Sunday, June 27, 2010

Free at last! (A long post of all our house-searching/selling details so far:)

We decided about 6 months ago that we wanted to move, and we've spent the past 6 months in almost constant preparation for that.

Brainstorming, researching, traveling and home searching both online (New York? Delaware? California? Washington? Colorado? Brazil?) and in person (Brentwood, California? Logan, Utah? Lubbock, Texas?) to determine where we wanted to move. And finally (finally!!!) we made the decision to move to Logan. Hooray for a decision made!

Near the end of the decision making process, we made a list of all the projects we really wanted to complete on our home. Then we put them on the calendar and ended up with a medium-sized project to work on almost every weekday and a major project for every weekend - from the beginning of April to the middle of June. 2 1/2 months of constant projecting, phewph!!!

In the midst of project-ing, in spare moments we searched online (MLS, craigslist, ksl, zillow, google maps...) and watched for homes available in Logan.

Also in between projects, we met with a few realtors and got the bad news that despite the major work we've put into our home the past few years, it's value is far below what we paid (and still owe) for it. But we still felt like it was the right time to be moving, so we made a plan to use some of our savings to cover the difference.

After another few days searching up in Logan this past week, it seemed like everything in our price range was in a new development (which we didn't want) or built in the 60's or 70's and still looking now like it looked then. Increasing our price range seemed to just get us more wallpaper to remove, carpet to replace, kitchen and bathroom cupboards to update... But at last, we found a good possiblity - built in the 70's but with the major updates already done, a really great neighborhood, on a cul-de-sac (sort of) - a really nice home and fitting most of our preferences.

We met with the mortgage company and found that the home was well within our budget and were happy with some great news. :)

Finding a possible home made us more willing to sell our home for such a loss. So, we lowered the price we planned on listing it even further - now using almost all of our savings to cover the difference from what we owe. We felt good in doing it though because it put our home below what other similar homes in our neighborhood were selling at, and felt certain it would be a quick sell at that price. It seemed worth the money not have to go through months of stress in keeping the house in a constant showable state, fending off listing agents, and living in that terrible limbo-ish state.

With tons of cleaning, organizing, packing up and storing, then amazing photos (thanks to Nathan), a great sign out front with nice flyers, a website done by Jordan, advertising online in several places, and (most imporantly) a really low sale price -- we'd done all we could do and came back to Provo all set for a busy weekend open house. Cookies, lemonade, extensively researched comparable homes... all set.

Then we waited and waited and waited... and had just one person come.

I felt totally discouraged. If we decided not to move then all the time spent in searching for a new home was wasted. If we lowered the price even further, then all the time spent in updating our home (and all the money put into it) was wasted. Our last 6 months of all this wasted!

But somehow by the end of the day I felt better. Realizing that it is summer time and that just not a lot of people are looking right now.

And today I just feel like a huge burden has been lifted. We've done everything we can do and now we just have to wait. Now I can just focus on my children instead of on researching and project-ing. We can play with our kids, celebrate the fourth of July, plan our trip to New York, do some little projects as we want (because really we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves if we didn't have some project we were in the middle of) -- we can just enjoy these summer days. What a relief. What freedom!

So now we just wait. My plan for doing everything just right and being able to sell our home super quickly, make an offer on our next home and have everything go just right and perfect according to the exact right super-fast timing... isn't going to work out. But things will work out. We can wait and be patient and be happy loving our clean and shiny little home and our sweet family.