can do whatever I need to do with the new place before moving in, and then have time to clean up the place I move out of, and I don’t want to have to rush and wear myself out. On top of that during those months, it means more money I can put into savings to help pay for the move and cleaning, etc. Then too I need to coordinate it with my job responsibilities.
If I had a horde of friends and family to help, then maybe a week or two to move and get both residents taken care of would be a piece of cake but I don’t have that. It will be my daughter and I packing and unpacking and arranging our furniture in the new house with maybe my friend’s husband coming to help move any of the heavy stuff if my daughter and I can’t do it together.
I wish I had more in savings so I could update both our beds, as well as the kitchen appliances, but in truth it will be nice to plan those things out over the next few years. My daughter has all the gaming systems she wants, other than needing a really good gaming computer, there isn’t anything else other than the individual games to buy for her. So my gift to her will be to allow her to pick out furniture for her bedroom so we can make her a nice teen or adult bedroom. And then one year, maybe next year for my birthday get a nice bed frame and mattress for me. I know a good bit of my sleeping problems are associated with the poor quality of bed. And the new bedroom has room for a larger bed.
I hope to make this something we both will enjoy, and love coming home to and never feel embarrassed or ashamed when inviting friends over. It is a simple thing but yet something I’ve rarely had in my life.
I know this post is mostly me rambling, but in truth I wanted others to know my life is getting back to somewhat of a normal life. To me buying a home is something I have been wanting to do for the past five years. The time for it has finally come and I’m glad it is happening now. After a hard year this past year, I’m glad I’ll be able, in a few short months, to sit in a place I can call home.