Yesterday I did something I regret. I'm not going to focus on it, rather I will learn from the experience in an effort to avoid repeating that particular type of mistake. In better news, I put in an offer on a condo that was accepted. Today I am going to send in my check for earnest money. An acceptance is not a guarantee, nor is an approval letter the same as a loan, but things are going well. I had a fairly unpleasant experience with the first realtor I found, but fortunately recognized the relationship was unhealthy, and found someone I trusted and liked. We were standing in the dining area talking about the place, he thought I could get it for four thousand less than the asking price. I submitted that as a bid after asking about an even lower price, his instincts said that going too low may prevent me from getting an immaculately clean place that had only been on the market for 21 days, so I listened to him, and I am so very glad that I did.
Things I have learned while going through this process. I need people I respect to work with me. To ease my fears when they are groundless, and to bring up talking points I may have dismissed. I didn't have anyone else over to look at the place, and I'm kind of glad I trusted myself even though this is the largest purchase I have ever made on my own. I'm so glad that I have been through as many showings as I have as I believe that gave me a solid base on knowledge and a better idea of what to expect. I prayed that I would get the right place, at the right time, and for the right reasons. This is closer to where I work, closer to where my children will be attending school, and closer to my family. My mom and middle sister are less than six miles away, and my job is about ten depending on which route I would choose.
Things went by in a whirlwind fashion. I was in there on Saturday, made the offer on Sunday, and it was accepted Monday just after noon. It was the third place I had seen, photography can be extremely deceptive, the first two places were scary. They smelled bad, were not clean, the second one in particular was discouraging. It was twenty thousand dollars less than the condo I ended up making an offer for, but the layout was less efficient, and I can clean, paint, and remove whatever previous owners had left, but I can't change how a place is laid out, and now I'm extremely thankful I did not try to convince myself that I should buy a lesser property that needed a lot more work than I am prepared to do. I have a small laundry area that has a dishwasher in it. When I measured this space it seemed small, but when others looked at it, they felt that I may have measured wrong.
It does not have a washer or dryer in it so I went shopping. I started late one evening, spoke to a woman who gave me some hints and tips, but the store was closing so I decided to go back another time. My sister has a friend who is selling an eight year old washer and dryer. I decided not to purchase it despite the tempting price because I believe it is at the end of its life, or close to it, and I do not want to deal with the stress and hassle of transporting appliances even if I can manage to find friends and family to help me. I would rather save them for other projects, and I am the type of person who is comfortable spending more money up front for new(er) appliances as it makes me feel better even if it is substantially more money. People in my family are free with their opinions, I try to remind myself that they care about me even if it doesn't always feel that way at times.
Despite the roller coaster or emotions, I feel good about this purchase. Ultimately it will save me time, money, energy, and give us space, as well as the privacy we need. I have plans to decorate, I purchased a tile topped table for the dining room, and will probably hit the thrift stores like Goodwill more often in the future. I could have purchased a TV stand yesterday, but chose to pass, and when I went back, it was gone. No worries, I have found what I like and want, not it is just a waiting game. I have a decision to make about child support, go back to court, or just live with what I have now. This has been on my mind for some time. On one hand, I feel as if it needs to be fair and just, on the other, I have learned that the less I deal with those who have hurt me in the past, the better.
Now that I (potentially) have a place of my own I have even more decisions to make. I can start working full time. I have already spoken to my boss about this. Things are going much better at work than they had been, but I'm not sure that working more hours there is the answer. I think finding a part time job in financial services is not just a smart idea, it is something I am passionate about, great at, and I want other single mothers to see what I do now, that empowering yourself and others is a process, but the rewards are well worth it. Yesterday I sold some stocks that I have owned since I was 22. I sold more than absolutely necessary, but I think that was the right thing to do. I put in a limit order, and then cancelled it. As a result I received less than I would have had I waited and trusted that it would be filled as there was no rush for the money.
Back in July I had contemplated selling a block of stock, but I did not. That cost me about six dollars per share, but back then, there was no need for extra cash, and it allowed me to get extra dividends I would have missed out on had I sold earlier. Tomorrow I am meeting to go through mortgage paperwork. Closing costs are significantly higher than I had anticipated. The problem with buying something so large is you get rushed through the process and you don't know what you don't know. I'm not sure why we make such major decisions; buying or renting a place, accepting a job or hiring an employee, with so little time spend becoming more familiar with the product. There were people who doubted that I had made a wise purchase, and perhaps time will prove that to be true, however it is just as likely that I routinely make good decisions, am a smart shopper, and understand the value of looking far down the road rather than at the current situation.
My hope, and what I am working toward, is that my place will be a safe, warm, welcoming, and comforting environment. I would like to paint, but will wait on that. I want to have people over, to entertain the way I once did, even if it is on a much smaller scale. I'm excited about the garage I'll be getting, and looking forward to having more protection for whatever vehicles I own now and in the future. Just the idea of it, that I own rather than renting a place for who knows how long is giving me more hope than I had before. I love the hardwood flooring, the large empty space, the windows, and the quiet. I stood there and it felt right. Once I feel that feeling, I am comfortable with larger amounts of risk than others. I have the gift of intuition and I trusted it. Perhaps I have made a mistake, but it still feels good and right to me despite some niggling voices telling me otherwise. This is a moment I did not foresee, and today, I am proud of myself.
All my best,
P.S. As I look back I can see that the mountains as well as the valleys shape the traveler.