The Stress and Anxiety of Improving Your Situation

Photo by Blake Wheeler on Unsplash

I live in a trailer. It’s not terrible, but it’s not all that nice, either. It looks like crap on the outside, though my fall wreath on the door helps. On the inside it’s cute – I’ve decorated with everything geeky and as much purple as I can manage without it looking like Barney threw up in the place.

The problem is, the living space is small. I have two children, and there is just no space for all their toys and clothes. My son can’t clean his room because there’s just nowhere to put everything. There isn’t even room for a dresser in his bedroom, so his clothes are in a hanging contraption in his closet, and they’re constantly falling out of it.

I separated from my husband a little over a year ago. We filed for bankruptcy two years ago, so I didn’t think home ownership would be in the cards for me anytime soon. Especially since I have zero money for a down payment, and living paycheck to paycheck means no way of saving.

But a realtor friend made it happen for me.

She got me an FHA loan with a low down payment requirement, and told me about a down payment assistance grant. Suddenly, a dream that I didn’t think would be possible, was within reach.

Last weekend we went house shopping. I’d been perusing houses online for the past month and knew exactly what I wanted. Sadly, when we got to the house I wanted, an inspector was walking out and said someone had put in a bid.

Another house we looked at that day was great, but had a seriously awful kitchen. It had an amazing basement though, and was across the street from a great playground that would be perfect for my kids. But I was still in love with that first house, so I put in a bid higher than the asking price. Sadly, they turned me down because the other offer was for cash, and cash wins.

After struggling over the terrible kitchen in the other house, I decided to put in a bid. I stressed for a day and then was told they wouldn’t budge from the asking price, which was more than what I can afford.

I cried.

I cried because even though the kitchen was atrocious, my kids would have loved playing in that basement, and they would have had so much fun going to that playground every day. I cried because I felt hopeless, like maybe this dream wasn’t as in reach as I’d originally thought.

The next day – this morning – I saw that a new house had come on the market. It’s perfect. I haven’t seen the inside yet, but it has everything I want, and some things I wanted but had conceded to not getting because of my low price range. Of course, it’s also $4,000 more than what I can afford. So I’ll go with my realtor to check it out today, and hope for the best.

This is one of the most stressful experiences of my life. I’ve bought houses before, but they were with spouses. This time, it’s all on me. I’m so terrified of making the wrong decision or letting a great opportunity slip by. It’s not just me I’m worried about – I have to worry about my kids as well, and whether or not I’m doing the right thing by them.

My leg has not stopped shaking, and I’m sure to have calves of steel by the time I actually get a house. Naturally Anxiety tells me I probably won’t get a house. I’m just not that lucky. And if I do manage to get a house, I’ll probably end up not being able to afford it because I missed something in my calculations, or it’ll fall apart, or a drifter will squat in it and I’ll be too nice to tell them to get out… Hopefully not that last one. Probably not the last one.


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