There is this scene in the movie Under the Tuscan Sun that, in 2003 when the movie first came out, I did not fully understand. In fact, I did not understand this particular scene until just this year.
Under the Tuscan Sun is about a writer/college professor who goes to Italy after a bad divorce from her cheating husband. While on this tour in Italy, she decides to spontaneously buy a villa and we follow her touching journey introducing herself to this house and developing close bonds with the people of the village.
The scene I never fully understood? Or, more to the point, didn’t get the joke behind it?
The main character, Francis, is sitting in this Italian mortgage place, signing paperwork for this villa. The lady she’s working with hands her the keys and Francis gives her this stunned look. “Just like that?” she asked. They weren’t even waiting for the loan to go through.
The lady gives her a humorous smile and says “Its a house, not a Vespa. What are you going to do, steal it?”
Are some of you smiling right now? That means you are home owners. I just recently joined that club. March 29, 2012 was my closing on my first ever house.
During this very, very, VERY stressful process, I began to fully understand that joke. It slapped me in the face every time my cellphone rang and there was something else that went wrong, some other paperwork they needed. There may have been a blood sampling in there somewhere. Definitely tears.
Every single time something went wrong, I kept hearing in that pretty Italian accent “Its a house, not a Vespa. What are you going to do, steal it?”
It seems that not only did this movie get me through one of my first heartbreaks back in ’03 but it also got me through buying a house this year. Every time I wanted to bang my head against the table and cry as something else went wrong, that line seemed to get me through it. I’m honestly surprised I wasn’t screaming it at some of these people at some point.
In the end, I did get my house. There’s a picture of it off to the side. This was thanks in largely to my Realtor, Mary Beth Chickering. You have NO idea how grateful I am to her. She kept me calm during one of the most hectic times of my life. Wedding Planning has NOTHING on buying a house.
Mary Beth is something like a second mom to me. Her favorite story to tell people is how when I was 12, I got off the bus with her daughter one day and just never left.
Two days after closing, my husband and I were ready to actually sleep there. In our home. I still get a thrill saying that. Our home. My home. Not an apartment. Not my parents house, not my in-laws house. Mine and to a lesser extent my husband’s house.lol
Upon moving in, I discovered the refrigerator the house came with didn’t work. Okay, not a problem. Found a liquidation sell. A couple days later, our AC goes out. Thank goodness the warranty Mary Beth bought us covered that!
Even laying in be, burning up from the lack of an air conditioner, I was smiling. This was my house and burning up or not, I loved it. I had a home and it was perfect no matter what.
The first time I pulled up in front of my house since the close was after a long day at work. I remember parking and looking up at it and for the first time realizing: I’m home. I’m really home. No more looking at every For Sale sign I passed and thinking “Why can’t that be mine?” No more. The search was over and I was home.
I won’t lie. I went inside and ran all around, jumping up and down like a fool. This was my house. I’m pretty sure I was screaming that as I blared Avril Lavigne and danced around.
So when did you join the Home Owners Club? What advice would you give to a first time home buyer who might be reading this? What’s more, can you still remember the feeling when you walked into your home the first time knowing it was yours?