Limbo Is Only Fine If You're Dancing

Buying a house is so weird. It's not like buying a car, which is the second-largest thing I've ever bought in my life. It's not like buying anything. It's basically like signing a bunch of paper and then waiting and then signing some more paper and then waiting and then signing some more paper and then waiting. Right now, we are on round seventeen of the waiting, but I'm pretty sure there's going to be some more paper-signing coming up soon if past patterns are anything to go by. Meanwhile, my signature is getting awesome. Super curly and fancy. You should see it. Hell, I see it in my sleep.

I am beginning to think that we will never own this house. I have kind of forgotten about this house. I mean, a person can only look at the shaky Flip video she took during the home inspection TWO WEEKS AGO enough times before she gets bored of pausing it and picturing the exact arrangement of the living room in her head, and so the house is sort of fading from my memory a little bit. I think it has rooms, maybe? Walls? Possibly a ceiling or two? I don't know, I've forgotten. It seems like three million years ago that we actually put in a bid for it. Maybe it's not even a house after all. Maybe it's a spaceship! Maybe it's a strip mall with really nice hardwood floors! I CAN'T EVEN REMEMBER.

When you buy something normal, you have it right there and it's tangible. You can be like "Oh! These silver shoes I just bought are fantastic! Damn, I got a sweet deal on these silver shoes." When you buy a house, you kind of just....forget that you're even buying it, the process drags on so long. At first it's really exciting and everything's a big blurry pinwheel of SIGN THIS! DO THAT! and then after a while you're like oh, are we STILL buying this house? Still? There's more? It's not just like going to Target and handing over my debit card and punching in my pin?

Right now, we're having some sort of argument over a heating system---note to my 21-year-old self: you can't imagine it, dancing in that nightclub like you are now, but your life will one day involve arguments with other people's realtors about heating systems---and if all goes according to plan, we should be closing on May 24. Closing, as far as I can tell, means they give you the keys. I think it's only when they do give us the keys and we can drive over there and let ourselves in---instead of driving over there and parking creepily in front of it, which is what we've done on several rather stalkerish occasions---that we'll finally think of it as ours. Our house. Our house we bought. Maybe then we'll finally feel a sense of celebration instead of a sense of carpal tunnel syndrome and slowly dwindling excitment. I hope so. I'm ready to be excited again. Seems like it would involve champagne.

1
Emily
May 14, 2010

I've loved reading your home buying posts, since I am currently doing the same! We had our inspection on Monday, which was good, though the realtors did fight over some electrical stuff. After waking up this morning at 4:30am in a cold sweat over the stress of waiting we got final approval from underwriting on our loan this afternoon. I think the next step is getting insurance, which must involve loads more signing. And then we have to wait until JUNE 30TH to close! As far as I can tell June 30th appears to arbitrary. WHY ALL THIS WAITING???

(Un)fortunately we live two blocks from our new house, so we can walk by like creepy stalkers every day! We have even put on some mild disguises for our twice daily trips over to the new place. UGH! THE WAITING!

2
Serror
May 14, 2010

HA! We are in the same boat, stalking our future house. Driving past it to show friends or family, hoping the current residents don't recognize our car... Our inspection was a month ago! I am begining to forget what it looks like!

We have a 45 day closing period (the longest 45 days of my life!) and close on the 28th. Cannot wait to get in the house to clean and paint and figure out where the heck everything is going to go!

3
Stacey
May 14, 2010

We put in a bid on a house over three months ago. We are STILL waiting to hear back from the bank. (Short sale = real estate HELL.) By this point the damn thing could have burned down for all we know. I wonder what it looks like now that it's not covered in snow . . .

4
She Likes Purple
May 14, 2010

We had champagne the first night in our house and we saved the cork from that bottle.

I know EXACTLY how you feel, though, with the waiting and signing and waiting and arguing (our particularly heated argument was over insulation), but it passes. You will get to walk through those doors soon.

I can't wait to toast you from Texas when you do. (What, you don't drink champagne on behalf of good news of bloggers you don't technically know? You really should. More champagne and all.)

5
Locusts and Wild Honey
May 14, 2010

I'll bet you MY DOG that it's going to be exciting. Just not this part...This part sucks.

6
elz
May 14, 2010

The limbo time sucks ass. But, after, when you don't have to pack, move, and look for/sign your life away to buy a house, that's when you sit back and say,, "Damn. I don't ever have to go through that again." And then you laugh like heck at the newbie House Hunters on HGTV...not that I do that.

7
agirlandaboy
May 14, 2010

I hope everything goes as planned. And I hope that when you finally do get to let yourselves in, it will be even awesomer than you remembered it. (There's always the possibility of that weird thing where you walk into a place you thought you remembered well and realize it's way smaller than you thought...or maybe way bigger. In your case, I hope it's way bigger, as that will mean more lamps and birdcages and bigger parties!)

8
TracyD
May 14, 2010

My husband and I are closing on a house mid-June. Notice I said "a" house...not "our" house? It's hard for me to think of it as "our" house until we live there. It seems like there's still a way for it not to happen for us right now, so until keys are in hand, it's still "a" house.

We're fighting over the roof. Can't wait until the paper signing and arguing is over!

9
Laura
May 15, 2010

It's true - the waiting is really just awful. We also stalked our house regularly and actually met after work one day in the backyard (no one was living there - that would just be creep-o) and had champagne before we even closed. It made us feel better and kept our excitement up and was actually rather sweet. Congratulations and may the time pass quickly!

10
James
May 15, 2010

At least you're stalking a house. My wife and I have been stalking an empty lot for four months now. Actually I guess you could say we're stalking an acre of weeds. We've driven by the lot, or actually walked around the lot, more times than I can count. It's gotten obsessive. I'm not sure what we expect to see there every we visit, but we keep going back.

And talk about a strange buying experience. We just signed over a bunch of money for a house that doesn't exist yet. It's surreal.

But don't worry. Getting those keys for the first time will be so worth the wait.

11
sarah
May 15, 2010

I remember the sheer exhilaration the first time I painted a wall, hung some framed photos...all without thinking, "well, there goes my security deposit!" or wondering if my landlord would be annoyed.

Seems like small thing, but really? I *still* get happy when I can paint walls or pick out my own appliances and not have to go with whatever the landlord chooses.

12
Dr. Maureen
May 15, 2010

Oh, man, we went to South America for a wedding while in the home-buying process and were so distracted by all the stuff that we ended up leaving a trail of luggage across two continents. We forgot luggage EVERYWHERE.

And? The mortgage companies required my ORIGINAL DIPLOMA as proof of earning potential. It's a Ph.D., and is framed and is, like, 14x20 inches or something.

13
Mallory
May 16, 2010

Isn't it bizarre? I just bought a house and it really is the weirdest process ever. I always felt like something was going to go wrong...I had my fingers crossed for a month straight.

It will be over soon! Good luck!

14
Mallory
May 16, 2010

Isn't it bizarre? I just bought a house and it really is the weirdest process ever. I always felt like something was going to go wrong...I had my fingers crossed for a month straight.

It will be over soon! Good luck!

15
Marcheline
May 16, 2010

Well, aside from champagne, I hope it involves PICTURES OF THE NEW HOUSE!!!

Because we're dying to see it. Not just me. All of us.

Clicky clicky?

16
Meghan
May 17, 2010

I totally stalked my house after all of the signing was done and I needed to remember what it looked like. The owners saw me a few times. Very awkward!

17
Heather B.
May 17, 2010

I think it's the entire process of house buying that keeps me a Forever Renter. I cannot wrap my head around all of that paperwork and escrow and God knows what else.

Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled for you and Sean but so happy it isn't me.

Also, my ears were burning the other night ;-) I'll come out and visit you AND your new house soon.

18
Kristabella
May 17, 2010

I think I got an ulcer for the three months between the time I "got" my condo, to when I closed and it was really ALL MINE! It was seriously the most stressful time of my life. Because until you have those keys in your hand, you imagine every worst case scenario possible!

Hang in there! It will be SO worth it in the end!

19
elizabethsheryl
May 17, 2010

You have more self-restraint than I do..'cause I would be stalking the house WAY more. I'd be there once a day, and then I'd probably get paranoid about how sketchy I look and probably knock on the neighbors doors to assure them that I've just bought the house and am just weirdly driving to look at it and not trying to stage a home invasion. It would be bad.

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