Two people I bumped into yesterday and both telling me about their selling or buying a house. That brought back the memory of when it has been my time to do that.
The first house myself and the traveling husband bought together, it was here in Ireland.When we first moved,we rented for two years a beautiful apartment in an old Georgian building in Dublin.I intensely loved that flat, to a point that still,now,every time I am in town and I pass in front of it, my heart sinks. We have been very happy there but it came the time to move on.
The excitement of buying the first house has no rivals.At the time it was just the two of us and our beloved dog Rudy.I remember the meetings with the bank for the mortgage that,in fairness, came quite straightforward.That it was before recession and the introduction of the stress checks that literally killed most of the buyers later on.I remember the evenings spent searching on line the areas and the houses.I remember the week ends spent going from a view to an other hoping the next house was the right one to buy.I remember the disappointment of been turn down because of a bigger offer.I remember the laugh after viewing such horrible collapsing houses with carpets even on the toilet,and when I say toilet I don’t mean the “bathroom”,I mean the actual WC. Most of all,I remember the joy when the mind was set and the offer accepted.Let the party starts:taking measurements, shopping for the furniture and decorations.All so exciting. At the time we only had a couple of bookshelves to bring with us an the tv. The moving was easy peasy. The first night in the house was special.It was the Halloween week end and we had no couch and no kitchen table yet but,that first candle light dinner sitting on the floor and drinking champagne,was the most delicious ever.
Few years in the new house and the family started to grow:the first child,the second dog,the second child.We went from three to six.The house had the attic converted and the back extended.Few more years and we started to feel a bit tight in there. Then we lost our so loved and never forgot Rudy and we welcomed the giant dog.Now we were officially in need of more space.It was time to move on again.
Unfortunately buying the second house is like going through the second pregnancy: you can forget to replicate those lovely sweet moments you had with the first one.With the first child everything is exciting:the shopping,the visits with the consultant,the last few weeks spent browsing around shops and coffe shops and,occasionally, laying down on the couch whenever you felt tired. With the second child,you think you will live that all over again but,you are wrong! First of all,you can forget the carefree shopping. You already have the most of what you need and,also,this time you have a considerably smaller budget.You don’t have time to wonder around because you have an other small kid to look after and, when you eventually manage to unglue him/her from your persona,you are too tired to go anywhere unless it is to work, where you have to go.
With the second house it is not much different.Like with the second pregnancy ,the initial excitement soon leaves the place to reality.Reality is that now,you must buy and sell:double the pain but not double the gain! While you go around to view other people houses looking for your new perfect home,someone else is coming over your house.That means that at least twice a week you must scrub the house squeaky clean,hide everything you don’t want estranged eyes to see,pack your full gang in the car and wait until they have finished to inspect your personal space and touch all your belongings.Of course you will take your revenge doing the same when it is your turn to go and inspect some potential new home except,you will have to hurry because after you might have driven for an hour,your kids are bored and you are afraid they might break something.Then,you also don’t want the dogs to start chewing whatever it is inside the car where,you left them,while inside yet an other crap house. You will never consider to buy this derelict but still have to listen at the nice but pushy estate agents and eventually dismiss yourself with the routine sentence:”I will speak to my husband to see when he is available to come and see it as well.I will ring you next week”.You know you will never ring,they know it as well. The husband,right,where is he in all this?He is in the office because,lets be practical, there is no logic on both wasting time.If the house worth it,then a second visit for him will be arranged.This can go on for months.Faith,patience and a full tank of petrol is what you need but,at the end,you will find what you want.It wont be easy.It will come the tragedy of having that fantastic house,where you have already pictured yourself living happily ever after for the rest of your life,snatched out of your hands.Damn cash buyers!You will be furious,you will be demotivated and no house will ever be like “That One”.
No other house will be like “That One” where you swear you left your heart until,you will find your new HOME. What it is meant for you nobody will take it.This time there will be a couch and a table since the start because, hopefully, the removal van had already unloaded your old furniture. This time it wont be as romantic as the first time but, sure,there will be champagne because it is a new start and every new start deserve to be celebrated.