It seems like two weeks have passed since yesterday morning, so much has happened...at least internally.
Yesterday morning, I was pre-approved for a mortgage as single woman...with no cosigner in sight. Maybe that isn't quite such a big deal these days, but it wasn't that long ago that a single woman wouldn't have gotten an appointment with a mortgage consultant.
Sex and the City is THE television show for many women my age. There is a reason the movie sold out theaters like crazy and the sequel is in the works. For those of you who don't follow the adventures of Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte I'll try to 'speak' generally enough that you'll be able to follow along.
Years ago there was a very memorable episode in which Miranda, arguably the most financially responsible and mature woman in the group, decided to purchase an apartment on her own. She was a lawyer, very financially stable, I think she was a partner in the law firm.
She tried to get a mortgage and the mortgage/bank guy was mortified by the idea that she would attempt to purchase a house on her own. "Will your father cosign? An ex-husband? A boyfriend?" And the classic question of the episode was "it's just for you? Just you?" And her stock answer, "Yup, it's just me."
Even Charlotte, her yuppie, rules-minded friend, argued against purchasing a home as a single woman. "It throws off the power structure." There were concerns that Miranda would never find a man if she could so easily prove she didn't really 'need' one.
I had flashbacks to that episode as I walked into the bank Friday morning. I think I was sort of geared up for a fight.
Now, for the financial side of me: I'm INCREDIBLY cheap. I pretty much don't spend money--ever. I've been living with my parents for about a decade. I'm a journalist and we pretty much don't make any money. My best friend, Chris, has been like a financial guru to me from our college days right up until the last bit of advice he gave me about a week ago. I worked really hard to pay off my credit card and my car last fall. I got a much-lower interest loan for my student loan this week and will pay it off about 3 years early (in a best-case scenario).
Apparently, being as stingy as possible translates to a really high credit score and a very quick pre-approval for a mortgage.
I think there may have been a tiny part of me hoping I wouldn't qualify...Sorry Mom and Dad, I have to live here for free forever! Whoops!
I had scheduled a house tour for later that night, but it was for a listing with no photos...and I'm extremely leery of those listings...what are they hiding? As far as I can tell, the house I toured last night is nearly perfect for me. Right price. Right size. Right storage space. Right bathroom space. Right amount of yard. Off-street parking. Hardwood kitchen floor. Appliance inclusions.
Can it really be this easy? Pre-approval in the a.m. house to buy in the p.m.?
Is this the payoff for so many tough years? Am I about to hit my stride? Could that weird little wish to be in my own home by my March 4 birthday, be a reality soon?
This is so not how I envisioned my life turning out when I was a little girl. My career in journalism was something I always knew would happen. But I think I always believed it would be accompanied by a husband and lots of babies. (And a Murphy Brown-sized salary, too...not so much.)
I think I even put off moving out of my parents house, even into an apartment, because on some level I always thought it might be a waste of time. The relationships I had throughout my mid to late 20s always seemed to be 'going somewhere.' So why not wait to move out until the time I would be 'moving-in?'
The last relationship I ended has taught me how silly I've been for so long! This is MY life! MY LIFE.
When I look back on the girl I was, who was waiting for someone to complete her ... I just don't recognize that girl. To be fair, I was never in a financial position before now to purchase a house and ultimately staying at home for so long is what made it possible. But, still I've wasted a lot of time.
Like I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm grabbing life with both hands. I'm grabbing two big handfuls and I'm running with them. They might just be full of paint I can throw on my new walls...