In the middle of the street

*Yawn* Uft! Excuse me.


Man, you guys. I'm beat today. And it's not because of daylight savings time. I just couldn't shut my brain off last night. You know the feeling. You're bone tired and have been lying in bed for at least an hour but suddenly you realize you're simultaneously wiggling your left foot, singing to yourself, running down the grocery list for the week, and coming up with a great comeback for a conversation that happened three days ago. (I can't be the only one...)

Truth is, we've been doing something major that's taking up all of my spare time and mental energy... house hunting.

OKAY, UNIVERSE. It's out there, okay? Please don't screw us. We were trying to keep it quiet but we keep needing to let more and more people know and so it's really just out there. We have pre-approval and our 20% and we in theory are set to go, but my worst case scenario brain is waiting for it to all fall through.

I'd be lying if I said this was fun for me. Well, it's a good deal of fun, but not all fun. The loan process! Holy cow, is there anything that makes you feel more inadequate as a person? And looking at houses - here, let's repeatedly get your hopes up only to dash them like so many raw eggs upon a cold Chicago sidewalk. Houses that look sweet and cozy on the MLS listings have trees growing into the soffits, bowed walls, fist-sized holes in the drywall, tile laid on top of linoleum in the kitchen (without any appliances, of course) amateur electrical work, mold smells, and a host of other problems that make you turn on your heel and run, no matter how big that garage is or how nice the storage space in the basement is.

Or, you know, squatters. Which is what we encountered in the very first home we toured. As Mr. PW said, they looked like extras from Winter's Bone. our realtor* cheerfully took it in stride, and when we made it to the basement where we were alone, turned to us and said "Now I encounter that kind of thing all the time, but I imagine you feel a little awkward!" Um, yes. Good thing that house wouldn't have worked for us anyway.

Quite a few of the houses we've seen are actually quite nice - or could be, if we had a place to stay while we fixed them up. But we need a place that's livable immediately - our lease is up on May 31, and we have to move before then thanks to things like finals and grading and a trip Mr. PW is taking. And of course, we need to know whether we're staying in our current place or we're going even earlier than that. Worst case scenario is that we could ask to sign another year lease. But we're hoping we won't have to do that. Did I mention our landlady is showing our place on Saturday so I'm doing the mad-rush spring cleaning thing on top of all this? I haven't had any down time, period, in days.

Of course, my impractical brain skips right ahead from buying a house to buying things for the house - a new table and chairs, a new sofa, a king size bed, art and paint and nice things that one might find at Ikea or on Pinterest. But make no mistake - no one's going to want to Pin this house. It's going to be modest. That's just where we are as a couple, and in our lives. But it would be nice to have a little place of our own, don't you think?

*Whom I adore, and has really kept me sane. She's been so calm and upbeat. She loves first time buyers and it shows. If you ever need a realtor in the area, let me hook you up. I'd recommend her in an instant.