I lived my twenties as a free spirit. I had a lot of fun. After all, the only person I had to take care of was myself. I was an independent, young adult with a lust for life. I did what I wanted, and only I had to suffer the consequences or so I thought.
Tom and I recently placed an offer on a condo in the city. We first saw the condo in January. It is a large, vintage unit with two floors. From the moment I walked in the door, I was in awe. The space was unlike anything I had ever seen. I wandered into the kitchen seeing our future flash in front of my eyes. I imagined myself standing at the sink making dinner, hearing the pitter patter of little feet running down the hallway and later in life standing in the same place hearing laughter of teenagers echoing from the basement. I could smell Tom’s coffee brewing as he shouted to me from another room. The condo was warm and inviting. I knew in my heart it was the place we would raise our family.
After we left the building, Tom and I excitedly talked about everything we liked in the unit. It needed work but the bones were good. Plus, Tom needs a house with projects. The unit had the original woodwork from the early 1900’s and quite frankly, we were never going to find another place that size in the neighborhood we were looking. There was only one issue, it was slightly more than we wanted to pay.
For the next three months, we looked at more places comparing it to “the one”. We looked at it online every night to see if it was still available or if the price dropped. We talked in length about what we would do to the place if it were ours and more importantly, did we need that much space? We did everything we could to talk ourselves out of the place, even placing an offer on a different condo, but in every scenario, “the one” was staring back at us.
After consulting two of our sisters on what we should do, we decided to make an aggressive offer. After some negotiating, the condo was ours and thus begins the rest of the process. The process of buying house is a lot of work, and there had been one piece I was dreading – the finance piece. While I had gotten my act together in the past few years, I had made some mistakes as a free spirit. And while it wasn’t a surprise to Tom (seriously, we have no secrets), I felt terrible. The consequences of my actions weren’t just mine anymore, they were Tom’s too.
I took an afternoon off from work so we could go to the bank. I was a bucket of nerves the entire day.
“I’m nervous.” I said grabbing Tom’s hand as we walked into the bank.
“It’ll be fine.”
We sat in front of the broker going over every detail of our life. Every rock was turned over and bumps in the road exposed. I sat there face flushed. In comparison to Tom, I had a long ways to go. While he’s 29 going on 60, I’m 31 going on 28.
“Elyse, don’t worry. It’s not bad.” The broker had gentle eyes and a kind smile. I looked down in my lap and Tom squeezed my hand. It was my worst nightmare, as she asked more and more questions.
“I’ll be right back.” She said walking off to get something.
“I’m sorry, Tom.”
“Don’t worry about it. It’s not bad…just promise me you’ll continue to make good decisions going forward.”
“I promise.” I bounced my feet as I waited. My heart was beating ninety to nothing. One of my biggest fears in life is letting Tom down.
The broker came back with papers in her hand.
“Congratulations. You are approved”
My heart leaped out of my chest. Buying a home had suddenly become a reality. I didn’t have to hide behind my fear anymore. I didn’t have to be skeptical that it wasn’t really going to happen. I could relax and get excited. We were going to buy a home…together.