Dear HGTV, Chip + Joanna, House Hunters, House Hunters International, House Hunters Family, House Hunters Island, House Hunters Vegetarian, and those two brothers that look like they sell vapes to stock brokers -
Thanks for nothing.
After over a decade of city dwelling and spending countless hours watching your programs I can confidently say you negative prepared me for the actual task of finding or buying a house. At least when I watch Ina Garten I come away feeling like a mediocre peasant but know how to roast a chicken! My olive oil is not “good quality” but damn if the chicken doesn’t taste amazing every time.
I recognize I was naive, but my goodness, I didn’t know what we were in for with buying a house. Turns out, house hunting is nothing like the glamorous world of walking into three perfectly acceptable options and then spending half an hour bantering about which room will be the showroom for the hand painted seashell necklaces you sell in your “shop” while your husband makes apple pies for a living but your budget is somehow $5 million dollars. Run on sentence but you get the idea.
Finding a house is like online dating. The photo you see is a dream. Sun lit open space with hardwood floors beaming. A breakfast nook that looks so cozy you can practically smell the scones baking in the adjacent kitchen. What you get? The hardwoods are scratched and there’s a giant spider making it’s away across just a square foot patch of sunlight before the straight out of the 1990’s carpet (not pictured) begins. The breakfast nook was painted sky blue and the linoleum has cracks. The kitchen? Well, the cabinets basically fall out if you even approach them. Don’t bother to pull the handles, they’re rusty. Just total disappointment. Then, you do that again like 20 more times. At least that’s what we did a few weekends ago when we toured - I kid you not - 20 homes. 20 homes. In two days. With a toddler. Kid deserves an actual medal for not tantrum raging all the way back to Brooklyn.
Turns out, just like with going on dates, when you find the right one you just know. We walked into the house of our dreams disheartened and worn down. I barely wanted to give it a chance but after a few minutes of exploring, the possibilities felt endless. So now, a month later, we’re in the final stages of buying and hopefully closing. We’re writing checks left and right for vendors and services I didn’t know existed. (Earnest money?? How can money not be earnest?!) Stress and due diligence aside, it does all feel like a means to a really wonderful end.
Finding the right house is akin to dating, for sure. You kiss a million frogs before you settle on your “it has hardwood trim but we can make it work!” prince. The actual process of buying a house, when your knowledge is rooted in hours of HGTV, is like learning about sex through porn. But, when all is said, signed, and you’ve found “the one” - damn does it feel good!
Now, does anyone know anything about shingles, tearing out carpet, HVAC coolant, getting a bat out of the attic, adding back-splash….. ?