I’ve been looking for rentals with my partner J for the last month. I have some good news and I have some bad news.
Good news: We just signed our lease yesterday!
Bad news: We did not come out of the house hunting process unscathed.
Our journey to find our first apartment together came at a cost. It took a serious toll on our mental health. And it seems like such an everyday thing but we really struggled. I’m going to tell you why.
Being reduced to an application is dehumanising
We tried our best to make good impressions at inspections. But often the person reading our application wasn’t the person we spoke to in person and worked so hard to impress. So being reduced to a piece of paper was hard. We knew for example, although we can never prove it, that we were often rejected because we were a young couple. On paper that looks bad for landlords. But if you read my last blog you would know that J and aren’t your average 24 year old couple. It just hurts that landlords and real estate agents seemed committed to misunderstanding us.
Constant rejection beats down your confidence
Perhaps when J and I started the house hunting journey we were a bit naive. We were not really prepared for the constant rejection. But it wasn’t just the rejection alone it was the nature of the rejection. It was getting your hopes up when you saw your application read or your references being called, only to be denied. The cycle of build ups and disappointments was shocking for my Bipolar. And put me at risk of episodes. I ended up putting this barrier up where I refused to get excited about our future home until I had signed the lease. The previous disappointments prevented me from truly enjoying the good news.
I never knew what being ghosted felt like before house hunting
We had a couple of experiences where real estate agents seemed to have fallen in love with us. They were communicative, friendly and supportive. They all but told us our application was a sure thing and we would hear back from them first thing in the morning. We would call and email for days. But get nothing. They faded into oblivion, just like a ghost. When we eventually got an automated text from them saying we had been denied, I would ask for feedback. Out of about the 15 unsuccessful applications we had, only three got back to me. Of those three, none gave actual feedback. It hurt to go from being the seeming apple of their eye to the gum on their shoe. It was confusing and I didn’t like it one bit.
Was it worth it?
Absolutely. I’m looking forward to a fresh start. I’m excited for what this means for me too. That although the house hunting process was disruptive to my mental health, I am now at a point where I am stable enough mentally to stand on my own two feet. I’ve wanted this for so long. But I wasn’t sure if it was possible. And yet here we are.
And even though I learned a lot of lessons from house hunting I can safely say I am in no rush to do it again.