And the big announcement ...

Friday, June 07, 2013

I'm writing this blog post days before I plan on actually posting it, but I have to get this all out of my system because I'm likely to burst open at any moment.

If you're reading this, then that means it's finally safe for us to share our news. (And when I say "safe", I mean that I no longer think it might jinx anything.)

And let me just preface this by saying no, I am not pregnant. Why is it that any time I share that I have good news on social media, it's immediately assumed that I'm with child? It must be because of my age and gender. If Clayton posted that HE had good news on Facebook, would everyone assume that HE was pregnant?

I think not.

His womb, just like mine, is currently vacant.

And yes, I know he really doesn't have a womb.

Womb is a strange word. It's the first part of "wombat", but it's part of a lady's reproductive organs.

You know what the absolute worst name for a body part is? Uterus.

Well, I dunno ... "vulva" kind of bums me out, too.

This post is educational.

ANYWAY ...

Over the past several days I've sent cryptic tweets with absolutely zero explanation as to why or what was going on. I felt bad about my vagueness, but I didn't want to disclose any information that I might later have to retract if something went awry. Counting your chickens before they're hatched is kind of embarrassing.

However, Clayton and I now feel much more comfortable with letting our friends and loved ones in on our little "secret" (again, I use the term super loosely because it impacts no one except us), because if something does go wrong at this point (heaven help us), it will be impossible for me to keep my frustration and disappointment bottled up and away from this blog.

Last week, Clayton and I put in an offer on our very first home.

And that offer was accepted.

If all goes according to plan, Clayton and I will be homeowners in August.


The previous sentence doesn't even look right to me. I'm still in major disbelief over the whole thing. I think the only way "Clayton and Courtney" and "homeowners" fit in together in a sentence is if that sentence is "Clayton and Courtney should never be homeowners."

This step in our life has been a long time coming and I'm not going to lie, some of the discussions about it resulted in tears or yelling and in some cases, both. About 2 years ago, Clayton and I came to the decision that owning our own home would continue to wait (and we decided to move into our current town home instead). It made sense for us at the time because we were both in agreement that we wanted to be in the best financial position possible to buy a house, but it still felt like a crushing blow. We had been making legitimate plans to start looking and all of those plans came to a crashing halt in just one evening. Honestly, it took me a long time to be okay with it.

Friends and family seemed to be forging ahead of us, buying or building beautiful homes in droves. Despite Clayton's reassurances that we were making the right decision for us, I struggled with blinding jealousy. But I trust my husband with my heart and my life, so I knew none of it would be in vain.

Fast-forward to a few weeks ago when we once again revisited the idea of homeownership. As much as we love our town house, we're both ready to grow and move on. I'm feeling suffocated in my tiny kitchen and I'm getting really tired of sharing a wall with a woman who likes to scream in her room for no reason. (And plain white walls I can't paint? Boo.) Perusing home listings has always been a hobby of mine and when I found pictures of a cute little house for sale on the south side of town, I couldn't stop myself from forwarding the pictures to Clayton.

Whenever I used to bring up the subject of buying a house, I would end up feeling pretty shut down by him. However, I never took his disinterest in the subject to heart because I knew it was rooted in his sadness that he couldn't give me what I so desperately wanted. I just took it as my cue to shut up and stop pushing. But this time ... something told me to send him the photos of the little house anyway.

After reviewing the house listing, I wasn't met with the typical, "That's nice, now let's move on with our day" response. Rather, Clayton engaged me in a conversation about the house and its property and when I subtly hinted that we should just "go look", he didn't have any objections.

So we went to our very first showing and lemme just say, ew. Not at all like what we had hoped it would be. Whoever snapped photos of that home for realtor's website clearly had some kind of beer goggles for their camera lens. I was in love with the kitchen (remember when I said my first home would be purchased solely on the merit of its kitchen?), but the house had few other redeeming qualities. I left feeling disappointed, but those feelings dissipated quickly when Clayton said, "Let's see what else is out there."

You know how people like to say to brides-to-be, "When you find the right wedding dress, you'll just know"? The same is true of houses, too. When Clayton and I walked through the front door of this house, we knew. I could see myself baking in its sweet little yellow kitchen and I could see Joebizzles sprawled out on the lush carpeting of the living room after a romp in the fenced in backyard.

I don't want to bore you with the details, but there is absolutely nothing fun about the home-buying process. All of your excitement and anticipation of finding the right house is squelched almost immediately when you realize how much goes into getting approved for a home loan. The other day I tweeted that I was pretty sure I was getting an ulcer.

I wasn't kidding.

I know that 75% of the stress I experience is totally self-inflicted, but when you have someone going over your income and credit history with a fine-tooth comb, you WANT to be thorough. When I found out that we needed to bring W2s from the past two years into our appointment with a broker, it was touch-and-go there for a little while. For real. I've saved every single tax document I've ever had, but one measly W2 from a previous employer wasn't in the stack. It was sent to me electronically, I never printed it and password to retrieve it had expired over a year ago. I sobbed for 2 hours that night because I was positive that I had ruined everything for us.

(FYI: Companies are required to keep employee W2s on file for at least 4 years for auditing purposes. The second that employer's office opened the next morning, I called customer service [and cried] and pleaded my case. She faxed my 2011 W2 to me in 20 minutes. I offered to drive to over to her office and give her a hug.)

When I'm stressed, I can't eat it. In fact, I've never wanted to throw up as much as I have over the past week. I couldn't concentrate at work because I was obsessing over our offer being accepted, and then I was worrying about getting approved for our loan. And when we finally sat down with our mortgage broker to discuss our bottom line, I almost barfed all over her desk when I realized how much of our savings account was going to disappear during this process.

Granted, this is what we've been saving for since we got married, but what took us almost 5 years to save is going to be gone in a matter of months. As Clayton lovingly pointed out, "We'll be broke ... but we'll be broke in our own home!"

(And I should also mention that when I whined to Clayton that this process was probably going to kill me, his sympathetic response was, "Please don't die. That would make it harder for me to qualify for this loan by myself.")

While our mortgage broker stepped out of the office to print some papers, Clayton and I had a few moments to let the reality of what we were doing wash over us. In the past hour we were told how much our home was going to cost us and that was probably the scariest number I've ever seen, but we were also told that we had excellent credit that pushed us into the best possible interest rate. We were told we were in impressive financial shape and should be very proud. It was then and there that I came to realization that this is what we had been striving towards for years:

With tears I could not fight springing from my eyes, I looked at my husband and said, "When you used to tell me that being independent and working hard would pay off one day, it never brought me any comfort because I could never see that far into the future. But here we are, buying a house without the help of anyone else. We did this completely, 100% on our own, just you and me. Just how we always wanted."

And then we had a super sappy moment that may or may not have led to a brief 5-second make out session in our broker's office.

Apparently good credit scores make me hot.

So that's where our life is at right now. Of course I will share more details as the become available, but for right now, we're just praying for smooth sailing until those keys are handed over to us on closing day.

The house is adorbs (although the sea-foam green paint in the living room and the bright purple paint in the master bedroom have GOT to go. But hey, all houses have little quirks to work out). The biggest selling points are its open layout, two full bathrooms, new high-efficiency heating and cooling system (and it has a cool digital thermostat that basically reads, "Are you hot? Would you like for me to turn on the a/c?"), pale yellow kitchen walls that will compliment Mixie oh-so-well, a fenced in backyard and its location in a large, SAFE neighborhood that will provide this gal with ample places to run.

And this probably sounds ridiculous, but Clayton and I are most excited about having a two-car garage. I've never parked one of my cars in a garage before, NEVER. When Clayton and I realized that we no longer have to scrape our windshields in the winter, we were like, "We're Donald Trump rich!"

All of that being said, I'm exhausted. Like, straight-up exhausted. We did nothing but house-related things this week and had to work it all around working all day and softball every night (and we weren't telling people yet, so we had no one to share the excitement and fear with!). Since I'm such a stickler for deadlines (see also: OCD), we did offer/counter-offer paperwork, shopped insurance, filled out the home loan application with our broker, and completed the home inspection all in just 4 days.

We came back to the town house after showing the house to our parents last night and decided we weren't going to even MENTION the house to each other for the rest of the evening. It's one of the most exciting things we've ever done together, but we need a mental break.

I wanted to share my excitement with you guys and if you need me this weekend, I'll be napping.

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7 comments

  1. Again, congratulations! How exciting! You guys deserve it. :)

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  2. Congratulations! I'm so happy for you both! Can't wait to see the new house too!

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  3. Congratulations!

    We're going through the same process right now too, it really sank in while we were signing or life away on like 40 pages of paperwork.It was so nice to see that sale pending sign in the yard.

    Pretty sure we looked at like 30 houses, made offers on 4 and got outbid, got an offer accepted the 5th one. I totally understand what you were saying about the pictures, there were several that I wanted to walk out of as soon as I walked in, they looked nothing like the pictures and they failed to mention the 2 inches of standing water in the basement.

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  4. Congrats! I am happy for you guys!!!

    Uvula is a pretty bad word too ...

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  5. YAYYYYY!!! Congrats!!!!! SO exciting to own your first home!! Can't wait to see pics, especially how you decorate to make it your very own :-)

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