Posted in House Hunting

All My Bags are Packed, I’m Ready To Go

Well….mostly!

We move tomorrow. I can’t even believe I’m typing that.

I’m using a wireless hotspot on my phone (please be seriously impressed. I’ve never ever done this before!) because our FIOS is now at the new apartment and we are without phone, internet or TV here at the house. We grab donuts tomorrow morning, get the moving truck at 7:30, the moving guys (my nice, strong nephew and a bunch of his friends) are coming at 8:30 and we’re off!

We currently have one 10×10 indoor storage unit stuffed to the gills, another 10×10 indoor in the process of being filled, a 10×20 outdoor unit with Jim’s workshop stuff starting to overflow and two garages for his classic cars. Our monthly storage budget is exceeding $600 if you can believe it. YOWZA!

We need to find a forever (or at least for the next 5-15 years) home SOON.

In the meantime, it’s almost 8:30 and I’m going to be in bed soon. I’m already tired from the massage packing marathon we’ve been doing.

People, we’re moving tomorrow!!

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Posted in House Hunting

Packing Up and Moving On

The apartment mentioned in the last post has been leased. While we are still currently at our home, we will officially move out on July 15, with a settlement date on our house of July 18. (a few days’ grace for cleaning up after ourselves is a good idea, don’t you think?)

In the meantime we are still actively house hunting. I’m seeing one tomorrow morning. I’d love to fall in love with it–it certainly looks nice enough from the pictures, but–repeat after me–real estate pictures LIE.

While the new apartment isn’t far away, it’s in a completely different part of the county. There’s a MALL. There’s restaurants that DELIVER. It will literally cut Jim’s commute in half. I’m not necessarily looking forward to it, because of the size and inconvenience of living without much of our stuff, but I’m trying to view it like being on vacation in Michigan. We do very nicely without our stuff and manage with much less space. We’ll see how it goes.

It’s strange to visit our local thrift shop and library and know that they will not be a part of our daily lives anymore. There’s nothing to keep us from them, except a half hour plus drive. And with other closer thrift stores and the major hub of our county’s library system a 3 minute drive, well, it’s likely we will switch. It’s just hard changing our lives so completely. And knowing that there’s not much point getting settled because this isn’t our permanent home.

If it comes across as if I’m complaining, I’m honestly not. I’m trying to live in the unknown, which as you all know is not comfortable for me. I think the overall upheaval is actually helping right now,  because once we are moved into the apartment we can stop for a bit for a breather.

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.