We have been wanting to buy a house for a long time now. About 5 or 6 years ago we did a house search but the houses in our price range were just not the right size for us.

Fast forward to this year, and we are really starting to outgrow our townhouse rental. Having a baby has really filled the place up and we have run out of room.

Due to the pandemic, housing prices have fallen and we have been using that to our advantage. We have been casually been looking at houses online for a while. Last year my boyfriend had applied for a mortgage pre-approval but hadn’t been working for his company that long, and I was on maternity leave. So he didn’t qualify for the amount we wanted.

At the beginning of June this year we applied together and were approved for our amount. He qualified on him income alone which is great since I am soon to be layed off.

About two weeks after getting the pre-approval I messaged a realtor I have been following on Instagram for a few years now to see if she would help us find a house.

We kept seeing houses pop up that we were interested in but we would overthink things and by the time we asked to go see the place it would already be pending sale. I think this happened at least 4 times.

At the beginning of July we finally found one that looked nice online and asked if we could see it right away. But once we got there, it turned out to be a lot smaller than we thought. My boyfriend wanted to put an offer on it, but I think he was just anxious to get the house shopping over with. We were starting to worry that all the houses in our price range were going to be smaller than we wanted.

A couple days later I made a list of some I had my eye on for the last month that hadn’t sold yet and told my boyfriend we should go see them, if nothing else than to have something to compare the first one with.

We set up an appointment to see three houses but on the morning we were supposed to go, our realtor had a family emergency and was unable to join us. Thankfully she sent her colleague to come with us and we really liked her. She would tell us all the good and bad parts about the houses. She would tell us why she would or would not buy the house we were looking at.

We really liked the first house we went to. So much so that we were considering putting in an offer. But I still thought the bedrooms were a little small and there was a large amount of rainwater sitting in the back yard which I knew would be a problem trying to fix.

The other two houses we went to that day were not great. Again, they did not live up to the expectations that were set from their online profiles.

We went home and thought a lot about that first house. But that night another house just dropped their price bringing it into our price range. I told my boyfriend that we should try and go see that one as soon as possible and set up another viewing for the next day after work.

I went back to work again last week after our temporary layoff from March. It was a lot easier than when I went back from mat leave. I wasn’t exhausted when I got home like I was before. But it’s a whole different experience than working in the past now that we are dealing with a pandemic.

Everyone in the store is asked to wear a mask. While the masks aren’t necessarily uncomfortable, they make your face so hot. I start overheating and have to take it off for a minute every now and then. I’ve also found that my face feels a bit numb when I take it off. I don’t know if its because I have to breathe through my mouth while wearing it or what.

Speaking of masks. I ordered a bunch online about a week or two before heading back to work, which said they would arrive the week I went back, and now I’m still waiting. Its extremely frustrating. I only have a handful of disposable masks left so if they don’t come soon, I’m going to run out this week. I really don’t want to buy more when I’ve already spent money on these ones which said they were on their way.

The other change in the retail store is sanitizing. We have to wipe everything down between customers if they are touching anything, like the credit machine. We are constantly washing or sanitizing our hands and paying closer attention to what we are touching. We have been keeping the door locked and making sure we stay as far away from other people as we can. Having the door locked has made it easier to keep the number of people in the store lower and also make sure they are wearing masks.

But there is another big change which I hinted at in my last post. Before we were closed due to the virus, we were given notices saying that the store would be closing permanently at the end of May. The pandemic has changed our closing date to the end of August but we have now started letting our customers know we will be gone.

I’ve been working for this company for over 11 years now so on one hand it’s sad to be done. But on the other hand, I’m excited to find a new job. I am hoping to move out of retail and into a job with more regular hours and higher pay. But I’m also nervous because I’m sure so many people are also looking for jobs and I’m not sure if I’m qualified for the jobs I want to apply for. I also haven’t done an interview in over a decade so I’m also nervous about how I will do (I tend to be shy around strangers).

If I have trouble finding a job, I was also considering going back to school to get an accounting degree. But we are also looking to buy a house so I’m nervous that I won’t have enough money if I decide to go to school.