I was hysterically crying in the street next to my car. Patrick held me while tears streamed down my face, whispering prayers on the edge of an unfamiliar driveway.
We had just toured another home, a process that was overwhelming and exhilarating. With every home we tried to envision tv nights and delicious smelling candles, hosting and maintaining a business. More than anything, we envisioned a space where we could continue and expand our little family.
Actually, let me back up.
Saturday, October 5th 2019. We sat across from a real estate agent, hearing terms like ‘due diligence’, ‘down payment’, and ‘pre-approval’ for the first time. We signed on the dotted line and our real-estate agent announced that we could begin touring immediately. So we did. The first home we stepped into was perfect; centrally located, great school district, near friends, and way under-valued. We put in our first offer, high-fiving, and proud of ourselves that it was so easy. It wasn’t. The next day, we got outbid by a fair amount and discouragement creeped in.
The days that followed consisted of self-guided tours, open houses, and showings alongside our real-estate agent. After touring several houses we quickly realized that houses began to look similar and it took seconds to know whether the house was for us.
Wednesday, October 9th. Patrick shared his Zillow game plan for the following day. This had become our nightly routine, Patrick sharing images of homes to tour the next day, listing out our typical lists of criteria and questions. He saved the best finding for last, prefacing, “This last one I found is a little older, but I think you’ll like it.” He turned the screen toward me, so I could take in what he observed, and I immediately felt a sense of urgency. I was drawn to this house. We had to tour this house.
Thursday, October 10th. We walked up the sloped driveway toward the ‘anticipated home’, the ambient lights glowing inside the small single-story home. We walked in and immediately noticed that the decor and space was organized in a way that met our vision exactly. There were cafe lights on the screened-in porch, a feature we didn’t know we wanted until that moment. There was also a note left by the current owners, detailing all of the reasons why they loved their home. Whether it was the verbiage in the letter, cafe lights, or decor, discovering this house encapsulated the moment I found ‘the dress’ for our wedding. This home was THE one and there was no other.
This reality was terrifying, because, remember house #1 above? We were outbid by a lot, and this truth brought an embarrassing (and tearful) bout of worry. We put in an offer that night, and waited to hear back, shooting a wedding together the next afternoon when Patrick approached me right before the first look, “We just bought a house.” Patrick coolly said as we rode the elevator from the bridal suite to the lobby below. I was stunned. We’re homeowners. We were photographing a beautiful couple on a cloudless day, and we were homeowners.
The wedding videographer, who rode the elevator with us, exclaimed, “I wish I had recorded that.” It’s okay, friend. That’s what this blog post is for.
The month leading up to closing day was like holding our breath before the curtains open, a long-awaited reveal we excitedly anticipated. We told anyone who remotely cared that we bought a house, and then we drove past an embarrassing amount of times. We met and cried with the owners on their/our front steps. This sweet family desired that their home was appreciated and we felt honored to receive their approval. Appointments and countless phone calls led us to the attorney’s board room where received keys to our house.
I’d like to say that we handled this with grace, prayer, and trust. We didn’t; not 100% of the time anyway. We were scared that such a good thing would disappear or that we would indefinitely continue our search. It felt like months. It took less than a week. We got our house and while I firmly believe that there was another house, just like there’s another wedding dress. I’m so thankful though that we get to call this one ours.