A step-by-step guide to owning your first home, despite the crippling debt that diabetes forces upon you
- Save all the money. Coles brand jellybeans are now your best friends (even if they cause some weird digestion issues), and its time to get comfy with the fact that your pump reservoirs are reusable almost indefinitely. Seriously those babies are still good even after the writing has worn off.
- Being poor means you have a lot of time to not do fun things that make you happy and relieve stress, unless all your friends happen to love sitting on your couch and binge-watching old Buffy episodes as much as you do. Take advantage of this joyless time in your life and find first-home inspiration. View display villages, open homes and auctions.* Don't forget to take plenty of hypo treatment because you will walk far more than you realise, and try to do this in winter, not summer. Temporary basal rates are your best friend at display villages.
- You have scrimped and saved and now there's a small but sizable number that has you nervously checking your bank security every day and interrogating your partner on why they used the account to buy chocolate (it turns out its actually your chocolate that you needed to not fall into a pit of despair - Hey, that's years worth of savings and bad Coles Jellybeans right there!). You probably didn't make the 20% recommended deposit but is that even possible these days? A good mortgage broker can still find a way to make it work with some obscure sounding bank that will allow you to purchase the
house of your dreamsa house that you are vaguely comfortable living in.
- Its time to get serious about finding your new home. Expect kitchens to feature prominently in your dreams. Pro Tip: put chocolate bars in your glove box. These will come in handy at around midday when you feel sad about all the houses you have looked at that are not really 'you' and are still somehow out of your price range. Don't talk to other people at the open houses. They are all baby boomers who paid off their first homes in 7 years back when homes were affordable and are purchasing their 12th investment home.
- Congratulations! You found a house. Total land size is probably less than 400m2 and at least an hours drive from your place of work, but you can hammer nails in the walls wherever you want and no-one can tell you how clean to keep your venetian blinds. Now to start the extremely tedious process of submitting your offer and waiting for it to be accepted. Expect lots of blood sugar changes. Good diabetes care is waking up alive for the next month until settlement date.
- Your offer has been accepted and you played hardball right back to the sellers real estate which was very difficult on your BGLs. Time to relax for 5 seconds, and then start packing. Everything causes a low BGL right now and the closer to settlement date you get, the worse your diet might be. Pizza and the 6 hour later blood sugar spike is a given the night before moving. Everything's packed and you are too physically and mentally exhausted to make a real dinner.
- Settlement day will probably look something like this: waiting for settlement to happen = Anxiety, high BGL, feel sick. Moment you hear settlement was a success = sudden drop from BGl of 22 to 3 in 15 minutes flat. Much whooping and air punches. Try not to drive hypo to collect your new house keys, no matter how excited you are. Its a good idea to know where your new property is actually located and at least have enough battery to navigate you there if you don't. **
- Time to move! Today you will want emergency hypo treatment everywhere. Stash it in your car, your bathroom cabinet, the pockets of everyone helping you move, anywhere and everywhere that you might go. Look forward to your final night of take-out and the chance to get back into regular routine again.
- You report to the bank for the next 30 years of your life. Try not to die of anything remotely related to your diabetes in this time, because that leaves your partner in a bad position financially. Its a good time to make an agreement that if you die, your partner should make your death look as non-diabetic as possible, so that your insurance will pay out. Yeah, there's that lovely bit of discrimination we get to go up against.
*You probably went to all the nice, big display homes with awesome upgrades and inclusions or the open homes in nice neighborhoods. You can't afford these and diabetes. Lower your standards or get rid of your disease.
**Yes, I did pick up my keys, forget where my new house was and not have enough phone battery to navigate me there. I did follow the signs back to the city so I could pick up my husband who is much, much better at directions, so its ok, I didnt die in the wilderness of my new suburb.