Tuesday, April 25, 2017

We Sold Our House!

Whew! Sorry for being away so long. 
I have an explanation, and it's a good one, and maybe you can be helped by our experience this past year.

After 16 years for my husband and almost fifteen years for me, we left our sweet, big house to the care of a wonderful little family of three. We considerably downsized and are now living in a 711-square-foot apartment. 

This all turned out to be a year-long process. About this same time last year we began doing some upgrades to prepare the house for sale. First we replaced most of the old aluminum windows with some vinyl energy-efficient ones. Then we had the carpet ripped out of our living room, dining room, and main floor hallway and replaced with LVT flooring. We repainted the living room, dining room, and hall--trim and walls--and we had crown molding put in the living room and dining room after the "textured" ceilings were removed. We also had the clay hearth tiles replaced with slate ones and painted the firebox. It looked so much nicer!
staged for selling!
In the kitchen, we had a new garbage disposal installed and the accompanying air gap that was sorely needed, as well. We had the basement bath upgraded with a new sink and shower stall and we painted the whole bathroom white. Then we went ahead and painted the basement bedroom white, too. The basement is all finished and even has a little kitchen, but it can seem dungeony if not brightened up.

We then had the patio refreshed by replacing the cover and some mostly-rotten posts and having a big crack in the patio floor repaired before having it all painted. The back yard fence and stoop were all painted a dark grey, and we refreshed some of the exterior window frames. I also painted the front door and we had the mailbox and house numbers replaced. We painted the front stoop the same as the back, as well.
back yard with snow!
During all this craziness we were also majorly decluttering. I cannot tell you how many trips we made to the dump, the recycling center, Goodwill, Value Village, etc. I also shared lots of possessions with our awesome neighborhood Buy Nothing group. We had way too much stuff, y'all, and it was tucked into every corner and cupboard of that five-bedroom house. That house had tons of storage,  and that was our fiercest enabler. A lot of the stuff just had to go!

We were aiming for an August 15 list date, but as August loomed near, we realized that not only was the work not going to finish on time, but that we were getting cold feet about the whole business. The work continued, but we decided to wait about selling.

Flash forward past fall and all the holidays and many discussions and deep thinking and by January 12, we finally had the house on the market. Inventory is low here, so we had our first offer pretty fast. It was a tricky one, however, because it was from an investor who was going to use the house for sort of a rental for a couple of years. We did not want to see that happen, but we wanted to sell the house even more, so we entered into the process anyway. They offered too low, we countered, they accepted pending inspection, and after the inspection, the investor backed out. But he allowed us to have a copy of the inspection report, which was quite nice and quite informative! We also found out that the investor had put offers on several properties and weighed them all against one another before deciding on one. We were actually glad that they backed out of buying our house, because we had always hoped that a family with small children would buy the house. It's in a quiet, safe neighborhood that's two blocks from a really great park and is in walking distance to all the best schools in the area.

Armed with the inspection report, and glad to be past that little hurdle, we began addressing a few of the most important details, like upgrading the electrical outlets and tidying up some plumbing. Later we realized we should have waited, because the very next day after we found out that the first deal fell through, a young couple was shown the house, fell in love, and made a full-price offer! We accepted, and they had their own inspection done. They responded to the inspection by asking for things to be done other than what we had just completed, so we were at it again with the fixes, which included more electrical, some repair of the carport structure, and a new water heater! I say more electrical. It was major! The main breaker box had to be replaced, for one thing, and that alone took until right up to moving day. Yeah, we were trying to get the last of it done with the power being turned off quite a lot. 

Oh, and we both got sick, too. First Fred got a really rotten cold and had to take to the bed while I tried to finish packing and having Goodwill come and haul off big pieces of furniture. Then I got sick for official moving week, but there was no way around it. It had to be done. The last day when we had to clean and get the last of our stuff out was not my best day. But dagnabbit, we did it!

That night we met with the new owners and their little boy so that we could hand over the keys, and we were even more glad after meeting them that they were the ones moving into our sweet former home. They really love the house and we just know that they will have many, many wonderful years there raising their family. 

This was a huge transition for us, but we have settled in nicely. We are trying to pare down what was left of our possessions that won't fit into the little apartment and are taking up far too much space in a local storage space (yes, there's too many boxes and bins of yarn in there). Wish us luck with that. Because we are doing this all to save money to buy a little farm in the country so that we can get a bit off-grid and raise a large portion of our own food. Let it be soon! I've been reduced to a few small pots on a tiny balcony for growing anything and it's spring and I didn't get to put out snow peas nor start my greens and marigolds. Sigh....

I know it will just make us appreciate even more when we have even a small house on a few acres. Right now we are living urban life with all its adventures, but also with all its noise. Construction goes on a block in every direction and at night we sometimes hear catastrophic sirens going off in all directions, and our upstairs neighbor clomps around sometimes like the building is on fire. But the apartment is cozy and has everything we really need...for now.

This past month I have been back at work on the next Figheadh pattern, which will be a men's cabled cardigan! I'm so excited about that, because it's been at least eight years since I designed a men's sweater. About time, right?

I promise I'll be back soon with info about that, and about something else exciting that starts in May! Stay tuned!