John and I had been married for almost two years, and when we began talking about buying a house, the usual insecurities popped up in my brain. What if John gets sick? Could I make the mortgage payments on my salary? Could I maintain the house by myself? I pushed those thoughts away and replaced them with more reasonable questions: You’ve always wanted your own home, haven’t you? You don’t want to pay rent for the rest of your life, do you?
We agreed it was the right time to make this investment in our future. We both had good jobs, and buying a home was in the normal progression for couples building a life together. Of course, most happily married couples never doubt they have a future.
One day, John, who by then had come to know Placer County well, came home full of excitement. “I found a house for us, Therese! It’s in Loomis, a fixer-upper, but it has real potential. I can’t wait for you to see it.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Placer_County,_California
Since he had studied architecture and worked in construction during summer breaks from college, I trusted his ability to see past what was there and visualize what it could become. Loomis, a rural area nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, was about thirty minutes east of Sacramento along the Interstate 80 corridor. It was said to be a friendly, old-fashioned community.
The night before we went to look at the house, I lay in John’s arms, delighting in his enthusiasm as he described the place once more. “The house sits on an acre, with a well, a septic system, and a pool! It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and the original garage has been converted into a family room, but there’s enough land for us to build a three-car garage.” John’s voice faded as I dreamed of verdant pastureland, cows grazing lazily outside the kitchen window.
I left work early to meet John and our realtor, Bonda Robinson. I couldn’t get past the magnitude of the decision, and the terrible questions nagging at me. The old anxiety pushed hard against any optimism I could muster. To calm my fears, I did what I always did: develop a plan. Since I managed our finances, I would be as thrifty as possible and save as much as I could.
Therese is the author of Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk for Huntington’s. To purchase the book, please visit her author website: http://www.theresecrutchermarin.com 100% of the proceeds from the book are being donated to Huntington’s disease organizations around the world.