This is more or less just a vent session for me. I’ve been starting to feel stressed again and so I thought maybe this couldn’t hurt.
I know where my stress is coming from.
My husband and I are buying a house and we’re most of the way through the process. We’re just waiting on the appraisal to close on the house.
Anyways, through most of this process I’ve been at the helm pretty hard. My husband has a stressful job which he’s not crazy about and so I’ve been trying to take on most of the weight of this. I’ve been the liason between us and the realtor, us and the lender, the lender and the realtor, etc. Basically all the planning for everything is going through me. Once we decided this was the house we wanted, I have pretty much done everything, other than sign my husband’s signature.
Its not that he doesn’t want to help, I just know that he has a lot of work stress and I want to protect him from the homebuying stress on top of everything else.
I have done the budget and I know we can afford the closing costs, getting utilities on, appliances, etc. I think I’m more worried about the timing of everything, making appointments for the movers and trying to figure out how to get utilities turned on at the new house because I can’t find that information anywhere, and trying to figure out when would be best to tell our landlord we’re buying out of our lease, because the seller is going to miss their deadline to have the house built when it was supposed to be and by then it will be the middle of February at least, the landlord needs 30 days notice, etc. It just feels like a lot to coordinate in just a few weeks. Plus I need to figure out how much PTO I have to take time off from work to move when I don’t even know when we’re closing now because construction is taking longer than it should have.
So for the first time in a while I didn’t sleep well because I was worrying about all this. Does anyone have any suggestions on any of this? Has anyone been through this process before?
“They” say buying a house is one of the top 5 most stressful things you’ll do in your life, in company with buying a car, getting married, and having a kid. It might be #1, I don’t remember off the top of my head. The stress you’re feeling is really normal. I bought and sold a house when I was single. In a way, it was good to be in control of everything, but obtaining and keeping track of all the financial info was so chaotic. So much info! Having to cross-check everything with a spouse would be tough, even if they’re shouldering some of the burden. Selling my house was an extenuating circumstance that got an embarrassing car-kicking incident knocked down to Class-C criminal mischief, so even the municipal court was understanding.
All I can say is ask questions of anyone and everyone, lean on your realtor and title agent and whoever else is involved, pray, hug your husband tight, and ride it out. Remember, when you get the keys, the stress is over and will no longer matter, and when you get moved in you will feel really accomplished!
I’ve asked my realtor everything I can think to ask her. She can’t help me with the utilities which is one of my biggest hurdles right now (all she could offer was, its different in every city) and she also couldn’t tell me closing details (she said its going to be a close call but should be able to close on time). I don’t like ‘should’ when I’m trying to schedule things to a T and I need to be able to request time off work and I need notice to do that. I know stuff happens but when I don’t know if the construction will be done, I don’t know when the appraisal will be done, I don’t know if we will need time to renegotiate, I don’t know when to give notices, I don’t know when to get utilities on, etc. It would really help a lot to just know that everything is on schedule but its not and thats about all she can tell me.
Oh new construction is a different animal. You’re at the mercy of the builder. A good builder will keep you up to date all the way. They’ll do everything they can to get you into the house on time, but they also won’t let you in if there’s anything unfixable while you’ve moving in (i.e. my parents had a house built where, when the builder went to do their own final inspection, came in to sheetrock falling off the ceiling).
I’d hope your employer would give you a margin of flexibility when closing time comes close, but I don’t know what your work environment is like. When I closed on my house, my realtor called to give me a 30 minute heads up when it was time to close, so I could work as long as possible. Keep your manager up to date on what’s going on. Give them a window of a week, then a few days, then the specific day, then a few hours if possible, and hopefully they can work with that as you get it locked in.
Utilities are tricky. I don’t remember what I did for mine. I know I didn’t have power the night I got the keys, but I was also living with my parents, which is way different than moving from somewhere. I’ve always found customer service representatives to be pretty helpful though. If I was really unsure, I’d roll the dice and get them turned on a day or so in advance of my expected closing date. Electricity in a house that’s unoccupied won’t cost more than a few bucks. They can turn them on with 24 hours notice, or maybe even instantly with smart meters (i.e. when changing power companies).
Allow yourself some grace. Life is messy, and a move that goes off without a hitch is a wonderful thing precisely because so much can go wrong. I’d hope your landlord and movers could be gracious for a couple days if needed. In all this time where everything is up in the air, allow yourself grace, and ask for grace from everyone whose support you need. Take comfort in knowing that at this point the transaction shouldn’t fall through. Remember that this is a universally stressful process and the intense stress you’re feeling is to be expected, but the professionals helping you understand that and will do what they can to accommodate you.
Pray for grace, patience, peace, and acuity from the others involved in the transaction. You’ve got this. And hey, congratulations on building a house!
Thank you. This makes me feel a little better. I am pretty bad about pressuring myself into getting everything done correctly, punctually and without problems, but you are right. This stuff is hard and I’m probably just approaching this with the wrong mindset.
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