My wife is buying me a house for my 32nd birthday!
Yup, you read that right. But before you start ranting about how spoiled I am, keep reading.
Then you can hate my spoiled rotten ass.
First, let’s talk about the why. Yes, yes, my perpetual sweetness and amazing gourmet meals certainly earned me a house, but there was more to it than that. Something more cosmic. You see, the universe conspired by setting several different circumstances into motion all at once. And while ignoring the conspiring universe is always an option, it’s not a very smart one. My wife, being the smart woman that she is, recognizes this, and, thus, we are now buying a house.
Now for the how. Well, this part would be a piece of cake. First, I consulted the internet. It was like a midwestern smorgasbord out there with hundreds of houses to choose from. With that many choices, a bit of organization was in order, so step two was a spreadsheet. (Step two in my plans is always a spreadsheet) The Great House Hunt Spreadsheet, to be exact. Our needs and wants were neatly placed into thirty separate criteria across six categories. Overkill? Perhaps. But I felt all warm and fuzzy every time I looked at it.
The final piece, I learned from TV. Soon to be brides have Say Yes to the Dress and soon to be homeowners have every single show on HGTV. And after hours of House Hunters, Property Virgins, and Holmes on Homes, I knew exactly what we needed — the perfect real estate agent. Someone perky, knowledgeable, and capable of reading our minds. These people existed on tv which meant they existed in real life. All we had to do was wait for him or her to knock on our door.
Yeah, so, he or she never knocked. Never called. Never emailed. In the words of Cher Horowitz, I’d worn my most responsible looking ensemble. What was the deal? Suggestion after suggestion from friends and family fell through. Some realtors didn’t even acknowledge our emails. (Where they do that at in the service industry?) I hadn’t been this ignored when trying to make a major purchase since the last time I was at Best Buy.
How ever were we going to do this on our own? Sure we had the interwebs and my incredibly awesome spreadsheet, but home buying was going to take more than that. Home buying for a married couple is huge. How huge? Olympic triathlon huge. Behold:
The Home Buying Triathlon
Event #1: Synchronized See-saw
Teams of two mount side by side see-saws and attempt to synchronize their preferences regarding location, price and amenities. Core muscle groups communication and compromise are constantly engaged. Ass fatigue and nausea are guaranteed.
Event #2: Tandem Bicycle
While in the same vein as Synchronized See-saw, Tandem Bicycle requires teammates to keep their immediate impressions of a home in sync with one another. Because these impressions are more difficult to control, things can go downhill fast. Care must be taken to avoid the side-eye reflex which can lead to backhand sprains and fractured feelings.
Event #3: Patience Marathon
Whether it’s with agents, homeowners, lenders or each other, miles of patience is required to win this race. As always, being in sync is key, but this time, opposite one another. When one is weary, the other team member can pick up the slack. Elite teams employ the piggy back system, pioneered by my father in the early 80’s.
And just like NBC’s 2012 summer programming, thinking about anything else when you’re trying to buy a home is nearly impossible.
The good news is that we have found a realtor. He’s not perky and he certainly doesn’t read minds. But he’s experienced and knows what he’s talking about, so I think he’ll see us through. Besides, this isn’t the first olympic-sized challenge Wife and I have faced. From a long-distance relationship to long-distance wedding planning, we know what it takes to earn gold. This should be no different.
Oh, and if you haven’t already guessed, Wife isn’t really buying me a house for my birthday. While she’s sweeter than the sweetest of honey, this is really a team effort. And the timing had nothing to do with my parents’ procreation schedule.
But it’s never too early to start planning for the big 4-0…