We just bought our first home. Yay us!
But guys, seriously…
The planning. The drama. The anticipation. The joy. The worry.
And although it was our first time buying a home, I couldn’t help but think, “This all seems really familiar. Haven’t I done this before?”
Yes, I’ve been through all of this! Five times, in fact. Because buying a home is exactly like having a baby. Don’t get it? Allow me to explain.
It’s like they know.
It all starts when you’re dreaming. You see others have one, and you’re planning to have one of your very own.
Current homeowners may sympathize with your homeowner dream, and yet they’ll be sure to tell you it’s a huge responsibility. This homeowner gig isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. The all-knowing look from current homeowners was the exact same look that those seasoned parents gave me when we announced we were expecting!
“Once you’re a homeowner, things change,” they harped.
The gestational gamble.
Pregnancy is easy and painless for some, and a medical roller coaster of agony and sacrifice for others. You can do things that may help it go more smoothly, but the rest is in God’s hands.
The same can be said about the house purchasing process. It’s a crapshoot whether you’re buying a tiny, ancient fixer-upper, or a brand new, custom-built mansion. It seems like it’s all out of your hands.
Whether it’s a bump in your credit or your genetics, you are going to run into some problems that seem catastrophic. And you kind of just might turn into a crazy person—be warned.
Although it’s nothing a good agent, just like a good doctor, can’t help you sort out.
Third trimester lasts forever.
Waiting for our loan to go through was exactly like the “I am so ready to have this baby,” third-trimester wait.
Every day that I wasn’t having a baby the last few weeks of my pregnancy, was exactly like every day I wasn’t closing on my new home. It slowly ticked by and I couldn’t even perform daily tasks without being weighed down by an urgency that was out of my control.
I worried. I cried. I gained weight.
Exactly the same.
Labor and delivery.
Okay, let me give you my personal experience. With all five babies, the labor story can be summed up like so:
Last weeks before due date spent impatiently awaiting surprise early delivery. Pissed off when it doesn’t happen.
Due date comes, due date goes. Cry every day there’s no baby. Tell every family member that calls, “no baby yet.” Stop answering phone.
Become convinced I am never going to have a baby.
Go into spontaneous labor and have a baby in under 4 hours (or under an hour in one case)!
So it should be no surprise when the last few weeks of my personal home-buying experience were the exact same:
Anxiously await phone call before closing date saying “Hey, we got done processing your loan early! Come in and sign on the line to get your keys!” Pissed off when it doesn’t happen.
Closing date comes, closing date goes. They hit a “minor setback.” Still no house. Cry every day there’s no house. Tell every family member that calls, “no house yet.” Stop answering phone.
Become convinced I am never going to have a new home.
Get a spontaneous call, sign a million documents, and have a house in under 4 hours!
The weight and worry of responsibility.
Reality hits you hard, bro. As a new mother, I awoke whenever I heard the slightest whimper from my sleeping babe. After a full week as a new homeowner, I awoke when I heard the air conditioner kick on. My husband had already heard it, and beaten me to the concern.
“Do you hear that?” he’d asked. We paused, both caught in a fully awake and tense moment. I was sure I was listening to the sound of my bank account emptying.
“It’s probably always sounded like that when it kicks on and we’ve never noticed it before.” I tried to comfort him. I, too, was overly anxious about the dripping and rattling noise that our AC made as it dutifully battled a hot Texas night.
He tiptoed to go check on the unit and watched it until he was satisfied enough that it was indeed a normal, funny noise we were hearing. I was reminded of the nights I hovered over the new baby’s crib, holding my breath, to see if he or she was indeed alive and breathing. Despite having checked 5 minutes ago, I hadn’t stopped worrying.
So I talk about my new home to everyone who’ll listen. And I’ll tell you, just like I’d tell any new parent, it’s totally worth it. After all of the excitement has faded from my memory, who knows? I may even start daydreaming about the next one.