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.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Not Falling in Love, But Saying Yes Anyway

To a HOUSE, silly! I love my husband!

We’ve been house hunting for awhile. Not necessarily seriously, because our home isn’t on the market yet, but the area we are looking in is extremely popular and houses (good ones, anyway) sometimes appear on with “new” and “pending” in the same listing. And yes, my realtor sends me the newest homes on the MLS, but I like the format of more.

So last week Jim went with our agent to look at two houses–one that he liked and one that I liked–at least I liked the pictures! Photographers get very creative with masking problems and stretching rooms.


They visited the first house and Jim fell in love. He loved it, wanted it and was ready to say “yes, this is the house for us!”. Me, notsomuch. While it’s in our desired area AND within easy walking distance of public transportation (for two of our kids), it’s above our price range–by a fair amount–and needs a BOATLOAD of work. Kitchen, bathrooms–both need complete updating (the kitchen is a gut job!). Painting the whole interior. Really. The living room and one of the staircases is pinky-red. PINKY-RED people. UGH.

He finally talked me into seeing it. We went on Sunday. I was horrified. I saw some of the potential, but really saw the negatives more clearly. I came home and made a pro/con list and the cons outweighed the pros by 100%.

We talked about it. Even argued about it. Talked some more. I prayed about it. a LOT. And I went to take a 2nd look this afternoon. And felt completely differently. The awful bathrooms….weren’t so awful. The kitchen, well, yes, it’s still awful, but the shock value is gone. I could live with it for a tiny bit before we renovated.

Yeah, did you catch that? Another kitchen reno? …shudder… I think we’d try to hire someone to at least help out if not do all the cabinet install.

Paint. That’s easy. Time consuming, but easy.

We have to work out the financing options (needing a reno loan or going conventional and getting a home equity and then maybe refinancing? Not sure. It’s something we’ve never dealt with, so it’s something we need to research and figure out. We have to figure out exactly how much we are willing to offer (and counter offer) because NO WAY are we using their numbers. It needs too much work for us to agree to it. Either way, there’s a bit of a fire under us to get our house done and on the market.

Which is GOOD.

Posted in House, House Hunting

Boxes Galore

My house is currently overrun with boxes. Empty boxes. Half-full boxes. Boxes full, labeled and ready to go to the storage unit. We have two boxes ready to go to the Goodwill as well, with stuff surrounding them that won’t fit. We’ve gotten rid of two smaller “student” desks and replaced them with an Ikea table top that Catie and Ethan will share. Yesterday we cleared and cleaned out the school room (what I frequently call The Pit of Despair) and made a trip to the storage unit. and it’s mostly ready for drywall repair and paint.

This weekend wasn’t a baby step, it was a couple of hops with a few skips in there too. Progress!

Posted in House, House Hunting

Moving Slowly is Still Moving

It seems to be a theme with our family. Slow progress. SLLLLLOOOOWWWW progress. But it’s still progress.

We got a storage unit (my first time ever, it was weirdly exciting to dump boxes into it). We’ve packed up a LOT of books (and still have a lot to go). We hired a painter, who starts today, to paint walls and trim in most of the house. We’ve made a list of what we think needs to be done and hopefully, weather willing, will start work on the front deck this weekend (the railings go like \  /   instead of like I I. Yeah, it looks pretty awful when you pull up.

I’m more than a little overwhelmed. Half of me is really NOT wanting to do this, although the rational other half is ready and wants to just GET THIS OVER WITH.

I’m scared that no one will want our house. That we will have done all this work and have it on the market and no one will want it and then we’ll take it off in the fall and be in the same place.

I’m scared that even if we sell, we won’t find a house that works for us. Our situation is a little different with doing cyber school and having classic cars–we need room for a school room and we need more than a 2 car garage (or a 2 car with a workshop attached). This is not common in houses in our area.

And I just don’t get how our budget is more than $200,000 MORE than when we last house hunted (17 years ago) and we are still having problems finding homes in our price range!

THAT’S frustrating!

So, to sum up, we’re crawling slowly towards selling. But we’re still moving foward.