Now that the Dust has Settled...


So, we moved. After 15 years in the same place we finally up-rooted and bought another home. We experienced all the challenges, calamities and overall trauma assorted with a move that one might expect from such a venture.

Where shall I start? Well, many years ago when the hubby and I got married, he sold his home, aka the bachelor pad and moved into the home I already owned since that made the most sense. We of course wanted to be able to buy a home together, but at the time we decided to stay put. We had a baby (nine and a half months after getting married) and then the housing market crashed. We felt lucky to even have a home and not be among those who were “upside down” in it.  After weathering that years long storm, we decided to make some improvements and do some updating. We’d already done quite a bit over the years; you all recall when we added the pantry. We had beautiful hardwood floors put in years prior and we finally painted. Then there was what to do about the kitchen; nothing could change the size, but we quickly figured out that simply painting the cabinets, adding hardware and replacing the appliances pretty much made it look like a new kitchen. With the help of a savvy local real estate agent we priced it at the top of the market, expecting to get that due to its condition and special features (large lot, many upgrades, etc.) We had no trouble finding a buyer; the only trouble we did have was finding another home to buy!

As we looked for the home right for us, our buyer’s wisely hung on (as was the plan since we would only sell if/when we could find a replacement home.) We saw at least 100 homes in the year we looked actively and dozens during the 3 ½ months our home was actually on the market. There were a few we’d considered, one we very nearly bought before my intuition told me to back out (which will forever be known as the one in which we dodged a huge bullet!) Then it hit; right after the New Year, huge price drop, we darted over the next day, made an offer and asked for a response in 24 hrs. It was accepted and a very fast 30 days later we were moving.

The move was all the usual fun you’d expect it to be after a decade+ of stuff is attempted to be shoved into boxes. It took two moving trucks, more than a dozen separate trips with various vehicles and a huge portable storage container (POD-like thing). It also took 3 ½ days. The half day was an unexpected little “surprise” since we ended up with some incredibly unreasonable buyers who, after we’d paid to have our home professionally cleaned for them and left them several items of value (touch up paint, extra roof and counter tiles, gardening items, a garden bench, decorative lights [attached to grapevine arbor] and a good garden hose attached with a hose-mobile) actually had the audacity to tell us to come get them! Basically, every little outside thing that wasn’t nailed down (& a few that were that they yanked up) they decided to call “debris” and insist it be removed. Our realtor attempted to explain that anything they really didn’t want could simply be left curbside and the city would pick it up for free. That was not acceptable to them, so the hubby and the big kid had to drive over after work and school on a Monday and remove all the “offending” items. They ended up donating many good items to our local charity, so I’m sure they were at least delighted to get them! I could go on about my feelings about the buyer’s behavior, but I’ll put a lid on it for now. Thank heavens it’s over and done with.

About the new house; after you’ve seen a hundred+ homes, you get a really good idea of what you do and do not want. We had a few criteria in mind; we were looking for a home in a particular area (not far from our previous town) and in particular neighborhoods. It had to be enough larger than our current home to give us the space we needed and have the features we wanted to make the move worth it. We were specifically looking for a larger kitchen, a bonus room and a pool. We also wanted a large lot and LOTS of trees; a major requirement. Yes, we were picky. Finding all this in a home in our price range that wasn’t in terrible condition (most short sales were) was challenging. When we’d find a home that had the inside we wanted, the outside would be barren of trees (neighbors could look right into the back yard) or be in an area that was not where the best schools were. When we’d find something in the right neighborhood with a great back yard, the house layout would be odd or the kitchen would be as small as the one we already had. We got to the point where we'd pared down our list to what we wanted most and what could go and at one point even considered giving up either the pool or the game room or both.  Once we’d knocked off so many features from the list that it seemed like all we’d be getting was the town we wanted and maybe a couple hundred square feet of space we’d began to wonder if it was really worth it. We were pretty much at the point of resigning ourselves to stay put in our current home when, wouldn’t you know it, this home came up. It had a layout we liked, all the space we wanted, the features we’d wanted and the only thing that was somewhat of a negative was that the front is quite generic, not to the point of being totally ugly, but certainly not pretty either! We decided a less than stunning outside front was nothing compared to getting all the rest of everything else!

We do have work to do and have done quite a bit already, but everything we’d like to do will take time and money and we figure we’ll just have to do it as we can. For now, we feel lucky to have moved; we’re delighted with our neighborhood and our neighbors and have already been invited to numerous social events. We feel very fortunate to have been able to make this move possible because it sure wasn't easy. It took a lot of creative financing and belt tightening to make it work and thankfully having equity in our prior home and selling for top dollar made it possible. It was one of those “now or never” situations with the market increasing and we felt very sure the time was right as long as the right home came up. We’re very glad it did!

Stay tuned for more home adventures….we’re got lots of home improvement projects I’ll be sharing with you in the blog, as well as on Pinterest. And where there are home improvement projects there's hilarity!