Someone at work asked me the other day why I had made the decision to start taking so many online classes. I will have 3 done by the end of September. The first answer that came to my head: ”I need something to distract me from either spending too much money or looking at houses.”
Both points are true. Since we got serious about buying a house, BF and I are starting to look at homes every week or so, sitting down with the laptop and scrolling through pretty much every home for sale out there – from the realtor’s websites to Craigslist postings to pretty much everything listed on Zillow too – to see what’s out there. Here’s the problem: I’m doing this just about every damn day.
If you’ve never looked at Zillow (or if you’re a Zillow hater) then you probably won’t get my fascination with it. Have you noticed how Facebook tries to get you to post a status by asking “How’s it going?” Zillow does that same thing, only with a nice “home-y” ring to it:
I know we’re a long way out from choosing a home. For one, we need to get the financing and numbers right. For another, I know most of these homes I’m looking at won’t even be available by the time we are ready to sign a contract in September. But we still have good reasons, really!
Since this is our first home, and I’m fairly new to living in a city, I need to learn more about the homes and neighborhoods here. BF has his opinions of what’s “good” and “bad” as far as the neighborhoods go, and so do I. At least that’s what I tell myself. I haven’t gotten around to telling myself that this is going to make me crazy. The moment I really fall in love with a house, the next day it is pending sale, or worse, sold or up for foreclosure auction. That makes me unreasonably sad sometimes, like when a favorite character is killed off a TV show (I’m looking at you, Downton Abbey) because it isn’t a real thing yet. The house is only theoretical until we can sign on the dotted line, and that’s months away.
It’s not all insanity, though. As we go through more listings and talk about all the options, I’m finding out some interesting things. Proximity to work is no longer our biggest priority, so if we could get a bigger home about 15 minutes away, we’re both ok with it. I never thought he’d want to be more than 5 minutes away from work, which is where we currently are. Very refreshing.
I think the real problem is that I haven’t just been talking about buying a house with BF. I’ve discussed it with friends, coworkers, and family. We’ve gotten a lot of, ahem, advice. As in multiple unsolicited, often irrelevant, pieces of advice. I know they mean well, but I don’t need to hear my 2 coworkers argue with each other about whether or not I need to hire a real estate attorney. I got lectured because I was unsure about going through a local bank. “You can get all those grants! How could pass up THOSE GRANTS?!” I just nodded and smiled, but it made me a bit sick to my stomach.
Also, my sisters and mother are on a crusade to ensure BF and I get married before we get a house. My sister just announced she is going to marry her boyfriend after their baby is born. I’m happy for them, really. They have been together a couple years and have a beautiful baby girl on the way. But now the pressure is going to be solely on me and BF as we are the last unmarried or un-engaged couple of the family, unless you count BF’s sister who is single and happy.
All we have is a pipe dream of a house and a couple cats and a beta fish together, and we are perfectly happy with that. Why all the pressure to get married now, after we’ve lived together over 2 years happily?
Disclaimer: I’m the commitment phobe in the relationship, so don’t go on a rant about how terrible BF is for not marrying me over 3 years into our relationship. I love our relationship as it is now, with us living together happily without a piece of paper from city hall binding us together for life. You all remember how long it took me to sign a lease with this man, even though I love him.
Anyway, my point is plenty of couples do this – just stay together happily without getting married. It’s ok these days. Or so I thought. My family suddenly thinks otherwise. The loudest one of them all, my oldest sister just got married to her hubby last year – after living with him for 8 years! It’s like she just up and got married and decided it was the best thing and EVERYONE SHOULD DO IT. It makes me want to run to the hills.
Back to the main topic. Sorting through the clutter of online listings, reviews, and neighborhood crimes stats takes a long time. Dodging my family on the whole “why can’t you just get married first” issue is going to take a lot of creativity. I’m suddenly glad we have several months left! I’m going to have to get through several more
awkward weekends at home months before we can move into our dream home.
Soon, Zillow. Soon.