House-buying is hard. It is scary. You have to deal with sharks and idiots and your own self doubt and timidity. You have to worry about money. You have to worry about making bad decisions. You have to fight your fear of being locked in and stuck in a situation you fear you can never get out of. You have to fight the urge to crawl into bed for a hundred years and not come out until the world is less scary again.
But, on the plus side (and I am really trying to find plus sides in my life right now), you get to have a home. Your own home. It will be a struggle and new worries will pop up now that you are responsible for everything that goes on within those four walls. If stuff needs fixing, you have to get it fixed – you can’t just call the property manager and get them to sort it out. But, by the same token, you can get whoever you want to fix it and WHEN you want them to fix it. You don’t have to wait three weeks to have a leaky tap sorted. Granted, you could also be a grown-up and learn how to fix a leaky tap yourself but let’s deal with one thing at a time here! Baby steps, people, baby steps!
So, this morning, feeling a little overwhelmed and stressed, and sad about having to leave my little rented house and the lovely suburb that has been my haven and my security for the last three years, I started trying to think of all the things that I should see as positives. And there are lots of them, if I just take the time to really look (and not be such a party-pooping, down-in-the mouth pessimist).
- I will have my own home. I never thought I would accomplish this. Fifteen years ago, I had about $1000 to my name. Now I am buying a house. I have worked hard for this. I have saved and scrimped and been a total tightwad so that one day I might be able to buy myself a little house that is all mine. I’m allowing myself a little bit of pride about that. It’s a big deal.
- Having your own place means you can paint walls bright purple if you want to. I don’t want to, but I can if I want to. And nobody can stop me.
- No more rent inspections. Hallelujah!
- I can get pets! I get to be crazy old cat lady after all 🙂 Finally!
- I can knock as many holes in the walls for picture-hanging as I like.
- I can knock out walls altogether if I like. Although I should probably get a professional to do that. Not just start swinging a sledgehammer about because I’m bored and there’s nothing on TV or I’ve watched too many episodes of Masters of Flip.
- I can have a beautiful garden. Or let it all die and just have weeds if I like. It’s my house AND my garden. I can do what I want.
- Nobody can tell me I have to move out. Except maybe the bank, if I forget to pay my mortgage. Or my hoarding becomes a real issue and the council condemns my place and tells me I have 30 days to exit. Don’t laugh – it could happen.
- I don’t have to worry about spilling stuff on the carpet, or marking the walls, or breaking stuff. I don’t plan on doing those things, but if they DO happen, no one is going to get cranky except me.
- Because it’s a two-storey, my craft room will be upstairs. So all my mess and junk and chaos can be contained on one floor. The ground floor will be neat and tidy and look like a grown-up lives there. This is my plan. I’m not very good at following plans, so we shall see how this one pans out.
- Financial security. Nothing is certain in these un-certain times, but equity is something to hold on to. And I don’t want to be still renting when I am 80, because rents will be like a bazillion dollars higher than they are now and I will be a crazy old cat lady pensioner. As it is, I will be paying a mortgage until I’m in my 70s. Which is a little scary. But I am trying not to think about that right now. It makes me hyperventilate and feel a bit sick.
- I will have an actual spare bedroom. Not just a couch. My Mum can come and sleep in an actual bed when she stays. I can have my nephews and nieces over to stay. Friends can drop in and stay the night. I can be a proper hostess. I can also just hoard more stuff in the spare bedroom. Let’s not kid ourselves – you know there’s a very real possibility of it happening.
- While I’ve been fretting over the thought of being locked in to a mortgage, I should have been calmed by the thought of never having to move again if I choose to stay there long-term. I hate moving. It’s the pits. I’ve moved four times in the last 9 years and also moved three libraries – I’m so over it. After this month, I never want to see another packing box ever again. Or at least for a good long while.
- I can start decorating properly and figure out what my style is. I can experiment with colour and designs and really make this home my own.
- I can discover a new neighbourhood. While I am going to miss South Perth dreadfully, I am going to get to know a new neighbourhood and maybe find some awesome spots to walk and eat and catch up with friends. Maybe there’s some nice parks. Maybe they have cool shops. Maybe I will have really great neighbours. I don’t know the area well at all, so I am going to try and be brave and get out there and see what’s what. And I have a car – I can always drive to South Perth if I am having withdrawal symptoms.
- The house will be all mine. Did I say that already?
So, there’s lots of positives. I know I am lucky to even be able to purchase a house at all and I am trying to remember that. Because not everyone is so blessed. I’m lucky to have always had a roof over my head, whether it be a rented one or my own. Coincidentally, the roof in the new place has some issues, and I will have to sort them out otherwise I might NOT have a roof over my head but, I can do that. Because it’s my house and my responsibility. Roof and all. See you in 30 years 🙂