On going with your gut
Last night we went to a second viewing of a house we loved.
Loved as in telling everyone at work, everyone in my choir, my parents telling all our family. Loved as in Phil couldn't sleep on Sunday night because he "couldn't stop thinking about it". Loved as in referring to it as "our house". Loved as in planning where we'd put our furniture.
It was perfect.
It was bigger than we needed, and more expensive than we could afford.
This three storey beauty, all shiny and white and brand new.
Four bedrooms, three bathrooms.
Big kitchen. Manageable garden.
Good sized rooms.
Light and bright and wonderful.
It was love the second we walked in the door.
We told everyone about it. I posted about it on Twitter and Instagram.
We were in a perpetual state of anxious excitement.
There were lists of big, scary, adult-y things to do.
Ring the mortgage advisor.
What are interest rates like?
I imagined us living there. I imagined our future there. I could see us living in this beautiful house.
It was the one, it was the one, it was the one.
We were so sure.
We arranged a second viewing. Mostly so we could show Phil's parents around our future home.
We were smitten.
I almost didn't go the second time. I was so sure.
We'd uttered phrases like, making an offer next week. And how much can we afford for a deposit.
It was all going so fast and exciting and wonderful and scary and lump in the pit of your stomach and intense and brilliant and terrifying.
We walked past the house while we waited for Phil's parents.
Which road is ours again?
Oh look we'll be right by this new restaurant.
Our house, our house, our house.
We were so excited. We half-listened to stories of how townhouses can be difficult to sell and ignored the faint roar of traffic in the not-very-distant-distance.
We opened the door and...
I don't know.
Something was different.
The house hadn't changed. So why did the living room feel smaller?
Why did we notice little things we hadn't seen before?
The ball in the pit of my stomach grew.
We asked all the questions my Dad told me to ask.
Will the carpets be included?
Fixtures and fittings?
Tiling in the bathroom?
Yes, yes yes.
So why wasn't it feeling right?
We showed them around. This would be our room. This would be the spare room.
Maybe we'd put a desk in there too.
Three storeys, yes! Let's show you upstairs.
That's the wet room.
We don't even know what we'll do with these rooms yet.
Cinema room? Maybe a gym?
I couldn't shake it.
It didn't feel right.
I started to feel my eyes well up.
The confusion. Disappointment.
This was the one, wasn't it?
I don't know who felt it first.
I don't know who was the first to say, it doesn't feel right, does it?
We both knew.
This wasn't our house.
This wasn't going to be our home.
They say when you know, you know.
But do they say when you don't know, you also know?
But it's perfect, I kept saying.
The kitchen is the biggest we've seen.
The bedrooms are huge.
The garden is exactly what we want.
And we loved it on Sunday.
We loved it on Sunday.
Maybe we should sleep on it.
Yeah, let's sleep on it.
But we knew. Right in our guts we knew.
This wasn't going to be our home.
And we don't know why.
I'm a rational person.
I can't put something down to "just a feeling".
But this time I knew we had to listen.
The same way I knew the second I walked onto the University of Birmingham campus.
The same way I knew that jobs and boyfriends and friendships in the past hadn't been right.
We had to listen.
Our hearts were saying no.
This isn't your house.
This isn't your home.
And already we've accepted it.
It wasn't the one.
We're exhausted and disappointed but mostly relieved.
Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions we'll ever make.
And when we find the one, we'll listen to our guts.