On May 8, 2020, Chad and I fulfilled our biggest dream to date and bought a house.
Like many big events and highlights, the timeline is hard to believe. Has it only been a year? Wasn’t it just yesterday? Our lives have changed in many ways, and closing on our home was only the catalyst, propelling us into a beautiful, challenging, and exciting season of marriage and adulthood and life.
We had a unique closing process.
First of all, the entire homebuying process was heavily affected by the pandemic, from the beginning, which was a gradual change from cautious to extreme. We started out with hand sanitizers at our realtor meeting, then shut downs that closed necessary resources (inspection companies and title offices and banks), followed by extra lending clauses and job uncertainty and masked and distanced meetings. There were several moments we wondered if buying a home was the right decision.
Second, our amazing and talented realtor was pregnant and went into labor prior to our closing week. Another realtor stepped in and it wasn’t really a smooth transition. I hate to say it, but our experience went from really pleasant and personal to distant and unresponsive and frustrating. We knew there was a pretty significant chance of this happening from the beginning, but didn’t make it any easier.
Worst of all, the seller was a little resistant to selling and even more so to moving out. He was likely stressed and worried about the pandemic as well, and also had a severe disability that made moving difficult. It wasn’t a smooth process, especially when we had our official walk through three days before closing and the home was exactly the same as the first time we saw it: totally lived in and unpacked—not a single box in sight. He decided to hire movers the day-of closing, to pack up an entire three-bedroom home’s worth of stuff. This was extremely stressful for us.
On closing day, we signed first, mask-clad and jittery, at 8 a.m. The seller didn’t sign until much later. He had to reschedule his closing appointment for 10 a.m., then noon, and then 3 p.m. We were supposed to get a call from our stand-in realtor letting us know when the home was officially ours. The call never came. Throughout the day, we walked and drove by the house (sunglasses on, hoods up), anxiously seeing movers and big trucks long after the papers were signed.
At about 6 p.m., we grabbed champagne and whiskey and a few folding chairs and took our chances—we busted through the unlocked front door and were relieved that it was empty. Smelly, but empty. Finally, the house was ours.
Owning a house
Since that complicated, stressful, and wonderful day, we’ve slowly and surely made our house a home. It has been quite a process filled with time and sweat and vision and many, many trips to Lowes.
I’ve had such a great time letting my creativity seep and flow into the interior design and I’ve loved this new kind of partnership I’ve developed with Chad. We tag team projects and collaborate on new ideas and both invest a lot of effort into the care and keeping of our house. It’s a slow burn, especially because changing a house takes time, but it’s one of my favorite ongoing adventures in marriage.
Creating a home
And while the physical changes of the house have been an ongoing joy, it has been even better to create a home inside.
Chad and I have been a family for a long time now, but a house allowed us to expand and add Wally into the mix. I cannot exaggerate the meaning our puppy has added into our lives; taking care of someone other than ourselves, loving another being, having a source of laughter and cuddles and energy and cuteness has been a top-ranking experience in my life. Having our own place allowed for this new chapter to begin.
Additionally, we’ve created a life here, inside and out of these walls.
We’ve made friendships with our neighbors, which proved to be invaluable during the pandemic. When we were stir crazy and lonely, we were able to connect with others. It truly feels like we’ve struck the lottery with our new set of friends.
We’ve also created peace and happiness and a space to be ourselves. From a bustling kitchen to a lounging and comfortable couch to many coffees in bed, the house is our favorite place. We’re goofy and silly and quiet and cranky here, with outlets to exist and thrive. There’s no place like home, especially after a weekend or day away.
For me, I’ve changed my life from my bedroom. I’ve built a business and jumpstarted a new and powerful version of myself—one who pushes and creates and doesn’t shy away from a challenge. I’m a person who believes in myself and what I do, and does it all from the comfort of my bed.
Grateful on Ginseng
I’m beyond grateful for our little house on Ginseng Road. It has been such a worthy challenge and journey, and I can’t wait to see where we go from here.
A year down, many more to go.