Boy, buying a home is nothing like any other transaction. My mom used to say, “Growing old isn’t for sissies.” I think the same could be said for buying a house. It will test you in every possible way, and if it doesn’t break you, consider yourself lucky. I thought my husband and I were going to kill each other today because we’ve been so stressed out by the process. I think a lot has to do with ‘living in limbo’ and no longer having a set schedule. We’ve been in this weird transitional space and it’s beginning to take its toll. My husband told me this evening that he feels ‘jipped’. “Just like last time we bought a house,” he said, “You got everything that you wanted and I got nothing. All I asked for was a shop and I didn’t even get that.” He’s right, of course (sort of). The house doesn’t currently have a shop, but that doesn’t mean that one cannot be added in the future. “With what money?” my husband asked when I made the suggestion, “The money we could have used to build a shop is now going to be spent replacing the roof.”
I have to say, I disagree. He’s been married to me long enough to know that if I want to make something happen bad enough, I will find a way, and I am determined to get him his shop. After some serious thought, I realized that a fairly affordable option would be more than possible. It will take some ingenuity, to be sure, but it’s definitely possible. In our last house, the two car garage served as his shop. It worked because there was a carport attached to the front, which allowed us a place to park our vehicles and keep them out of the elements. Why not replicate what we had going on at our last house? It would be considerably cheaper than constructing something from scratch and having to pour concrete and run wiring and spend a ton on materials! It also makes the most sense because our new home has a ridiculously long driveway. Not only will adding a carport add value to our home and free up the space in the garage for my husband’s shop, it will reduce the amount of snow we have to plow or shovel in the winter, which seems like a win-win to me.
Before we can even address that concern, however, there are other ‘more important’ matters to contend with, ‘the roof’ being the most significant. I don’t know whether the roof will last us three more years, or one more year, or even get us through the winter. I’m willing to take a chance and wait until the spring but I have a tendency to ‘throw caution to the wind’. “If we wait until the spring and the roof leaks, we’ll be looking at a lot more than just replacing shingles,” my husband said this morning, “At the very least we’ll be replacing sheetrock, and depending on the extent of the water damage, it could me much worse. We might have to replace lumber and wiring and lighting and flooring.” Dang it! Why does he always have to come up with the absolute worst of the ‘worst case scenarios’? I find it much easier to live in ‘la la land’ and leave my head buried in the sand. That’s how my mom lived and she survived somehow. Why can’t it work for me, too? I still say we should take our chances and wait but I know it’s a bit reckless. In this particular case, I’m going to let my husband make the decision because ‘home maintenance’ is more his ‘department’.
That’s actually one of the reasons we got into an argument today. I was trying to tell my husband that regarding the house, ‘the paperwork and finances’ are my department and ‘anything involving maintenance or home repairs’ are his. It all came about because rather than reaching out to me, our mortgage lender texted my husband and asked how much of a loan we wanted. He didn’t immediately respond to the text; however, at some point when I was up and about, he walked over to me, and told me that the mortgage lender had texted him and wanted to know the dollar amount we’d like to finance. “Why did she reach out to you?!” I asked him, slightly puzzled, “That’s ‘my department’. I handle all of the financial stuff.” “I don’t know,” he replied, “I think she thought you were sleeping and didn’t want to bother you.” As it turns out, I was sleeping. When I wrote to her later and asked her politely to direct all future financially-related questions to me (for the sake of efficiency), she let me know that she would send them to both of us and that she had reached out to my husband via text (instead of me) because she didn’t want to wake me. I really felt like a loser after that.
Everything is fine now, thankfully. My husband and I got into another disagreement later for a different reason and after a ‘tough talk’, we worked through it. In essence, he got upset with me for the very reason I got bent out of shape earlier in the day. He had questions for the realtor about the home inspection and she never got back in touch. Without thinking, while I was working on supplying our mortgage lender with the documents she requested, I decided to call the realtor. While on the phone with her, I asked her about our home inspection and whether my husband could conduct it, and even got it scheduled for this coming Saturday. When I got off the phone with her, I sent my husband a text with the date and time the realtor and I had agreed upon. I was seated at the table in the basement when I sent the text, and it wasn’t seconds before he came stomping down the stairs and gave me ‘a piece of his mind’ for doing ‘the very thing we had argued about earlier’.
I had and I hadn’t even realized it. He was supposed to handle ‘anything involving maintenance or home repairs’ and I was supposed to handle all of the ‘paperwork and finances’ and even though we’d had a pretty heated argument about it earlier in the day, it had completely slipped my mind. “The very thing you were upset about this morning, you just did to me,” he said angrily. Once again, he was right, and after I apologized, I ate a heaping portion of ‘humble pie’. I know of no other way to explain it other than to say that sometimes I just don’t think. I had been in ‘get things done’ mode and forgot about the agreement we’d made earlier. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I really have been busy! It seemed like I had a gazillion windows open on my computer in order to obtain all the documents the mortgage lender had requested. We were required to provide pictures of our driver’s licenses, copies of bank statements, w-2s, 1099s, and 30 days of pay stubs. But that’s not all!
We we also asked to provide the settlement statement from our last house, our homeowner’s insurance contact info, the make and model of our vehicles, a ‘retirement award letter’ (which neither of us has any concept of), and a sample of our DNA. Just teasing! I had to throw that last bit in to make sure you were still paying attention. Needless to say, I went to countless websites to obtain the necessary documentation because I don’t have any of it with me, it’s all in storage. For the tax documentation, I initially reached out to my sister-in-law because she processes our returns; however, after I got my wits about me, I remembered I could get them myself if I logged in to her company’s website. After that, I went to two different bank websites and downloaded the last two months of statements from our checking and savings accounts. I went to another to access my husband’s latest pay stub, another for my unemployment benefits, and while I was at it, I figured I might as well update my forwarding address, so I went to the USPS website as well. There are others, of course.
In addition to looking up necessary things on the internet in order to process our mortgage loan, I couldn’t help but occasionally distract myself by going to Craigslist to check and see whether there were any dining room sets, bedroom sets, washer and dryer sets, or building materials available. Oh my gosh, having a washer and dryer is a must! Thinking back to the days when I had to use a laundromat to launder my clothes brings back nightmares! Ack! No. NO! NEVER AGAIN!! When I recollect gathering up all of the dirty clothes and stuffing them into black lawn bags, scrounging for quarters throughout the house, schlepping everything out to the car, driving to the laundromat, schlepping everything from the car into the laundromat, and, and, and. Woah! Hang on. I just went down a rabbit hole. Sorry about that. Where was I? Oh, yes. On top of the call I made to the realtor (that got everything stirred back up), I reached out to all three of our kids and my ‘true blue’ friend to give each of them updates. I even got in touch with one of the groomers at PetSmart to schedule a ‘Bath and Brush’ for our smelly dog.
Hey! How about that? I just realized I’ve hit my ‘quota’ for the evening. Without even trying, I managed to complete eight paragraphs. You know what? I’m going to go ahead and call it a night. I don’t have any firm plans for tomorrow but I’d like to get a good night’s rest for once. Anyway, thanks so much for stopping by. It means a lot! Have a fantastic day, and I wish you an abundance of blessings!