Four Pounds Lighter
Eddie and I have been looking for a house now for over a year. We were leisurely looking at areas of town and types of houses we'd like just before hurricane Katrina. After the water drained and the dust settled from the storm, we could afford 23% less house in Baton Rouge than before August 29, 2005. Not fun. It's hard not to feel a little selfish about our situation when we know there are thousands of people with a plight far worse than ours.
With the market the way it is in Baton Rouge, there aren't many deals to be had for buyers. The ones that are out there aren't usually listed and require research, correctly placed friends or relatives and a little luck. Eddie and I had to have a little of each.
My father is a realtor. Eddie's grandmother is a realtor. They've both experienced an unparalleled boom in business, both selling and buying, since the storm. I've done research, driving through neighborhoods and constant checking of certain websites to find the house that could be OUR house.
This past Tuesday night, I was checking one of my usual real estate haunts on the web when the cutest little number popped up. It was about 10:00pm and I called Eddie over to the computer to see my find and share my excitement. He didn't have the energy for either, instead going directly to the bed after a long, busy, tiring day.
The next morning at work (Wednesday) I checked the website assuming it would already be sold. I called my father during my afternoon commute, wanting him to come with me as soon as possible to see the house if I could make an appointment. He had several commitments, so I decided to take a little detour and drive by the house, a little out of my way home. I stalked the house, driving slowly by in my car and fell in love with the cute, little neighborhood. I went directly home and called the seller for an appointment. When I asked for a time to view the home, I could hear other voices in the background.
"Yes ma'am. Are you the person who spoke with my wife earlier?"
"Well, feel free to come on by anyway, there are already several people wandering around looking. We've had an amazing response."
"O.k. Thanks. I'll see you in 15 minutes."
Crap. I knew it. There were already people over there. Vultures. I knew by the time I got there they would have an offer and just shut the door in our faces. We had to run.
When we arrived, there were no other perspective buyers. They didn't shut the door, they opened it wide with big smiles. We walked through the house not really consulting with each other or exchanging any looks. On the walk back to the car I looked at Eddie and we both took deep breaths.
"Someone's going to have to convince me it's a bad idea because I love it."
"Me too. What should we do?"
We both wanted it and knew it would go fast so we called the experts - our families. Eddie's grandmother (the one who just celebrated her 60th wedding anniversary) is still a full-time, successful realtor and a bulldog of a grandma who loves her grandchildren. She made an appointment for herself the very next day (Thursday) at noon. Meanwhile, I was on the phone with lenders trying to get good faith estimates and everything in order to leap into action when necessary.
The result of grandma's meeting with the seller was inconceivable. She made an offer on our behalf resulting in a verbal agreement with him to sign papers the next day (Friday). Eddie signed that next afternoon and after I got home from work we went over to the house to discuss a few last-minute details then I signed. My life away.
Worry over the amount of money we'd borrow, Nausea over paying that money back, Fear of making the wrong decision so quickly and Fright because everything happened so fast, we didn't have time to think about what we'd missed thinking about.
But it doesn't matter. In a little less than a month we should be closing on our new house (hoping NOTHING goes wrong) AND I've already lost those pesky four little pounds. I'm on my way to a slimmer me with all those beans and rice we'll be eating in the coming months.
It's so worth it.