This is what I thought home buying would look like (although after explaining my occupation to a mortgage broker, only to then be asked “What does your husband do?” I have my doubts…)
Step 1) Couple finds dream home whilst drinking organic, fresh-squeezed orange juice and surfing the web on a trendy laptop. (Note fresh flowers and SPOTLESS all white kitchen in the background.)
Step 2) Couple texts realtor to arrange a viewing. (How happy they look! And isn’t it nice how they are working together to send a text?)
Step 3) Couple zooms off to their first appointment.
Step 4) Couple finds that their dream house looks even better than it looked on the internet.
Step 5) Couple signs paperwork. (Obviously I would add champagne to this picture.)
Step 6) Couple gets keys. (More champagne.)
Step 7) Happy, happy couple smiles as they unpack their strangely well-packed and color coordinated boxes.
Step 8) Happy couple buys FURNITURE! What fun!!! (And what practical heels for furniture shopping.)
Step 9) Happy couple buys GROCERIES! What fun!!! (And what a great place for making out.)
Step 10) Happy couple hosts fabulous house warming party, receives approximately 6 dozen bottles of wine at said party, and lives happily ever after. (Note physical fitness, perfect hair, ethnic diversity and ample cleavage of new social circle.)
This, of course, is not the reality. I know this because I went to a four-hour first time homebuyer education workshop over the weekend (where I earned an official first time homebuyer certificate) and at no time during the entire workshop did we talk about house warming parties or bottles of champagne. We talked about escrow and down payments and private mortgage insurance and interest rates and which end of the roof you’re supposed to start at when you’re cleaning a gutter… (the corner by the downspout, if I remember correctly). Nonetheless, I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about something, especially now that I’m single.
I can buy whatever I want, wherever I want, and I’ve saved enough money to put down a 20% down payment, which means I’ll qualify for a proper conventional loan and won’t have to worry about private mortgage insurance. I’m doing a lot of freaking out of course (what if I don’t actually get approved for a mortgage? What if the underwriters can’t make sense of my multiple W-2s and multiple 1099s? What if I don’t find the right house? And what if I find the right house and someone else buys it before I do?) but when I’m not busy borrowing trouble, I can’t help but feel the tiniest bit of pride. Eventually I’m going to trade that homebuyer certificate for a pair of keys. My own keys. Purchased with my money in my city. Husband or no.