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Guess who is getting herself out of the rental game and into her first, real home? Yep, this martian millennial. As any home buyer will tell you, this is no doubt a painful experience. However, it is also very exciting and strangely satisfying. Here are some things I have learned from this very strenuous but very rewarding process.

You can’t always get what you want.  Unless your last name is Kardashian, there are some things you will have to compromise on.

Patience. It’s a long, time-consuming process. From touring house after house, to making and negotiating an offer, to inspection and closing—it is going to take up your time and energy.

Trust your instincts.  There was one particular house that my husband really liked—it was in a great neighborhood and the house would work well for the family. However, there was something in me that wasn’t ready to pull the trigger. It just didn’t feel like home and I chose not to settle. As they say, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.

Listen to experts. I can Zillow all day long, watch HGTV until my eyes are red and Pinterest so hard my thumb cramps up from scrolling. However, I am NOT an expert in real estate. It’s okay to ask advice from professionals and those that have gone through the process.

Be prepared. As with anything in life, right? Easier said than done, but so incredibly important to be as ready as possible.

Believe that things happen for a reason. I can’t tell you how utterly soul crushing it is to find a dream home, within the price range, in the perfect neighborhood, tailored to your personal taste only to find out it is under contract.  As with many life experiences, we must tell ourselves it wasn’t meant to be, and keep on keeping on. Things usually have a way of working out in the end, anyway.

Change is good for us. I get attached to things quite easily and very deeply. I cried when we first got the notice that we needed to move—so much happened in our lives during those years at our house. We got married, found new jobs, bought new cars and welcomed our second daughter. We spent countless days in the pool and nights around the BBQ. We went on long walks in the neighborhood and made memories as a family. As much as I despise change, I know there will be many new experiences in our next house.

To be honest, a part of me feels like a little kid in this big world. I am learning a deeper definition to words such as “property tax” and I am realizing just how complicated a missed bill from 2004 can catch up with you.  And although there are times I would like to throw in the towel, I am proud of the process and the lessons I am learning along the way.

House warming party at my place!!

Kelsey Makings
Kelsey Makings
A former HMA Public Relations employee.

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