Life Lessons from House Hunting
image via: Dwell
Mike and I have been dreaming of owning a home since the day we got married, but as self-employed we have worked hard to save all we can to make sure we always have enough to put back into our dreams of running Wild Measure. We have placed other dreams on hold for a long time, one of which is owning a house. We have been extremely lucky enough to always have a friend or family member offer us an amazing rental where we can settle in and make home for the time being, but this year we decided to truly begin the hunt. We had done a lot of saving and have done all the hard tax things with our business to show the bank that we are worth the risk, and we have placed all the ducks in a row. We should just be able to walk in and buy a house right?
I grew up in a home where renovations happened often, and we built a few homes as well. My dad was a contractor and designer, so nothing was ever up to his bar of acceptable, but it never seemed to bother my parents. They still found great homes and we always had a great space to grow up in. It was always was comfortable, well put together, and rarely in complex disarray. Thus, when we began hunting I thought it wouldn’t be too bad. We would search for a few months, find one in an area we loved, make an offer, do some negotiation, and then it all would be done. I know there are 100 more steps than that in the process, but I figured finding the right one wouldn’t be as hard as it is. I know Mike and I both are designers and our expectations for a space are a bit abnormal, but I feel I am being gracious and open to the idea of what a space could be with some love and vision.
Now, nearly 8 months later, we only have a few offers placed and some dreams dashed. In every one of those moments it has felt heart breaking, but now I know it wasn’t right. Mike and I joke all the time that finding a home is similar to finding the one you will spend the rest of your life with. You do a lot of dating and courting, but we just haven’t found the one we want to be with forever (or 3-5 years).
I am not saying all this to whine on your shoulder because I am beyond grateful to even have the freedom to think of even buying a home no matter the emotional cost, which is why I am now able to write this. I am instead writing this to tell you that House Hunting has taught me a lot. Yes, I have learned about home inspections and about gutters and other ridiculous things, but I have learned patience more than anything. I have learned to have faith that the right thing will come together and that rushing into things is never a good idea. All great things happens as they should and in the time in which they should. I have no idea where we will plant ourselves but as we yet again pack everything we own into a storage container and head north for the summer, we do it in hopes that when we return to Raleigh at the end of the summer we will feel some sense of clarity or maybe even the right home will have shown up. It is scary to leave somewhere you will return to with no idea of where home will be. I am working hard on patience, grace, and faith right now that it all will come together just as it should and that we would know some level of clarity and peace when it all does come in front of us.
We so often look so far ahead in life just watching for the answer to come around the corner, but sometimes it all comes exactly when we least expect it. Waiting and tapping our toes only brings anxiety. Sure, packing a house up in the next week is a task I am not looking forward to on top of our work load and other things going on in life, but I am really looking forward to summer up in Traverse City and to live in the sun and to allow ourselves the peace we need to make a good decision for our future.
Life is crazy. End of story. There is no predicting it and you cannot always change the reality of it all, but you can find calm in the moment. You can look for the ray of light of maybe that last evening on your front porch with friends or how the wind feels as you cook dinner and laugh with the one you love. Decisions and answers not coming when you want them can consume you, so it is best to let them arrive when they should.
All I know is in 8 months I will look back on all this craziness and laugh a little at myself and think, see you did that and you made one good decision too. Oh man adulthood, I tell you.