Well, hello again! It’s been 2 months since I last blogged, meaning I took a very long, very unexpected break. I didn’t plan this, but life got so busy that I had to severely limit my activities in order to focus on one all-consuming task…preparing our home for sale!
Yep, that’s right, we are moving!
It’s been a whirlwind in slow motion. But, let me go back to the beginning of the story so you know where it all started.
Last year our neighbor told us he planned on selling his house. We shrugged it off, knowing he’s said this for a while now. As he started to make improvements to the house, like finishing the basement, we would check out his progress and he would make comments like “you guys should buy this house” or “it has five bedrooms…” gently nudging us to consider trading up.
We joked around, saying maybe we should consider, but knowing how much we loved our current house, we couldn’t really imagine leaving.
Eventually, after him telling us a few times that we should consider buying his house, I approached my husband and suggested that we seriously consider looking at the house. I explained my reasoning – the kids (and their stuff!) were getting bigger, we could use the equity we built in this house to get the space we will need in the future and slowly fix it up, much as we did in this house.
So we weighed the pros and the cons:
- We would get the space we need without having to add on (700 extra square feet!)
- We could update all the finishes over time
- We would have home offices
- We wouldn’t have to leave our neighborhood
- The backyard wasn’t as nice as our current yard and had less privacy
- We would miss all the customizations we made in this house (the built-in bookshelves! The shed!)
- Split level design instead of a one-level home
- The house was dated and we’d have to make some compromises in the short term
Eventually, we decided to take a full tour of the inside to see if we could see ourselves in the home. Although split levels are not my favorite, this one wasn’t bad. I liked that it had four bedrooms and two baths upstairs and a large finished basement downstairs.
While many of the finishes were old – like the original kitchen! An avocado green tub! The bones were good. We could see how the house could be made special with some design and remodeling.
We could also see how this house could take our family through the school-age and teenage years. Especially the bonus family room downstairs, which would be perfect for kids to hang out and play video games or have sleepovers.
I love that there are more closets (albeit not larger closets) for storage. Two fireplaces (bonus!) And my personal favorite, a washer and dryer inside the house! No more garage laundry for me!
So we decided to go for it.
We approached our neighbor and said we were interested. While we had loosely discussed prices, the housing market around us was continuing to go bananas. We weren’t quite on the same page and he told us to come to him when we had an offer.
We went home and thought about it, did more research on comps, and spoke to our mortgage broker.
Once we had a better handle on what we could afford and what we felt was reasonable for the condition of the house, we came back with an offer. Mind you, this was all without real estate agents.
Once we had an agreed-upon price, we found an attorney who specialized in residential real estate transactions. He was able to write up a purchase and sale agreement for a flat fee, with no commissions required.
We signed, our neighbor signed, and then the contract went to escrow.
Then we had to sell our house.
What followed was more cleaning, more organizing, and more staging to get the house looking its best. Preparing a house for sale is no joke, especially when you do it all yourself! But through the process, I learned a lot and hope to write a post detailing everything I did someday.
Since we live in a really hot market, we received many offers on the house and ended up choosing one significantly above asking. Both the sale and the purchase closed last week and we are now in the process of getting the new home ready for us to move in. Thanks to a rent back from the future owners of our old house, we have a few weeks to get everything done and moved.
I’ll be honest and say this is not a change I saw coming. But it felt like a door opened and we needed to walk through it.
While the entire process was full of ups and downs, everything seemed to just come together like it was meant to be. I know that we are extremely lucky to get an opportunity like this in the current real estate market and I am thankful for all the help and guidance we received along the way.
And as excited as I am about the new house, I’m equally as sad about leaving our old house. It’s our first home, where we have lived for 12 years and where we brought our babies home.
Whenever I start getting a bit teary-eyed, I try to think that nothing will ever take away the memories and that it’s okay for us to step into the future, trusting that it’s the people who live in the home that are the most important.