Our daughter purchased her first house last week. It was a three-month adventure.
Her closing date was moved twice. She needed a thousand dollars more than she was originally told. She was told she couldn't get home insurance until the shoddy roof over the back patio was repaired or torn down. She discovered the day of her walk-through the refrigerator that came with the house didn't work. At the time of closing, the realtors didn't have the keys to the house.
It was a bit anti-climactic when she left the closing with no way to get in to the 35-year old house that has issues, but was still hers. She had a lot of paperwork and a bottle of wine from the realtor, but no place to go.
So we went and had lunch while the realtor found the key. Turns out only one of the three locks to the house was re-keyed. What kind of sense does that make? My husband immediately went to Home Depot and bought three new doorknobs with deadbolts and installed them. We were able to lock ourselves in while we started cleaning and painting.
We put on Motown and swept cobwebs from corners and inhaled paint fumes and got dirty and silly. My husband installed fire alarms and re-installed some closet shelving that was propped up with 2x4s. We bleached and caulked and Swiffered. That night, we slept like stones. Then we got up and did some of it all over again.
Every homeowner knows that buying a house is an adventure. You don't know that going in the first time, but that's what you learn. It's a crazy, often aggravating process. Our daughter was shocked at how many people had to know her SSN, see her pay stubs and bank statements. Too many people "are in my business," she declared. Yep, when you're dealing with thousands of dollars, everybody wants their piece of the pie.
But, in the end, she has her own plot of land. That's why foreigners came to this country 200 years ago. To own something, build something, establish something, and spend decades paying for it. It's the American dream.
Our girl is excited to have a home full of light (we're painting all the rooms Steam White or Ivory Mist. It's all Eggshell to me) and hospitality and brownies. She's planning a Noah's Ark-themed room to welcome youngsters, and she's inviting friends to come teach her how to prepare their favorite meal. She has a shower curtain with the periodic table on it. She's a chemistry teacher, so imagine her delight when she found that at Bed, Bath, and Beyond. She might use a beaker for a toothbrush holder.
We're very excited for her and all the adventures she will create on her own little patch of earth: a vegetable garden, fighting weeds and spiders; eating rice with friends and family because, for awhile, the larder might be lightly stocked; having mail delivered at the end of the driveway; and dancing naked in the living room, if she wants to.
There really is no place like HOME.