Thursday, January 3, 2013

Buying A House Part 1

"The stronger the foundation, the taller the building"
2012 was HARD. As I wrote about some of my relationship problems in post Another life changing event in 2012? but on top of the relationship issues we also bought a house. This is the worst thing a human will go through. Alright, I'm obviously being dramatic, but it was unequivocally the most stressful and frustrating thing I've ever been through. I went to write about it several times but my draft posts were so negative I never clicked publish. House hunting, financials, being in agreement with my spouse and struggling with my fear of making this transition from renting to owning were just some of the daily problems. The biggest issue for us was the DAMN SELLERS! In February we found a house we loved-it was perfect for us in every way so we quickly submitted an offer....then for 5 whole months the people selling the house went back and fourth counter offering, raising the selling price, trying to turn it into a short sale and doing everything they could to not sell their house. Every day it was something new. They were going to lose a lot of money and were really fighting it. Their inability to make a decision was costing us a small fortune forcing us to rent our apartment on a 'month to month' was costing us $500 more/month.

 We were in limbo- we were already committed to this house so even if we found another one we liked it would have been a big process for us to back out before we could submit another offer-which as they say 'timing is everything!' So we didn't really look...we didn't really know what to do. We had most of our things packed with no where to go. We were overjoyed when we received the news that it was a done deal. From there things moved VERY quickly, we signed the papers the NEXT WEEK and started moving in immediately. We stayed in our apartment until the move was complete....I had a hard time leaving that place and there was a lot to do in the new house.

12 hours after we found out we had the house, a literary agent requested my book proposal (which of course was not yet completed) so I don't know how I did it but I wrote my proposal in 2 weeks, in the middle of moving and on top of it Joel was out of town.

June 3rd was our first night in our new house. A few days later my husband told me that he would be leaving in 3 weeks for Philadelphia and would be gone FOR 5 WEEKS! 5 weeks in a new house, trying to unpack, a mountain of problems with the house and a 1 year old.

 I had totally maxed out... AND THEN in the first 3 weeks we lived here the following took place....

1. unpacking-stressful but not terrible
2. snakes-outside under our porches and by our front doors-gross and startling when they slithered away next to my feet.
3. the air conditioning broke in 100 degree weather-luckily it was a quick and cheap fix.
4. the sump pump broke- AAAHHHH!
5. There was a flood in the basement from the bathroom.
6. Took the entire toilette and sink out of the bathroom only to discover that it was coming from the kitchen.
7. the garage door wouldn't open.
8. earwigs-this is when the real fun started-everywhere- I just was killing bugs all day.
9. then came the you've never seen before-thousands of them in the kitchen....they were even in my dishwasher.
10. Then I found mice poop in our silverware drawer....this was when I packed up and went to the Holiday Inn.
11. Paying $150 for an exterminator- AWESOME! I mean completely worth it and necessary but who wants to spend that much money on bugs!
12. more the office, mud room, garage and attic.
13. then right after my husband left...I was cleaning up the living room one night and I found a dead mouse under my daughters toys. It was so gross.
14. millions of red bugs we've never seen before, and we never did discover what they were.
15. my neighbor told me that I had a Massasauga Rattle Snake living in my front yard-this is the only poisonous snake in Michigan and one bite would be fatal to a small child.
16. I got my braces, which was another significant life change and a hugely difficult adjustment.
17. a family member told me we had mold in the basement-we didn't- but we had an army of inspectors come in to check it out...if I wasn't already upset....
18. at this time I developed some severe eye issues, leaving me feeling tired all the time having difficulty driving.
19. did I mention the spiders yet.....Joel put off a spider bomb in the basement...he said it was like the apocalypse. Gross, gross, gross. Thank God for my husband.
20. I'll simply say this....they didn't really do a thorough cleaning before they moved took a lot of bleach and a lot of gagging to get this house up to my standards. Again, gross.

This all happened within the first 3 weeks of living in our new was supposed to be a fun, exciting time but instead it pushed out of the house every day. I didn't even want to be here. I just wanted my beautiful, new, bug free apartment back. This house is older and it was vacant for a whole the wildlife had completely taken over. I was totally spent and with the knowledge that Joel would be leaving for 5 weeks and I would have to deal with this myself was so totally overwhelming. I was so unhappy and this happened to be at the HEIGHT of my problems with my family members. We had several, very serious conversations about selling the house....

In the middle of July, I just couldn't take it anymore so I packed up my daughter and we drove to Pennsylvania. Initially to visit my Aunt and then to meet up with my husband in Philadelphia. This was when the year started to totally turn around for me. Which I seriously needed because I was no longer 'my self'. I will say this though-buying this house has made my marriage stronger than ever as I cannot explain how much  it's made me totally appreciate my husband. He did everything in his power to make me comfortable and to fix all the houses problems. With the exception of the exterminator we did not have to hire anyone. Joel fixed everything himself and he tried to kill the bugs and mice but he had met his match!


  1. Oh my gosh!! How awful!! That must be so gross and uncomfortable living with that many creepy crawlies. I freak out over creepy crawlies that i literally would not be able to sleep as i would dream that they were crawling all over me.

    You were very brave putting up with all that crap and keeping on going, no wonder it was so stressful. What a pain the sellers were! If they weren't living there then i would have been far better to get rid as soon as possible, some people!!

    At least you have come out the other side now and how nice to have your own place:-)

    1. Oh I know!! It was very hard to sleep...especially since every time I looked up at the ceiling there was an abnormally large spider looking down at me.

      No, I cannot for once second pretend I was brave about it. I was a baby!! I don't typically have an issue with bugs- but they took over my life! I cried constantly! My husband was so desperate to see me smile he was in board with selling the house, as he knew how I miserable I was.

  2. The mice would have put me over the edge...especially the one you found in Zeeva's toy bin!

    Home buying was not fun for me either. I think I spent more nights crying than celebrating! For me, three months into moving in I had a massive water leak in my kitchen....20 feet of drywall had to be removed, and my cabinets had to be rebuilt! It was not fun! It did give me an excuse to get my granite countertops since they had to demolish 75% of the original ones!

    The only insect problem I have are ants....but I have since discovered terro ant baits! I have ants for a few days while they go to town eating them, and then they disappear for a few months!

    1. How awful! It's such a gruesome process- I never want to move again in my life!!!

      Yes the dead mouse....I just paced back and fourth...I could not believe I actually had to deal with that! So I found 2 plastic cups and scooped it up with my rubber gloves! It was not one of my nicer evenings.


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