When we moved from Seattle to North Carolina last year, it made sense to rent a house. We didn’t know the area very well, and we wanted time to explore and figure out where we wanted to live. Also, we didn’t exactly make money on the sale of our house, so we needed some time to come up with something that would approximate a down payment on a new place.
And here we are, ten months later. Our lease is going to expire in 60 days. Our landlady wants to know if we’re going to renew our lease for another year or if we’re going to move out. We have a little money that might be enough for a down payment. Our credit is just ok – it’s certainly not bad, but it’s not great either; we’re pretty firmly in the “average” range – and we weren’t sure if we would qualify for a mortgage or not. Sure, it’d be nice to take advantage of house prices being so low, but if banks are being stingy about handing out loans, we weren’t sure if we could work it or not.
(Incidentally, our pain-in-the-butt landlady is one of the primary reasons that I want to move. Everything is a headache with her, and everytime I talk to her, she’s always rude and snippy. Can’t. Stand. Her.)
I decided to contact our realtor here and ask if she knew someone we could ask about a loan. She gave me a referral, and it turns out that, lo & behold, we actually did get pre-approved for a mortgage! Which is really exciting, but now we just have to, you know, find a house to buy. No big deal, right?
So that’s going to be taking up a lot of my brainspace between now and August 1st. I’m much less stressed out about it this time than I was last year – moving across town versus cross-country? Yeah, not much of a comparison there. Of course moving sucks, and it’ll be a huge headache, and I’m sure I’ll bitch and moan through the whole process, but it’ll be nothing compared to our last move.
Plus, when it’s all said & done, we’ll have a place that’s really ours. This place has always felt like a house where we’ve just set up camp. We have our books in stacks on the dining room floor, because why bother buying new bookcases? It’ll just be more furniture to move later. This has never felt like a house where we could have people over for parties or anything; I would love to be in a house where I could have people over and not be embarassed about the visible litter box or the boxes that are still in the sunroom that we haven’t unpacked after ten bloody months. I especially can’t wait to get settled in a house that we can make changes to, so we won’t have to live with hideous wallpaper anymore.
Exhibit A: ugly fruit-oriented wallpaper in our kitchen. And I swear some of those figs look like testicles. It’s all I ever see when I look at the walls.
I’m worried about Catie, because I know that our last move was really hard on her. I expect this one will be easier; the people who are in her life now (her cousin Elizabeth, her friend Kiersten at daycare) will still be part of her normal routine after we move. But I also know she will be heartbroken to leave her friend McKenzie (and vice versa, really; McKenzie knocks on the door every single day to see if Catie can play). So it’ll be rough, but we’ll manage it.
Plus, you know, an added benefit of home ownership is that we might be able to get a playset for the backyard. And judging by how much she loved playing on Elizabeth’s yesterday, I think that might be a pretty big selling point for her.
Now, off to find that perfect dream house…