Several years ago, I toyed with the idea of becoming a realtor. Since my parents love to mogul, in the very least, this was a skill/expertise that could come in extremely handy for the family. But after looking over all the materials and certifications, I decided it all sounded too laborious and tedious. And in many ways, I saw myself coming up short: like I didn’t quite have the gregarious/salesperson personality for the job… Yeah, I could probably handle the tedious stuff pretty well but talking to strangers? Ugh. Still, if I were a realtor, let me tell you, I found my realtor alter ego. My realtor is my latest BFF. Seriously, this woman is on the ball. Super prepared, very thorough, and she asks lots of questions, noting our needs, our wants, pros, and cons. And she lines shit up and coordinates things like nobody’s business.
Realistically, John and I had been “researching” housing in this area for well over a year. Frankly, going to open houses had almost become a hobby for us. Like my/our fascination with Stacy and Clinton, we were just continually amazed by how “put together” these people’s spaces were. Or at least, how incredibly polished the work of these stagers/interior decorators could be! These setups blew me away! Yeah, like world-class art collections at MoMA and the Prado rarely elicit any effect but this shit?
Like I said, we’d been looking rather casually for a long time. Then my parents visited at the end of March/early April, and we started working with our hardcore realtor. In a few weeks, we clocked in DAYS learning about the process, the documents, evaluating homes, locations, etc. We never intended to buy before May 1. Sure, dad kept reminding us of the federal and state tax credits but whatever, we were commitment-phobes. Plus, we liked our big nest egg. It allowed for freedom in an entirely different way, for example, John’s 10-month hiatus.
Then on April 29, I toured five properties in South Bay. I don’t know how this happened, but somehow, our price range now enabled us to purchase a single-family home instead of a condo. What a huge fucking difference, especially given our run-ins with home owners’ associations in Virginia AND in California. We were fed up with their bullshit! Long story short, John drove down after work on Thursday to see a home I thought could work. And just like that, we put in an offer at midnight. Yup, that’s the way we roll: resist, resist, resist, then bam! Buy it NOW and on the LAST POSSIBLE DAY!
Interestingly, the owners are an interracial couple: Chinese (American?) woman + Caucasian man. They divorced last year and had intended to put the home up for sale in the winter, but moving stuff out took longer than usual. So, the property didn’t go to market until late March. Meanwhile, it sat vacant…
I couldn’t help but wonder about the owners, who they were, how their relationship had evolved, and why it had ended. The guy had moved to the city; the woman had moved back east. This property was just dragging things on for them.
The day before us, another party had submitted an offer. The owners submitted a counter-offer. We then squeezed in OUR offer. John and I agreed to bid, but after we submitted the docs, we were nervous and uncertain and regretful as hell. The next day (April 30), I awoke with a major stomach ache. When I headed into work, I convinced myself that there was no way we would beat out the other party. The owners would simply sign, and we’d be out (and free again)! On the other hand, John had a feeling we would get it. Shortly after noon, my realtor called to congratulate us. I think even she was surprised they accepted, because we had offered significantly less than their asking price. But like I said, in a weird way, the owners’ marital misfortune was our opportunity, because they were motivated to have all this shit over and done.
As soon as our realtor broke the news, I was in shock. Like omfg, are you serious? What the hell have I done? We’re not even fixer uppers and the place doesn’t have a maxed out kitchen, which was one of our top 5 wants! It was crazy. I didn’t feel good about it at all. But later that day, I went by the house again and slowly, I accepted. Since then, I’ve gone to the house every day. And thankfully, we are both loving it more and more.
And I am so thankful my realtor is on the ball. She’s got meetings lined up this week with contractors to give us estimates on the work we want done, ideas on how to do it; I’m meeting a freaking interior designer too! Would be great to start fresh. I want it to look like HGTV! Is that so much to ask?
Actually, now John and I are really stressing. We don’t have ideas. We just know from a line-up what we like, but we could never verbalize or come up with creative ideas on how we want to do shit. I mean, windows, flooring, the fireplace facade… I don’t fucking know. Wall colors, rug colors… yup. This is going to be a shitload of work. And on top of that, we’re having to get all our shit in gear for closing, we’re going to Taiwan next month, AND then we’re going to have to move. Holy fuck, right?
Yes, we’re excited. But we’re also apprehensive and stressed. I need to start reclaiming control immediately. Yes, I have started packing already. Well, what do you expect? I need to effing downsize. Seriously. No games this time. This is another chance to be the minimalist I’ve always wanted to be. Fingers crossed.