November 4, 2019

Hen's Guide to Buying a Hen House!

My latest excuse for not writing: Buying a hen house!

It's true. I recently bid farewell to all my money and bought my first hen house. The experience was an all-consuming emotional roller coaster that truly gave me respect for adults. I don't know how they do it daily, but I applaud them. I must have done a respectable job pretending to be one, because I now hold keys to the private hen house of my dreams! (within my modest Hen budget)

After spending months consumed by adult terms like "mortgage," "interest rate," and "house," I decided to create The Hen's Guide to Buying a Hen House so you can learn and laugh from my stress and triumph.

Hen's Guide to Buying a Hen House!
  • Get on Zillow and browse mansions. By just going a little over my already-inflated budget I made up, I could afford the sassy place of my dreams! Should I choose the trendy downtown villa or the riverfront condo with the expansive patio for parties? It'll be tough.

Starter home.
  • Find a realtor. Thankfully, many of my friends became adults and bought homes before I did. After extensive interviews with my home owner friends, I felt confident in my realtor who'd found great homes for 2 of my friends. I was promised she'd also be my life coach (still waiting on those sessions).
  • Find people to lend you less money than you expected. Unless you have wealthy parents or a drug dealing business, you need someone to lend you a lot of money, a "mortgage." Every company made it seem so easy: Give us your basic info and we'll pre-approve you for a mansion loan! What they don't tell me is that after that first welcoming step, they want a little more info, like if I have a job and if I make money. After that, these mortgage companies crushed my mansion dreams and gave me a budget I could actually afford. Time to tour the slums!
  • Cry because you can't afford a mansion. See above and delete all previous Zillow searches.

house hunting.
  • Visit houses with your realtor. After crying over the slum listings, my realtor created a search for my budget that found some decent places with minimal slums. I narrowed the list down to 4 to visit my first day of house hunting. It was truly an exciting, adult day. The first place seemed wonderful, but the brick wall turned out to be wall paper and the patio lacked privacy. The second place had the dreamiest back patio view, but lacked brick wall paper. The third place had no patio, unattended pet birds, but a garage. The fourth was a dark cave with a third bedroom!
  • Visit more houses with your realtor. I needed to visit the house with the dreamy back view with fresh eyes. Along with that revisit, we found an 80's-style home with built in shelves and bathroom vanities for small people, and a rundown home with the worst indoor paint job seen by (wo)man. The back view place was the winner!
  • Offer as little money as possible for your modest dream townhouse. How low can we go without being insulting? That's the game of the first offer. My shrewd realtor/life coach found comparable properties in the neighborhood with more modern updates to justify our low offer.
  • Be appalled when you received a counter offer. Doesn't the seller know I should just have this place at whatever price I deem fit, and be thankful I made an offer? The seller reminded us that those "comparable" properties backed up to walls, other homes, or highway instead of a serene lake, so she came back with a counter offer.
  • It's a deal! For my modest budget, no other property would back up into a beautiful lake view. Fine, lady, you win; here's all my money.
  • Question the deal you just signed, how much money actually have, and the meaning of life. It'll be fine, right? And if not, I can rent it out to pay the bills and live with my parents forever, right? But no matter what, it's a great investment, right? 
  • Take high blood pressure medication for when no one wants to give you money anymore. That friendly lender suddenly became less sure I could afford this place, and less friendly. They suggested I might need a cosigner or to stay at my job longer. Other lenders said I definitely needed a cosigner and didn't appreciate my 4 part-time jobs from 2017.
  • Eat high blood pressure medicine like candy as your lender asks for endless documents, blood samples, and your first born (if applicable). I didn't have a first born, so I kept sending pay stubs, e-mails, blood samples, and voicemails. I can pay for this, I promise!
  • Contemplate running away to Mexico. 

  • Realize you have no idea how to wire transfer money. What's a wire transfer? Whoever needed my down payment (I don't even remember at this point) didn't accept personal checks or Venmo for $28,000. Weird. After crying and screaming that the title company didn't send me wiring instructions and thinking I'd lose my house and be homeless forever, my dad convinced me I could wire the money at my signing appointment. This was true, except no one at the appointment could help me. Thankfully, a branch of my bank was across the street, so I put all on hold to tromp across the highway to the bank and let a banker send my money. I still don't understand what a wire transfer is, but my bank account is a lot smaller.
  • Signed, sealed, delivered: it's yours! After practicing my signature through a book of legal documents, I signed enough things to get the keys!
  • Cry that it didn't come with furniture. Where's the high blood pressure medicine for furniture shopping?
No one has kicked me out yet, so I guess this place is mine. I'm officially an adult!

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