Monday, April 30, 2012

House Shopping


Throughout all our lives we’re always doing things for the first time. As I move into adulthood, these firsts become more expensive, more time-consuming, and more terrifying than anything I’ve done before.

When I got married I lumped a bunch of those firsts together in one package. It was the first time I’d lived apart from my parents, the first time I moved out of state, the first time I entered into a rental agreement, the first time I was 100% responsible for my well-being (and that of my spouse), and the first time I did a few other things that go along with marriage.

Having Abigail a bare seven months ago was the culmination of a nine-month series of firsts such as looking at ultrasounds and taking my wife to whatever restaurant sold the food she was craving at the time.

There’ve been a lot of firsts. Now I’m looking at buying my first house. If you think it is like looking for an apartment or shopping for a car, you are like I was a couple weeks ago, never having gone through the process myself. Now I’m in the thick of looking for that oh-so-special place to raise children and root my family. Soon, if all goes well, I will be signing eight million forms, all of which can be used against me to rob me of my investment and leave me on the street with much less than I have now.

Even though marriage is a lifelong commitment (at least for us it is), it didn’t seem as financially scary of a commitment as a 30-year mortgage does right now. I can’t just downsize if times get tough or pull out altogether and move to a new city. I can’t sit back on my cement patio and watch the mowing service take care of the property around me. I can’t make a phone call to management to replace the toilet or change out the electrical sockets. Each of those things will be my responsibility and on my dime. And if water starts pouring out all over from behind the bathroom wall, it’s not as though I’ll get an upgrade and a month’s rent free (this never happened to me by the way).

For these reasons and more this whole thing is a little scary. But I have a few things I’ve come to accept that I believe will help me through this transition:

1. God is in control. The reason I made it in to work today is because God didn’t plan for me to die in a traffic accident this morning. Anything that comes my way, good or bad, is part of God’s providential care over my life.

2. Something will go wrong. Even if we find the perfect house on the perfect lot, the seller accepts my initial offer, the most knowledgeable inspector gives the house a clean bill of health, something will go wrong. A pipe will bust, the wiring will have to be replaced. The roof will leak, the windows will have to be replaced. That’s when I will likely experience buyer’s remorse. But it’s okay. Refer back to #1.

3. My wife loves me. No matter what, if we get the house I want or the house she wants (hopefully there’s a point where these two wants converge), my wife will love me.

Am I a little nervous? Yep. But I’m a lot more confident now because I’m not in this alone.