What. Did. We. Just. Do? A post by Girl Ninja

Sit back and enjoy the ride. I’ve twisted Girl Ninja’s arm enough to get her to write a blog post for y’all today. Hope you enjoy ๐Ÿ˜‰

When our realtor called to tell us they accepted our offer, I felt a little bit like Lindsey Lohan in the movie Freaky Friday; when she woke up and looked in the mirror to realize she was in her mother’s body.ย  WHAT DO WE DO NOW?!

Throughout my life, people repeatedly remind me, “When you know, you will know”.ย  They said it when I looking at colleges, they said it when I was trying to figure out if I wanted to marry Ninja, and they said it as we were searching for a house.ย  When I know, I will know.

Well….I didn’t.

College and marriage both ended up AMAZING.ย  And deep in my heart, I know that buying this house will as well.ย  But, one thing I have learned after 26 years of life, is that I Won’t know when I will know.

Financial security feels great.ย  Working hard, saving hard, and seeing those numbers grow provides a sense of security.ย  It has allowed us to live comfortably, and do things we are passionate about (give, share, travel, shop the Nordstrom sales…).ย  Buying a house though? I didn’t realize how UNPASSIONATE (is that a word? … if not it should be) about that idea I was until we got that phone call 24 hours after stepping foot in the house.ย  Now, I’m not playing the drama card when I say unpassionate– I thought that I was supposed to be ear-to-ear smiles and unable to contain my joy and excitement.ย  Instead, every single hesitation, doubt and concern I had, grew to the size of Mt. Everest.

It felt like everything was changing.ย 

I would be driving a different route to and from school (making my 10 minute commute, now 25), going to different shopping centers/grocery stores, and I’m now twice as far away from my High School Young Life girls.ย ย  I don’t know the neighbors.ย  Having our offer accepted made me feel like I just ruined my life.

Then, Ninja reminded me how moving into our current place, I wasn’t all that excited either. I didn’t like how far away it felt from the city, and although our cabinets and counters were new, they weren’t styled to my taste. However, I have learned to love SO much about our rental.ย  I love walking to the water one mile away, I love living across the street from one of my Young Life girls, I love walking to the middle school track to workout.ย ย  I’ve realized that I am a slow mover to fall in love with something–ย and when I do — I will only leave kicking and screaming.

What I have learned, is that THIS IS NOT THE END.ย  This might be the house we see ourselves in for now, but reality is we are in our twenties.ย  I don’t NEED to know what type of house will be best for us when we have kids.ย  Does it really matter that much if ONE ROOM in the house is a little dark?ย  Am I really expecting perfection?ย  It was time to give myself (correction: it was time for my mom, husband, and friends to give me) a reality check.

What I DO know, is that THIS IS THE BEGINNING.ย  Together, I get to learn with Ninja how to manage home ownership.ย  We get to make transformations, realize things we would have done or should have done differently, enjoy the great things, and learn along the way. My fear is turning to excitement ๐Ÿ™‚

Ninja’s Comments: Leave her lots of love below so we can get her to write more often this summer!!!!

21 thoughts on “What. Did. We. Just. Do? A post by Girl Ninja

  1. Nice post Girl Ninja! Hope you keep posting from time to time to tell about how you are settling in your new house. Congrats to both of you! I wish, I was that level-headed when I was your age.

  2. I understand your feelings. When my husband and I bought our first house I liked it but did not love it. I missed my old condo, neighbors and proximity to all the things I was familiar with. But now a year later I LOVE it. I would not trade it for all the houses in the world ๐Ÿ™‚ . Humans are strange species โ€“ and we, like most others, are meant to adapt to our surroundings and before you know it, you will love where you are. And the house might not be perfect, but you guys together, will make it perfect.

  3. This house is the third I have bought. My houses were not bought one after the other — first was when I was 19; lost it in divorce. next was six years later. sold it due to move, and this one, just bought it almost 10 years after selling the second one. THe first two weren’t my decisions – I was bobblehead and happy to live wherever. THIS one, this one was my decision and mine alone. I wasn’t in love with it when I bought it. I liked it, it felt comfortable, and I knew as soon as I signed the papers that I was going to be seeing more money than expected floating softly away “never to be seen again” in home maintenance issues I never worred about as a renter. oh – remorse was RIGHT there! you are so not alone! But, like you, I realized that it was an adventure, and one I was ready for.

    Thanks for writing, and know that, even though mumble mumble years older than you, others experience the same thing, and are glad to grow into that love. Hugs bunches, keep posting!

  4. Thank you for your brutal honesty, Girl Ninja. My husband and I also just put a bid on our first home, too, and it was agonizing trying to find a home that was right for us (in our price range, and in the same town). Though when we found it, I think I did get that feeling, and I am super psyched about it. My husband has feelings more akin to yours, though I know once we move in and settle into the space, he’ll absolutely love it. Time will only tell – and you’re right – it doesn’t have to be your forever home if you don’t absolutely love it over time…but I suspect you will. ๐Ÿ™‚ I look forward to future posts with the female Ninja perspective!

  5. Great post! Change can be hard, but it’s obvious you’ve figured out that some resistance is just how you’re wired. And remember, nothing is forever. If this house, or home ownership in general, is something you guys decide isn’t for you, you can get out of it.

    Best of luck in your new home! And enjoy your upcoming trip.

  6. First off – ALWAYS love hearing from Girl Ninja. Nice to get a different perspective once in a while.

    As for the home buying/move, think of it as an adventure or a journey. Of course you are nervous and uncertain, that is to be expected. But think about the opportunity that you have. You have a chance to make new friends, you have a more scenic commute, and you have a chance to explore a whole new neighborhood. If you fall in love with it, you may root yourself there and never leave. Who knows what could happen, it’s a whole world of opportunity right in front of you. Memories are just waiting to be made!!!

    Oh, and I don’t think Ninja likes shopping at Nordstrom…. hope he gets some burritos while you shop!

  7. Thanks for sharing your perspective GN! I had a feeling of dread when we signed the papers to buy our first house too. It just seemed so intangible. Sign your name a hundred times and boom, you get to make payments on something for decades! Yippee! I was happy to have a house and stability (we had some terrible landlords and moved a lot while I was in school) , and I knew my husband was thrilled, as he had been wanting to buy a house for years to putter around in and make our own, so I got over it pretty quickly, but certainly in the moment, I was not thrilled! Now we are in our second home for about 3 months, and I similarly felt a bit of dread when I signed the paperwork, as I had enjoyed living in our first home for 7 years and struggled to let go of some of the sentimentality (e.g., my son was literally born in his room).

    I think you are very insightful and self-aware in how you “work” (i.e., slowly adapting and growing to love something and then not wanting to leave it). Of all the things I learned in university, one of my favourite profs was lecturing about stress, and one thing she said has always stuck with me: that even “good changes” (like buying a home, getting a better job, etc.) are stressful and involve some degree of loss. Like you said, little things like learning where to shop, figuring out a new route to work, letting go of what you’ve grown to love about where you are. So, even though it’s most likely a good change in the long run, you still have to process the losses and changes. In the end, I’m sure you’ll enjoy your new home and if you don’t, you and Ninja will figure out a good solution ๐Ÿ™‚ You two make a great team-as life partners, and as bloggers ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I had none of those feelings when we bought our house 3 years ago. I was just glad the home buying process was finally over and we could move in. If I had to look at one more house that wasn’t a “good fit” for us or “was on a bad street” I was going to scream. We are very happy with our home purchase three years later. ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. I can relate! We bought our house when we were 26 two years ago. I felt ready to get married at (almost) 22. I felt ready to have a baby at 23. I did NOT feel ready to buy a house until we did, and even so after our offer was accepted we had that same panic feeling.

    It has worked out really well for us! I hope it will be the same for you.

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  11. Change is always difficult! Every time I embark on something new, I go through some hesitancy, but I keep going! If you don’t you will never do anything new and you will be unsuccessful.

  12. Great post girl Ninja hope to see more from you this summer. We felt the same why when we just brought our home 2 months ago. At first we felt great then when we got the ok and moved in we started picking apart this and that. I think its natural is like choosing to quit a job to start your own business or go someplace else. You are nervous until you get comfortable in the new surroundings. And congrats on the new home!!

  13. I sobbed when we bought our place because I was leaving what I thought was the most amazing street in the city and going to the next neighborhood over (only a ten minute walk away, but still so different). Now, I can’t imagine being anywhere else. I much prefer my new grocery stores, bakeries, parks to my old ones, and since I own for the first time, I feel so much more pride in my building and community. I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

  14. Wow. I have never bought a house, but I hope I never feel the way you do after signing away so much of my money. I hate to be the only voice of dissent, but if your first reaction is to burst into tears and to feel unsure even after so long, maybe this isn’t the house for you. I did that once with a rental, I put an application in because a couple before me said they liked it and were going to put an application in. When the manager emailed to say I got the place, I burst into tears. I took a friend to see the rental and she confirmed that it was an awful place and I had put in an application because I was pressured. Thankfully it didn’t cost me anything to back out of it since there were other applications. A week later I found another place that was perfect and I had no misgivings whatsoever moving in. Sometimes it is better to walk away with a small loss than to live in a house that doesn’t make you happy. A lot of times we ignore our gut feeling because our friends and loved ones convince us otherwise. Just my 2 cents.

  15. Girl Ninja –

    I cried the first night in my home. I was 25, leaving the security of my previous place (with a roomate!) and had just signed 30 years of my life away. IT. WAS. INTENSE. But, just like everything, it got so much better with time. It’s been four years now and I am so incredibly happy with my decision. I did it alone, so I am sure that magnified some of my negative thoughts and insecurities. You have Ninja taking this journey with you, so that’s a huge plus.

    Thanks for sharing your initial reactions with us. Just know you aren’t alone in your feelings. It’s a huge step, but it will be so worthwhile.

  16. I think that I would have the same anxiety purchasing in such a hot market. In contrast we just bought our first house, put the offer in April and closed in June: we had a lot of contingencies to let us out of the deal if things didnt check out with the house which were reassuring to first timers like us. Im sure that a lo of seattle home buyers are feeling just as stressed.

    Haven’t seen your numbers yet but this would be my primary area of concern. Can u afford the home on one income? Our principal/interest/insurance/taxes are 11% of our monthly gross and only $90 more than our rent was. With all of our home’s imperfections being able to afford the payment if a child, job loss, or illness comes along is a huge comfort. Elizabeth warren’s book “the two income trap” had a huge impact on my thinking about this. If owning a home required two incomes I might keep renting.

  17. As much as we love to experience news things and places, we are definitely creatures of habit and familiarity. In my daydreams of moving to a new and larger house, I get wistful at the thought of leaving behind my street and neighbours. You’re going to love your new place. it will be filled with all the energy you and ninja have in your daily lives. What an exciting new adventure.

  18. I agree with Bc in regards to buying in a seller’s market. To put up so much money for a house that’s not “perfect” would make anyone nervous. That being said, congrats on your new home! :-). I came to the conclusion not to long ago that the perfect house probably costs several million. So we need to make the best of what we can afford. From the pictures, your house is actually quite gorgeous. The land alone seems to justify your purchase price. Nothing like having a little buffer zone between your neighbors. Also there seems to be only so much land in the Seattle area which should be another boost to your investment. I wish I have as much luck as you two had that you were actually ABLE to buy a house. We are on a waiting list to buy still.

  19. I’m on my first home. My wife and I bought it just over 2 years ago. My best advice is to not be afraid. Most things you see on HGTV and the like can be done by home owners with time and patience. So long as you aren’t tearing down walls you can save some money, do it yourself, and be closer with your spouse for the experience.

  20. Your feelings of uncertainty make me laugh….. only because I felt the same way you did, GN! My husband and I bought our house when we were young (21 and 22). Our stories are similar in some ways. We both worked hard and saved hard with homeownership in our sights. The evening our offer was accepted I broke down and cried (almost uncontrollably). I. Never. Expected. That. I thought they same things you may be thinking… what have we done?? I think the rush of different emotions felt in such a short time led to the sobbing mess I was that night. Fast forward less than 30 days later when we closed, I was so excited, so pleased, just down right giddy to be a homeowner! Now 5 years later I’m still happy one of our first big grown up decisions and I’m sure you will be too ๐Ÿ™‚

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