My First Home

Filling a New Space

Two purple flowers with drops of water on the petals

Flowers from the garden of my new home

So, I did it. After half a century of life, I finally worked up the nerve to invest in my first home. I gave up thinking it would be purchased for me. I stopped thinking of waiting for the perfect State to live in. Economics prodded me. Our apartment rent increased annually, and, literally, taking on a mortgage became the cheaper option. So, I did it. I must admit I was scared to death, terrified actually. I still am, but on a smaller scale.

All my life I thought this magic enterprise of purchasing a home was too difficult to understand. The mystery of it intimidated me. Fortunately, I found a realtor whom I could trust. He guided me step-by-step through the process, pointing out the risks and realities at each turn. He helped me to understand what I was getting into and gave me pointers and valuable advice for how to handle things as they came along. Also, my well-practiced sister, who has purchased properties and businesses left and right, served as an ideal sounding board, not just telling me what to do but encouraging me to learn how to figure it out on my own. I felt so supported.

Location, Location, Location

I couldn’t leave the State because my mother’s healthcare and doctors were well-established here. It just seemed easier to stay. I narrowed my search to locations that were central to the places I frequented the most. It was difficult. I couldn’t afford the cost of nicer homes and those homes within my financial range needed too much work.  One day I looked a bit above what I thought I could afford, just to see what those houses actually looked like. Amazingly, I found the perfect home to meet our needs, in an ideal location.

Lantana in our garden

We walked through the front entrance and the tall ceilings and bright sunshine cascading in, captured my heart. The rooms were perfectly arranged. Mom, who found it difficult to navigate stairs, could take the largest bedroom downstairs. What more could I hope for? Although the price was higher than I had planned to pay, it would still cost less than what were paying for rent for a smaller apartment.

Inspections, Offers and Counter Offers

Then the long, nail biting process of inspections and offers and counter offers began. At one point, I felt hopeless. Who was I kidding? How could I ever have a home? For years, we had moved from state to state and even abroad and back several times and it seemed with each shift, we had to start over again. But, God blessed us this time. I am so thankful! I suppose you could say the home and I are still on our honeymoon.

We’ve been here six months, but it feels as though we’ve never lived anywhere else. It’s odd how that happens. We had filled a space, blended into a rhythm of coming and going and interacting. Then, we shifted to this new space. At first, we seemed out of place like liquid falling into a glass, bouncing and splashing, pressing on the sides, snuggling finally into its new confines. Well, we’ve snuggled and I love it here.

Settled In

Now, I look back and wonder why I felt so intimidated in the first place. I think the most terrifying things in life are those shrouded in the unknown, don’t you agree? Death, for example, terrifies us because we really don’t know what happens after that. Is there something to come, some heaven or hell, reward or retribution? The unknown of it fills the heart with dread. The secret to leaving fear and gaining confidence is to expand knowledge. So now when I feel afraid or anxious, I take a deep breath and start researching. The more I know, the less I fear.

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