omg i’m house hunting

That’s right, you guys… I’m in the market to buy my first home, something I never thought I’d say in this space. Ever since I graduated college, I’ve been a renter and a very transient one at that. I’ve moved across the country 3 times, but it didn’t stop there. There were years that I moved 3 times within a span of 12 months. Oh, and that time I lived in my car with my cat thanks to an insane roommate and showered at the office when no one was around. Let’s not forget about that.

So, the fact that I am starting the house hunting process feels… indescribable? I hate to use that word, but –boom– there it is. It’s also coupled with a bit of personal info that I’ve debated sharing in this space, but I’m gonna be brave: my dear, dear grandpa gave me the money when he passed away. There, I said it. The fact is that I got insanely, inconceivably lucky and I almost feel guilty about it. I don’t have this money because I scrimped and saved for years and years. Instead, it came in the form of a very generous gift and a message from my grandpa: it’s time to settle down. For years, he saw me struggling and moving, never quite feeling like I was in the right place. And every time we spoke, he directed me to keep going, but to pay attention to what felt right. Just one month before he passed away, I told him I was planning to move back to Seattle. He didn’t say much, but his eyes said ‘finally.’

omg i'm starting the process of house hunting and having some major feelings about it. thoughts on the blog: jojotastic.com

Here I am now, armed with a lifetime of his amazing guidance and his incredible gift to me. I’m meeting with my first real estate agent later today and the usual anxieties are creeping up — am I enough? Will I be taken seriously even if I have pink hair and tattoos? Is this just too big of an adult decision for me to make? Can I make this decision alone? It all feels… so much bigger than me.

I am so terrified of this process, it’s not even funny. And to do it alone? Oof.

omg i'm starting the process of house hunting and having some major feelings about it. thoughts on the blog: jojotastic.com

But here’s what is ringing true more than any anxiety I might have: I’ve always wanted a home, something that’s all mine and now this dream is a very real possibility. After all of the moving, all of the scrambling to find a place to live, all of the unknown, I’ve been given an incredible gift to get what I always wanted: my very own home. No more sociopath roommates, no more noisy neighbors, no more waiting for my heat to never get fixed. Instead, I can make it all my own and do what I actually need. This goes beyond inspiration boards on Pinterest; rather, this is more about that feeling of Never Having to Leave Again. Security. Stability.

That’s what this all means to me.

p.s. I plan to share the house hunting process with you guys, too. I have the feeling I’ll need your advice and encouragement as I muddle my way through this process! Be sure to stay tuned.

images via Jojotastic on instagram.

Behind The Blog

Joanna Hawley-McBride is a Pacific Northwest digital influencer and former textile designer with an eye for beautiful things. Jojotastic is a lifestyle blog focused on Joanna’s work-in-progress home, interior styling, finding the best pair of underwear through #UnderwearThesis, and empowering women to explore nature — all in her signature unfiltered style.

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Leave a Comment

20 Comments

  1. 2.3.16
    Susan said:

    Just now seeing this, and I’m so excited for you. Your honesty about your grandfather’s gift and how it makes you feel is beautiful. So happy for you…try to enjoy the process, and I wish you luck finding the perfect home!

    • 2.4.16
      joanna said:

      thank you so much!! fingers crossed cuz i’m about 3 weeks from closing :)

    • 2.4.16
      joanna said:

      thank you so much!! fingers crossed cuz i’m about 3 weeks from closing :)

  2. 1.29.16

    Congratulations on your decision and best of luck with your search. Im currently in my 3rd home purchase and i promise it doesn’t get any less stressful!! Your grandfather was so amazing to leave you with such a wonderful gift, but he left much more of that. He left you with his legacy…of caring and of generosity. Remember to always pay it forward. Im a mom and i would gift my children the same in a heartbeat. I hope im in the financial position to help them both purchase their first homes. Its such a joy to be able to help your children acheive such huge accomplishments. Enjoy the process sweets!

    • 2.1.16
      joanna said:

      you are totally right! thank you for sharing such thoughtful words <3

  3. 1.8.16
    Jana said:

    So exciting! Make sure you love your realtor-they work for you so change if you don’t :) Look at lots of houses. And have fun!!! And the home inspection is really stressful cuz they point out all these little flaws but most of them don’t matter. That was my hardest day. You can always change your mind but by that time, it’s hard not to be totally attached to the house.

    • 2.1.16
      joanna said:

      awesome advice, thanks so much for sharing! and you’re totally right about the inspection process, OOF.

  4. 1.7.16
    Nichol Hibbard said:

    Congratulations! Buying my first home was very stressful – so if it feels that way for you too, it’s okay! My joke was I was one more week of escrow away from my goal weight. :) My only two pieces of advice- ask all the questions you want and make sure it feels right for you. When we found our home I seriously knew within 5 minutes. It just clicked. It’s a little like love, I think. Your new home doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be right for you.

  5. 1.7.16
    Nichol Hibbard said:

    Congratulations! Buying my first home was very stressful – so if it feels that way for you too, it’s okay! My joke was I was one more week of escrow away from my goal weight. :) My only two pieces of advice- ask all the questions you want and make sure it feels right for you. When we found our home I seriously knew within 5 minutes. It just clicked. It’s a little like love, I think. Your new home doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be right for you.

    • 1.8.16
      joanna said:

      i love this advice!! thank you so much :)

  6. 1.7.16
    Kristen said:

    That is a really incredible, really powerful message, and it’s really amazing that you are taking his advice and running with it. Looking at houses can be really fun and interesting and also really frustrating so take heart and don’t settle- find the one you really love, the one that makes you really happy to be there. And take pictures to share! :D

    • 1.8.16
      joanna said:

      thanks for your encouragement! i’ll defffffinitely be sharing photos and snaps along the way ;)

  7. 1.7.16

    Big congrats!!

  8. 1.7.16

    I’m sure you already have tons of realtor suggestions, but if you end up needing 1 more in Seattle I am going to wholeheartedly recommend our realtors Tonya and Cara w/ Windermere Coho team. I have bought 2 houses with them now and I promise you would never feel judged or inadequate. They are super down to earth and their team donates a portion of their fees to charity every year which makes you feel better about your purchase. No sleazy agent vibe. Good luck!

    • 1.7.16
      joanna said:

      thank you SO much for the suggestion! i will definitely keep them in mind if my first couple of meetings don’t work out :)

  9. 1.7.16

    that is so exciting! congrats, you shouldn’t feel guilty its a wonderful gift! i hoping to start the process too in the hopefully near future! good luck and can’t wait to see the progress.

  10. 1.7.16

    that is so exciting! congrats, you shouldn’t feel guilty its a wonderful gift! i hoping to start the process too in the hopefully near future! good luck and can’t wait to see the progress.

    • 1.7.16
      joanna said:

      hey lady! thanks so much for chiming in :) hopefully all the posts i have planned will help in your own search ;) xo!

    • 1.7.16
      joanna said:

      hey lady! thanks so much for chiming in :) hopefully all the posts i have planned will help in your own search ;) xo!