Life Lessons Episode 1: Buying a Place is Hard

The past couple of months has been a tough journey, in more ways than one.

I decided to buy a home.

And it’s one of the craziest experiences I have ever gone through.

“Never truly ready.”

The decision wasn’t something that fitted a neat little timeline. It was a decision borne out of necessity; the place I was renting was sold, and I needed to find a new home. The thought of owning my own place has been simmering a while, and I felt that – now nearly thirty – it made more sense to own a home, than rent one.

A few calls and chats here and there, a couple of visits for viewing, and a few days later, I picked a place. I have no doubt that I’ll love living there. From the first few minutes in the neighbourhood to the first few moments inside the model unit, it just felt right.

After all, I always say that when it comes to major decisions, one is never truly ready.

I was ready to go!

But boy, did this teach me a harsh and massively stressful lesson: buying a place is hard.

There’s no way to do this alone.

[If you’re reading this and you have already bought your own place, feel free to skip ahead. The next couple of paragraphs are going to sound glaringly obvious.]

It looked and sounded deceptively easy on paper: pick a place > pay the down payment + get a loan > get the keys > pay monthly for X number of years > hey presto, you’re a property owner!

This sequence of events, in my mind at the time, couldn’t have been further from the truth.

Some of the things that absolutely messed me up during the past couple of months:

  • The amount of paperwork I had to sign for the loan application, contracts, deed transfers, tax documents, and other stuff literally changed my signature. My muscle memory evolved from the inches of paper signed;
  • The financial stress of having less than the expected loan amount approved, plus the lack of foresight to predict ‘surprise fees’ (such as fire insurance – I swear this needs to be taught in school every semester) gave me sleepless nights; and
  • Unforeseen incidents such as miscommunications on move-out days from current residence to turnover of new unit. I am, as of writing, quite homeless, having been caught in the middle of leaving a place but not quite yet moving into the new one.

So yes, there were many things that I was, I admit, unprepared for. And I know it’s my fault. But as always, there were important lessons to be learned:

  1. I realised that it’s okay to ask for help, and to ask for it early. I’m not used to it and it was extremely difficult to but, in the end, the peace of mind was well worth it in the end.
  2. I realised that there will always, always be people who are there for you. From lending emergency funds to meet deadlines to offering a halfway home, each of us have a family member or significant other or friend or colleague out there who won’t let us go through hardship alone and unnecessarily.
  3. And finally, I realised (yet again) that tough times do make for tough people. I find that I’m hardly bothered with ‘the little things’ anymore, and I find myself even more grateful for who and what I have in my life.

What’s next?

Turnover date is coming soon, and I cannot be more excited. This whole experience was life-changing, and I came to learn so many things about my family, my friends, and especially myself.

This is an exciting phase in my life, and I can’t wait to share the next part soon!

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4 thoughts on “Life Lessons Episode 1: Buying a Place is Hard

  1. I feel you. I also bought a condo unit this year, paid the DP, qualified for an early occupancy program, paid the monthly dues for 6 months but until now the unit remains to be turned over đŸ˜ĸ despite a service promise of only 3 months. And these are from the people who call themselves The Good Guys! ☚ī¸

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, thanks for the comment and for sharing your personal experience. That’s a terrible thing to hear, and I can only hope it doesn’t happen to anyone else. I am expecting my unit to be turned over soon though, as it’s supposedly ready for occupancy already.

      Liked by 1 person

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