When my fiancé and I got engaged, our parents asked if they could contribute and we gladly accepted. I don’t know how many of you out there have planned a wedding but they are expensive! Just mention the word “wedding” while talking to any vendor and I swear the price goes up at least 20 percent compared to if you told them you were planning, say, a graduation party. So we were happy to hear that our parents wanted to help us out with the expense.
But when Awesome and I really started to think about it, we realized that it might be wiser to use the money for a down payment on a house rather than on a lavish, one-day event. Just as it happened, I had been looking at Zillow (just for fun) earlier in the week and saw a property in the area that we want to live in for a great price. It was a wreck on the inside, so we would be doing a ton of renovations, but that didn’t scare us. So we called a friend of ours who happens to be a realtor, and he got us in the door.
How many problems did this house have?
Let me count the issues off for you: it has no insulation, all the windows and doors need to be replaced, the roof is questionable, the bathroom/kitchen needs to be gutted, the basement has mold, and a myriad of other issues that I won’t go into because I think you get the picture. But it’s in our chosen neighborhood for about 50 percent of what we would have had to pay for it had it been a finished home, and it comes with a half-acre of land that we really like. I figure we can get the house cheap, do the renovations, roll it all into one mortgage and we will have a newly renovated home with all the finishes we want and a mortgage we can handle.
The snarky neighbor didn’t have the same plan in mind that I did. He immediately walked over to the property while we were there and gave us a laundry list of items wrong with the property that didn’t even have to do with the house itself. The septic backs up, the shared driveway is actually on HIS property, the well isn’t deep enough and dries up in August, the land is made of clay and doesn’t drain properly, blah blah. Certainly not what we wanted to hear on our first visit, and it didn’t help that he was delivering the news with glee. Turns out his family had owned the property for decades, until his brother let the house go into foreclosure and lost it, so at least there is a reason behind all the bitterness.
I’ve only cried twice since we started looking for a house, which I think is excellent, considering how I let stress get to me. We’ve had roadblocks almost every step of the way, and sometimes it all builds up and I feel like the world is against me. Luckily Awesome is there to see me through and tell me when I’m overreacting — although he never actually says those words.
Mostly he just says things like, “It will all work out” and “What do you want to do, we can do whatever you want about this situation” which helps immensely.
It’s nice to have a partner in all this craziness. If I had been alone when that nasty neighbor came over to us to deliver all that bad news I probably would have eaten a tub of Chunky Monkey and cried myself to sleep. But Awesome just listened to what he had to say, was respectful even while the guy was being a dick, and didn’t get discouraged at all. He actually saw it as a positive thing – he said we were lucky the guy told us all of that before we actually went ahead and tried to buy the property without knowing. So I am very glad I have Awesome this time around. And not just because he is emotionally supportive – he’s also a great handyman.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.