This is definitely a non-traditional approach, but key to any big decision/change in life. Panic.
Here’s the thing – I’m 34 and this is 100% the most adult thing I have ever done. Sure, I’ve lived in apartments and rented houses, but having a mortgage is your guaranteed ticket into full blown adulthood.
While, I’m not prepared to give up my childhood wonders, it’s definitely a big deal.
Currently, Matt and I rent my parents’ home while they live some 3,000 miles away in sunny Florida. This is the same house that I’ve lived in (on and off) for the last 20 years, and I’m comfortable.
When I was younger, we moved around a lot. 11 different houses in 11 years, always moving house to house, town to town, school to school because my dad’s job required relocation. It was better to move than to be separated as a family unit. I’ve made a lot of friends along the way, and lost just as many. This constant need to re-introduce yourself formed who I am: public speaking is nothing, the ability to talk to strangers… But also the high walls of not wanting to get too close. I’ll just leave, you’ll just leave… let’s stay in touch even though we both know that will never happen.
Don’t hear me wrong: I don’t have resentment and it’s not a prominent thought, ever. But when we moved to this house, I was promised we wouldn’t move again. And we haven’t. When roommates didn’t work out or I graduated college without a job (thanks Great Recession 2008) or countless breakups… This is where I came. This is where all of my brothers lived during divorce or breakups or hard times. This house was my safe haven. It’s always been here to come back to. Well, when Matt and I move this house will be put up for sale and given a new life for a new family. The memories trapped in the walls will all but be forgotten. They’ll never know the tears, the fear, the time that a mushroom grew in the bathroom (ha!), the long summer nights spent in the backyard… the times that the entire family was over, crammed into our small house for holidays, parties… all of these memories will be gone.
Well, not gone – but not constantly haunting the walls of our little ranch.
The panic sets in because I realized I won’t have anywhere to go. Everyone has moved on and things change… and it’s scary AF.
Again, don’t get me wrong – Matt and I are rock solid. He’s my person and I am excited to start our life together, to make new memories, to fill a house with things that we love. Carefully curated to tell the world, oh heyyy it’s us… we’re so in love and have a great taste. But that doesn’t make it any less scary.
The Internet’s Advice
Similar to symptoms on webMD, an Internet search for “is it normal to panic when buying a home” gives grave results. According to scores of websites: it’s not normal and there isn’t much to offer much solace. In fact, during one of my late-night-I-can’t-sleep-must-google-and-research explorations – I was left feeling more alone and lost in my feelings.
Obviously, according to all of these websites, I was on the verge of a huge financial crisis and would be forever alone and ruined. Brimstone, frogs falling from the skies – you name it: I was entering the Dante’s Inferno.
Holy smokes – who needs a drink?
I talked to my mom about this, and you should know my mom doesn’t do fluff and she doesn’t do sap. She’s tough, hard, and she loves very deeply. My sentimental sap definitely came from somewhere else. She gently reminded me that this is something everyone goes through and it’s normal, and more importantly: it’s exciting. I get 5 minutes to feel sorry/scared/sad a week and then it’s time to put our big girl pants on and make it work.
The Future is Bright
Here’s the cold hard truth: it’s 100% normal to be scared. It’s normal to be anxious and worried, but it’s the bravery to move forward that yields true success. Buying a house or any other major life event will cause anxiety, excitement, uncertainty… It. Is. All. Normal.
There is a lot to do when buying a house, but it’s important to remember that it’s also super exciting. Remember: experience the panic, explore, and move on. I’ve also got some tips to help relax… And when all else fails: You’re not alone in being scared, talk about your feelings (gross I know), and remember that you are a beautiful land mermaid.
Xo love kim