So, like I’ve previously mentioned, I moved out of Brooklyn….
One of the most terrifying decisions I’ve ever made was to buy a house.
Because, I never imagined myself being single and owning a home. I always imagined being married, having two and a half kids, white picket fence, coming home from work picking up random toys from the hallway floor; hearing my husband yell, “HONEY IM HOME!” (Tv shit)
That wasn’t my reality.
Before I moved, I was living in Brooklyn in a really nice sized apartment. Three bedrooms at below market price in a three family brownstone-ish home in Flatbush.
But I had nosey ass neighbors, I lived on a Main Street and parking sucked.
Parking sucked so bad, my good friend lived two buildings over and sometimes we both would drive to the same destination to meet up with the rest of the girls; before the event was over I would sneak out before her, just to find a spot before she did! But when she realized I was gone, she would dart out the door to catch up with me!
Listen, for a good 30 minutes, your best friend would become your arch nemesis for a parking spot in Brooklyn.
Also, when my landlady passed, her kids took over and that turned into a disaster. They didn’t want to fix anything; opted for you to pay for things, then get reimbursed or just blamed everyone else in the building for anything that went wrong.
Here’s one story…
There was a mouse in my kitchen. If anyone knows me, they know I don’t play when it comes to any kind of rodent. I called to inform them, because the people upstairs said they’ve seen some too.
I get it, living in the city YOU WILL SEE A MOUSE IN YOUR APARTMENT at least once or twice…
Whatever, I’M NOT WITH IT!
Me: “hey, can someone come, because there’s a mouse in my kitchen”
The husband: ” yea, you guys gotta stop leaving the front door open, they’re coming through the front door of the building when you guys throw out the garbage”
Me: “so, you mean to tell me that, mice are strutting through the front door of the building, when we throw the garbage out, that’s right in front? SO YOU MEAN TO TELL ME, we won’t see it strutting through the front door?! Sir, just call the Exterminator!”
Also, I wanted to move my son out of Brooklyn for educational reasons. I felt like in order for him to get into a good school, we either had to opt for charter school (which we tried and it didn’t work out) or move into a great neighborhood and pay mortgage rates for rent and practically downgrade from a spacious apartment to a tiny apartment (because most of those nice apartment buildings in those nice neighborhoods are pretty small).
And then there’s this question…
What schools are the kids of the people who are gentrifying Brooklyn go to? Because, I never see them in ours.
I’m just saying…
So, I finally made the decision to go ahead and do this!
But the problem was, I didn’t really know what I was looking for.
The only thing I knew about a house was what I saw on tv. When I was 12, we moved into some newly built projects in Williamsburg and before then we moved around in different apartments. We briefly live in my stepdad’s mothers house.
I still got a broker, gave him a range of where I wanted to go and how much I thought I wanted to spend.
I told my first broker I wanted to live in Staten Island, Queens or Long Island. (Very wide range, goes to show I didn’t know what I was doing)
We worked Staten Island first; he came, picked my son and I up and we went.
I chose to bring my son with me, so he can have a say in the process because, this will be his home too.
Broker came with his wife, which I thought was unprofessional. Showed me some crazy house in some industrial part of Staten Island, with a tenant already living in the basement.
Then asked if I liked it and would I like to put down an offer.
His wife asked why I didn’t want to take it.
Are you my broker?
That day, he got into an accident with us in the car and I dropped him as my broker. I didn’t want someone trying to force me into something I didn’t want. And the homes that I was showing him on Zillow, he claimed had no physical address.
I also think he thought that I was young and didn’t know what I was doing, he might’ve been right, but, he had to go.
So, my boyfriend at the time which is now my ex (oh my god, she had a boyfriend!!? Ahhhh! Lol) told me to look into Westchester.
Found another broker, started looking in Westchester.
Looked at a bunch of homes, but I felt so alone in the process. Something that was supposed to be exciting, was very lonely and frustrating.
Lonely because, I was looking at homes by myself. Besides the broker I had no other adult to talk about my likes and dislikes or ask for opinions. My sister came once and I would talk to my ex about it. But, I was by myself, 97% of the time.
Frustrating because, I felt like I didn’t have any support.
One day I sat down had a talk with myself. I had to realize that this was a big accomplishment and a big decision and feeling overwhelmed was normal and this was going to be MY house and I’m going to have to pay the bills, so it’s MY decision and no one else’s. I also needed to be proud of myself, I deserved it.
A lot of times, when things go well, I don’t feel as though I deserve it and that’s why I don’t talk about it with others. Because I don’t want people to think, I think I’m better; Because I don’t, I’m a firm believer in “God giveth and he taketh away“. This is why I never do it for the ‘gram.
My broker and my agent were amazing. Found a house, my son loved it and we moved.
Then I finally had to pack up my apartment. DUN, DUN, DUUUUUN!
You never know how much shit you got, until you gotta move the shit out.
With minimal help.
My help consisted of; my mom, who doesn’t do anything but take pics to post on Facebook, my stepdad, my two sisters, their boyfriends, my sister’s friend who we call our brother and my ex.
Now you may be wondering, where were my girls, my friends who I used to speak to everyday.
Well apparently, although you say that packing up and moving is hard everyday in a chat, you have to SPECIFICALLY ask for help or no one will volunteer a helping hand.
I wouldn’t say all were like this. Two of my good girlfriends gave me boxes and supplies that I was grateful for because those things are expensive!
Needless to say, I’m no longer in the chat and the friendships aren’t what they used to be. Maybe one day it’ll get better, but I’m not making it a priority in my life.
So, the help would alternate, on a given day of moving it would be a max of 3 to four people. This was hard considering two people have to move furniture so one person would be moving boxes and I’m not off on weekends like regular folks so either I had to call out of work or they did just to help me. Did I mention it was WINTER!
It took me 30 days to get out my apartment.
I felt homeless at one point. My apartment had no bed, my house had no bed. My son was still going to school in Brooklyn. I had to sleep at other people’s houses. It was a mess.
Finally moved in, but another obstacle came…. guilt.
Guilt because I felt that I dragged my son out of Brooklyn where his family was and his school. It had me wondering how it would affect him.
Would he be able to adapt to the new environment?Is he going to like his new environment?
Is he going to hate me because I moved him out of his comfort zone?
Is he going to make friends?
To my surprise, he adapted way faster than I did. He blossomed in school, he’s like the most popular kid. He made friends, he’s more talkative than he’s ever been in Brooklyn.
And that helped me be more at ease.
Kids are resilient. Way more than adults.
The summer came, I had a flood in the basement, I didn’t freak out. My stepfather had some people come figure it out.
And just like that, the fear of being a single-working-mother/homeowner wasn’t so scary.
Now, you can’t get me to leave the view of the rolling mountains from my porch and room, or the sound of birds chirping in the morning. If it’s not something important, I don’t go to Brooklyn. Of course, I visit my mom, but we speak over the phone everyday, so seeing her is minimized to once or twice a month. And they come to me and have pop up BBQ’s.
I’ve also picked up new trades. I’m a plumber, a painter, a carpenter, Shit if I can find out how to fix it on google, I’m doing it. I have to exhaust ALL my options before calling someone to fix something, because most times, it’s not that big of a deal and people will come in and try to charge an arm and a leg for something simple. The only thing I don’t do is cut the grass, it seems so simple but, I don’t have the time. I like bigger projects. Lol
This move taught me to not be afraid of change. If it scares you, most likely, it’s a great idea. Change is good and life is great now.