You know how some people dread the dentist? I started to dread the bank. I'd get so nervous I started to worry they were thinking I was thinking about robbing the place or something. Seriously, sweaty palms, fidgety, feeling a bit like it's judgement day and "OH MY GOSH THEY'RE NEVER GOING TO LET ME BUY A HOUSE!"
My insides felt a little like these clouds that were over our house last summer.
But here we are, a year later, living in the house I was sure they'd never let us buy.
I won't say that I'm all cool and calm all the time when we realize that we need to redo electrical, plumbing, and when we talk about renovations. I go back to that uneasy feeling of "THIS IS GOING TO COST SO MUCH AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT I WANT AND I HATE THOSE CABINETS" or something like that. Considering the bouts of buyer's remorse I had after buying my first car, that I currently refuse to sell even though a Corolla isn't all too practical in Montana, I can tell you that I still occasionally freak out that we own a house.
But the renovation freak outs deserve their own post. Fair warning, the summer might be full of them.
For now, a few thoughts on how to keep your cool when buying a house.
+ Breathe. A lot.
+ Do your research. The better you know what you're getting into, your stress level is more manageable. And absolutely, positively get a reputable home inspector.
+ Have someone who will listen to your freak outs and take your concerns seriously. It doesn't have to be a significant other, just a friend who will hear you out and help you talk it through.
+ Avoid ice cream. It's easy to fight your stress with ice cream, or any carbs really, but then you'll just have to run more, which actually helps with the stress, so if you can keep up with the running, eat your heart out. (Healthy folks, pretend I didn't say any of that.)
+ Deep breaths. You're going to need them.
+ Don't buy something you don't want. A fixer upper, fine. Something that isn't perfect, fine. But if deep, deep down, you don't want it or can't see any potential in it, don't commit yourself to it.
+ Follow renovation blogs, websites, read magazines. Thinking about the potential will raise your spirits and that part is seriously exciting. Some of my favorites are Little House. Big Heart, Retro Ranch Reno, Attempts at Domestication and Decor and the Dog. You'll find more under my Reading List tab.
+ Breathe again. You get really good at listening to yourself breathe.
+ Do the math. We bit off a big chunk of property with this house, but it's something we can manage. Avoid buying something you can't afford. You won't enjoy it and you'll just stay stressed all the time.
+ Breathe and have a glass of wine. You're going to need it, but you can survive the home buying process.
Are you a homeowner? What are your tips for surviving the home buying process?