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Headshot of me with long hair, pink lip stick, light makeup Kara Babcock

I bought a house

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Those of you who occasionally pay attention to my posts on Twitter and Goodreads might have noticed I’ve been quieter than usual. May has been a busy month, to the point where it has seriously affected my reading (and that is saying something). I’ve only managed 5 books in May (and 7 books in April—what is wrong with me?).

One of the reasons I’ve been so busy is that I’m buying a house (hence, you know, the title of this post).

Since moving back from the UK, I’ve generally had a plan to buy a house by the time I’m 30. At the beginning of this year, I decided I wanted to advance that timeline (I’m currently 27). I had enough money for a reasonable downpayment and was as certain as anyone can be in this era of my job security. So at the end of March Break, I sought pre-approval for a mortgage. Then I found a realtor and started looking at houses.

I’ve been very lucky. My dad doesn’t charge me for room or board, so there are no pressures on me to move out. I could quite comfortably keep living here for another decade. But as much as I like hanging out with my dad, it’s time I have my own space.

I didn’t expect to find a house so soon, although everyone who knew I was looking would keep asking me if I had found one. I was trying to keep it real, reminding myself that I was prepared to take a year to find the house. Along the way, of course, as I started looking at houses, I started to question whether I ever might fall in love with a house. This is what everyone said to me: “you’ll know the One when you see it”.

I don’t think I’m going to fall in love with a house, though, because that’s not how I think about domiciles. I had functional requirements, and a few aesthetic requirements, but that was it. So I had a hard time, at first, understanding what it meant to like a house enough.

The house I ended up buying was only the sixth one I saw. There had been one house previously that I wanted to make an offer on, but it was snapped up by the time I even got to see it. I had a good feeling about this house. Not only was it ridiculously close to my current home (we’re talking around the corner and down the street, about a 2-minute walk), but the photos looked perfect for my tastes.

I saw it on a Saturday morning and said I wanted to put an offer on it. Because I don’t always show my enthusiasm in very overt ways (I feel like I get along with the British in this respect!) my dad and my realtor were initially taken aback. I remained adamant, though. So we went to the realtor’s office to draw up the offer. This is where I appreciate working with someone who knows the business and having a father who is a lawyer, because I had no idea what I was doing. (I still don’t. I’m faking it, every day, and it seems to be working for me.)

The negotiation process went smoothly (I have no concept of the value of money, but I drove an acceptable bargain, I think); home inspection and financing went fine; so on Monday I waived conditions and we finalized the offer. It’s official.

At the end of July I will have possession of my very own home. It’s just the right size for me, in the neighbourhood I like. I’m excited and terrified to move in, to furnish it, to make it my own. I can’t wait to figure out where to put all my books, and what kind of routines I will have once I’m living on my own.

Buying a house was easy. This is really the hard part. And you know that thing about teachers getting the summers off? Hah. Hahahaha—nope. Volunteered to work again through the entire summer. That’s continuing education for you. On the other hand, I’m going to pay off that mortgage as fast as I can.

But I have two months now, so here’s to a June filled with the reading I couldn’t do in April and May, Border Cats baseball, and the end of another school year (rolling right into the beginning of a summer session).