Posted in House Hunting

Can I Please Get Off the Roller Coaster?

Hoped and prayed to get a house that needed fixing up.

No.

Looked and looked and looked for a house.

Nope.

Decided to rent. Oh, you have three animals? Really?

Found a townhouse with a year lease that would take our animals.

YAY!

Read the HOA (that the landlord apparently didn’t read). ONE ANIMAL PER HOUSEHOLD

Nope.

Craigslist ad for neat home in town where my sister lives? Yes please!

SCAM (Literally, a scam. The person pretending to rent it was using a dead man’s name)

Friends who will watch Coco for an extended time so we can rent ANYTHING?

God bless them. Tears. Can’t imagine living without the dog that I can’t stand but who is, for better for for worse, our dog.

IMMEDIATELY find an apartment complex that offers leases 3-12 months, have three bedroom apartments and will accept our smaller pet family of Stitch the cat and Jake the small dog.

Look at apartment. It’s seriously about the same size as our first apartment from when we were newlyweds, with another bathroom tossed in. 2 adults + a cat is not quite the same as 2 adults, 4 teens, a cat and a dog.

Jim is–as I am typing this–looking at it with our agent. If he gives the approval, we will, again, hopefully, have a place to live instead of being homeless in 29 days. And counting.

YAY

Posted in House Hunting

D-Day

That stands for Decision Day, not invasion. 🙂

This afternoon we are looking at our last potential “buy” house. From the pictures it was the cute/needs work/possibility combo that has so often occurred in our house hunting journey. There’s always some saving cute grace. Something that draws you to the house. The front yard, or the porch or the great fireplace. But then there’s the 1-2 punch of the needs work that has you questioning why you even started this house selling thing in the first place. We could have just painted the house and stayed where we were! Sure, the commute is killing all of us, but we could have done it!

After looking seeing that “buy” house, we are going to look at a “rent” townhouse.

Let me talk for a moment about the idea of renting after being a homeowner for 17 years.

IT’S WEIRD.

Like, really weird. We’d have to walk the dogs instead of just letting them out in the yard. The cat would have to become an indoor-only cat, after only knowing indoor/outdoor freedom. We’d have neighbors that we share walls with. That could be dicey depending on the insulation and the levels of yelling. For us AND for them! We would know that the walls and rooms we are inhabiting aren’t ours and any damage could come out of the security deposit. We will have to find temporary (up to a year) homes for Jim’s cars because the place comes with two parking spots and that’s it.

On the other hand, there’s no work to be done. After nigh killing ourselves getting this house ready (and all the resultant marital stress), we would move in, get situated and wake up on Saturday to….I don’t know! No yard to mow or weed whack. No “this needs to be repairs” or Honey Do List. Keeping the house clean and laundry and walking the dogs. That’s about it. It’s….alluring.

I’ve been thinking about today most of this week. In the midst of my father having an unexpected hospital stay, home inspections and the end of school year, it’s been a bit of a beacon. If we end up not liking either place, well, it’s back to the drawing board. I really REALLY hope it doesn’t come to that, though!

Posted in House Hunting

House Hunting

Ugh. Double Ugh. You’d think with our amount we’d  be able to find something. But the Seller’s Market, which was so great to us when we listed, is biting us in the butt. I’ve seen NINE houses in the past two days (at least one more today and at least one tomorrow) and nothing–and I mean NOTHING–is working for us. They’re tiny, or a crazy-busy street, or they’re utter dumps, or dilapidated to the point of “you’re asking so much money we wouldn’t have anything to fix it up”, or there’s no way to have a garage.

Jim has two classic cars in our garage. I have no problem with that. If we could just look for a two car garage it would be fine. But he also has a shop. Which I also have no problem with, but it massively complicates what we can buy. A typical 2 car garage is just large enough for a couple of cars. That’s it. And that’s not enough. So trying to make both adults in this family happy in our price range is JUST. NOT. WORKING.

I asked our realtor to send us a list of rentals. I don’t want to. I really don’t want to. But we might have to.

All my praying friends, please pray.

Posted in House Hunting

Surprise, Surprise

Last year my husband and I embarked on the adventure we called The Kitchen Reno. The reason for this was twofold. One, our kitchen, while functional, was old, outdated and downright YUCK. Two, and more importantly, we were seriously considering purring our house on the market this year and knew that having a new kitchen would help us sell much more than having one from 1985.

We were right.

On Sunday we received a full-price offer on our home and accepted it, with the contingency that we find a house to buy.  We put in the same offer on the house that we liked, only this time we ARE under contract. They are talking about it now amongst the siblings. I know for a fact that they had an open house on Sunday and only a few people came through and none showed any interest. We are–truly–their only option because only we are willing to take on the massive project that is the house.

So today will either be the first step in communications and negotiations within the two families, or they will give a flat out no, we’ll walk away from the house and start looking for a new one.

Either way, it’s going to be an adventure.

Posted in House

A Little Freaked Out

My realtor called this morning. She was just down our street a bit, showing someone a house. She wanted to bring that client through our home as well.

What now?

My house, for all that we’ve done a TON of work–and boy, howdy, did we work this past weekend!–is still a major work in progress. Our living room is painted a lovely neutral color, but has on the floor: Stereo equipment, 9 bags full of Braille books to donate, a LARGE bin full of things for Michigan, 3 science fair boards to keep one of our dogs from putting her nails on the window sills, and wiring all over the place.

I told our realtor all this, and she assured me her client was a former agent and could look past all that. I said give me 10 minutes and Laura, Bennett and I ran around like crazy people straightening. The house was still a mess, but it was a lot better after those 10 minutes. And the kitchen (except for the messy table) looked great!

They came. They walked around. They talked. Our realtor, Barb, was looking hopeful and said “selling might be easier than we hoped”.

As they were getting ready to leave, Barb said they want to come back on Thursday with the client’s husband, but I wasn’t to “do the Snoopy Dance”. Yeah, I got that.

I went into the office and cried instead. I’m too full of emotion and that’s my only outlet at this point. I would obviously love to sell quickly and easily and have it be over before it’s started. Really. That would save a lot of difficulty with having the house picture-perfect all the time with the kids, which I was a little worried about.

But.

BUT

I’ve lived here for 17 years. And I’ve had many, many happy times. I’m ready for the next part of my life’s journey. Really.

But it’s saying good-bye and it’s change and it’s not living here anymore. Saying good-bye to the neighborhood and wonderful neighbors and our local library and even our stupid WalMart that I’m used to.

I HATE CHANGE. Even when I want it and have actively seeked it out, I HATE CHANGE.

Posted in House Hunting

Holding Pattern

You know how sometimes a plane–for whatever reason–can’t land? They end up circling up in the air, just waiting for the right time, right conditions, right whatever so they can finally touch down and finish the journey.

That’s where we are. And surprisingly I’m fine with it.

A few days ago we made an offer on the house we’ve been interested in. The sellers came back with “not yet”. Not yet because our home isn’t even on the market. Our home isn’t under contract. We jumped the gun a bit, because we foresaw the negotiation process being long and drawn out and figured we could manage that while finishing up our house. The sellers weren’t going for it. Once we are under contract they are willing to discuss things. They liked our letter, our detailed work list that needs to be done, our “drive and determination”, but they didn’t like our offer price. They weren’t willing to discuss it right now, but again, I’m ok with that.

Our original plan was to have the house on the market “in the spring”, then it became “May”, then “late May”. Now it’s June 1st, with an open house on June 4th. I look at our “get it done before we list the house for sale” list and do NOT know how it’s all going to get done. Or maybe even half done. Some stuff will just have to be cut and be left undone. Which doesn’t make either of us happy, but reality is reality. And we don’t want to wait too long and have no one buy the house.

So for now we circle in the sky.

Posted in House, House Hunting, Kids

Waving at You from the Chaos

We have reached mid-May, people. Oh people, my people, May rivals December for the crazy-chaos factor. Seriously. I think it’s worse. Today we have Laura’s art show, Catie’s play (that we will miss and see tomorrow) and Ethan’s spring concert. I also managed to fit in a visit to my mother in the hospital (been there since last Friday with REALLLLLLLY bad asthma/possible pneumonia) and getting a new-tire-that-replaced-the-flat-I-got-a-week-ago put on my SUV. And taking out all the cardboard/trash associated with building an Ikea dresser and installing a new toilet and medicine cabinet in our powder room and medicine cabinet in our master bath. We are swimming in cardboard!

I hope they take it even though it’s not broken down. Because no. Just…no.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

We are still deep in the midst of getting the house ready for sale. The main floor powder room is completely finished. As I type, the painter (and his son) are tackling the mess that is the master bedroom and bathroom. We’re camped out in the kids/hall bathroom so the drywall mud can dry and get painted.

I’m starting to hate this house. Which is sad, because it’s a really cute house and we’ve spend many, many years and memories here. But I’m tired of working on it to get it ready to sell. The last BIG thing is this weekend with the two decks. The back one is rotting in places, which makes it somewhat unacceptable with listing. The front one needs some tweaking.

Then there’s just the giant punch list, which I want to punch…..but enough of that.

We have visited the house we are putting an offer on four or five times now, with an electrician and a contractor. We’ve put together an offer, as well an an explanation of what all we are going to have to spend (specifics as well as guesses) (aka $32,000 to bring the electric UP TO CODE) so why we are offering much less than their asking price.

All that to say, life is up in the air right now. I’m so busy I’m not freaking out, or going running to my security blanket (can I get an amen?!), just mostly putting one foot in front of the other and dealing with today. Hmmm, does that sound familiar?

Matthew 6:34 (NIV)

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

I’m not usually very good at that. But life is forcing me to do it now.