Chronicles of Homeownership: my first panic attack


Just got Keys
Bench

Yep. I am the new owner of a 2 bedroom craftsman
in Seattle's King County. Take a minute to swallow that one.

 When I got the call that my offer on the house was accepted I had my first panic attack. In a moment of utmost insanity, I even called my real estate agent in a panic to see if I could rescind my offer. After pacing around my car 20-times, I came back to my senses and the long, intimidating process of acquiring my house began. I barely slept that evening in fear, doubting my long-planned decision. Weeks later I sat, alone, at a long wood table at a title office high in the Columbia Tower. And looking out to my city of which I would soon own a tiny patch of, I signed my name on a 4-inch stack of papers financially binding me to my mortgage for all eternity.    Alone.
It was exciting and powerful-feeling, but also incredibly scary... There I was, signing my name on a document that said, essentially, if I failed to keep up with my mortgage payments I would be given the black spot. My heart clenched at the realization of the responsibility I was taking on.

And that, my friends, is how I learned about fear and anxiety. Luckily that anxiety has worn off with every mortgage payment I make. And it's now been replaced with confidence. 

Since getting the keys to the house in late July, I took a running start at renovations before the cold, wet winter set in in Seattle. My pre-inspection of the place revealed that I needed to replace the roof and hot water heater quickly, if I wanted to avoid any concurrent damage to the house. So I jumped to get the roof replaced, water heater and furnace upgraded, and painted my bedroom (just cause I could). 

Fruit from the Asian Pear tree in the front

Fruit from the Asian Pear tree in the front

first stoop sitting

first stoop sitting

Brian cutting wood to update the front fence 

Brian cutting wood to update the front fence 

Dad coming to my rescue in the front yard

Dad coming to my rescue in the front yard

Roofers
Lauren's art trailer

Lauren's art trailer

Backhoe

But homeownership isn't all HGTV and rainbows. Sometimes the house throws you a curve ball you had not anticipated—such as mopping up sewage in my basement bathroom the morning after a house-warming party. Hours later, I am standing in my front door watching a backhoe dig a 8-foot deep hole in my front yard to replace one of the old sewage pipes. That basically drained me of all the money I had left for the house. 

I understood then why so many businesses have signs in the bathrooms pleading to go easy on their old pipes. It's not fun or cheap to upgrade. The whole plumbing ordeal gave me such stress that I developed a pinched neck muscle and got sick from stress. Not chill, Meg. 

After the sewage pipe debacle, I learned to slow down and give myself a little slack on the home renovations. No home is perfect, it is always in-process. As a friend shared with me: "You probably won’t find your dream house. You’ll end up making it." You just have to give yourself a little patience with the process. 

Cat in Window
house
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