The Life I Want
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life when you wanted something badly? That moment had arrived in my life. When I and my husband Devon got married three years ago. We made a plan to save some money for three years and pay off some debt before we decided to purchase our first home. It was a decision that took me a while to adjust to but slowly accepted it as time went on.
Devon has always been the practical one in our marriage while I tend to be the unrealistic one. Don’t get me wrong, Devon has his moments when he chooses to go with the flow but those moments don’t happen too often. For the most part, he is a very strategic person.
The day we made our goal, Devon sent me our secret code text which is “started from the bottom now we're here”, with a screenshot of our bank account balance. I quickly replied with a Dj Khaled “we da best!” meme. After Devon sent that text, my focus at work shifted from editing photos to searching for homes. By the time I had left work, I had a list of 10 homes that I wanted to show Devon. That night at dinner he and I celebrated beginning the process of purchasing our first home with a bottle of champagne and lobster. Those were two major things that were a part of our sacrificing list.
We sat and went through the list of the 10 homes I researched and narrowed down which houses were closest to our pros list. By the end of the week, we were touring 3 out of the 5 homes that we had chosen. The first home we visited was beautiful, but the layout was not what we were looking for. The second home we saw needed way too much work. We then toured the third house, and it was perfect. It had almost everything on our pros list. It was in a great location, the layout was beautiful and it was well within our budget. When we finished the tour and got in the car, I looked at Devon and said “this is our house. Email the realtor now and tell her we want to move forward”.
Devon being the practical person he is suggested that we should go home and have a more detailed conversation about everything. I turned to look at him and asked “what is it about this house that don't you like?”. He said “I’m not saying there is something about the house I don’t like. I just think we need to make sure we really like the house before we put in an offer. This is only the third home we’ve seen. I just think we should really sit and discuss this”. I took a deep breath and said fine.
That evening when we arrived Devon set up shop at the dinner table with all his information on first-time home buying while I prepared dinner. We both shared our reasons for why the house would be a great investment. Devon expressed his concerns about the school system in the area and the lack of diversity within the community. After a couple of hours of listening to one another’s point of view, we decided to take the leap of faith at 7:30 pm and emailed the realtor. The realtor contacted us back that night to schedule a meeting with us the next day. I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.
The next day we met with the realtor at the home at 9 am to do a final walk-through before he made our offer. When we walked through the door it instantly felt like ours. I could envision all the décor and our future children running up and down the stairs. I saw our whole future in this house. After the walkthrough, we provided the realtor with our offer. We also scheduled an inspection and appraisal while we waited on the owner’s response to our offer.
Two weeks had passed and the realtor still hadn’t received a response from the owners, but we did get the report back from the inspection and appraisal. The inspection revealed that the roof on the home had a cracked flashing and needed shingles to be replaced. The inspector suggested that we get the roof repaired as soon as possible. The report opened our eyes to how much we would actually be investing in the home. The roof repair price was a shock but wasn’t something our budget couldn’t handle. We were coming up on week three of waiting for a response from the owners about our offer. I was basically contacting the realtor almost every day to see if she had any updates. She would reply “still waiting”.
Devon wanted us to start looking at other homes just in case, but I couldn’t because I wanted that house, and visiting other homes was a waste of time for me. At the end of the third week, the realtor gave us a call while we were eating dinner. I was so excited to hear her voice. She started the conversation by saying “first I want to thank you two for your patience and it pains me to inform you that the owner has decided to take another offer”. Tears instantly filled my eyes. Devon said, “thank you so much for giving us a call”. She “said no problem I wish you the best with finding your future home. Devon hung up the phone. I sat at the table with my head in my hands crying. Devon walked over to hug me and said, “babe we will find our perfect home”. I just sat there in his arms allowing the tears to freely flow from my eyes.
It took me a couple of days to shake the disappointing feeling because I had my hopes set on that home. A couple of weeks after we got the news, I went by the house to take a final look at it again. I pulled up across the street and saw they had a big sold sticker covering the For Sale words on the sign. I sat in the car and took a moment to appreciate what I loved about the home and wrote them down in a notebook. When I finished my list, I said goodbye to the house and drove off. In the famous words of the talented Aaliyah “dust yourself off and try again”. Us not getting the house we wanted was a kick in the gut for me because I felt like we worked so hard and took all the right steps to be able to purchase a house. As much as I wanted the house, it wasn’t the one for us after all.
We are currently still looking for houses. I am learning that purchasing a home isn’t like purchasing a wonderful pair of shoes. It’s a process that consists of a lot of patience. Devon and I have been dusting ourselves off and trying again for six months but we are determined to find our perfect home.