It's happening - we are selling our house!

The world might think we're nuts, because we are selling the house we've worked so hard on over the past 9ish years! It's been a whirlwind of a week, and now that the house is ON the market, I'm totally freaking out! 

 

I took the girls out to dinner last night, and we had a really pleasant time together. We talked about walking to the many parks in the new neighborhood, talked about all the kids that will be everywhere around us, and we talked about how we will decorate the new house. My oldest was very excited about the outlet mall being so close (this is hilarious to me, as she's only been there a few times - but I don't go to the mall, so I guess this IS where it's at for her). I started to get really excited about the possibilities that lie ahead. 

Then I woke up this morning, and panicked. My beautiful yard, what will I do without that?! I was outside filling the chickens water bucket and the birds were out in FULL force, singing delightful songs. The birds (and yard) are what sold me on our house 9 years ago. I still absolutely love our yard and the thought of leaving it still brings me to tears. Change is hard. 

But, God has a plan, right?

 

Time for a change

We've been incessantly checking Redfin.com on the daily, for over a year now (probably more like 2-3 years for me if I'm being honest...).

We've spent 9 years in our current home, touching every surface, painting, updating, installing, tearing down, and refreshing every single part of the home (well, except for the master bath, that's yet to be done). We brought both of our girls home to this house. We bought it as newlyweds. We just overhauled the back patio area by tearing out a 1000sf deck and spending a fortune on retaining walls and patio installation (haven't even really enjoyed a summer with the new patio!). We've poured our hearts and money into this house. So many memories happened within these walls. First words, first steps, first foods...

I'm going through a whirlwind of emotions as we've been invited to purchase a home, before it hits the market. It's a home much larger than ours. It has an office, a living room, a formal dining room, and even a double oven (my baking days just might resume). It has a 3 car garage, which was my hubby's dream (he's a tool guy). It also has a ping pong table in the giant room over the garage, and if you know my hubby, you should know that he LOVES ping pong and when we started house shopping, he had only two requirements for our new home. 1. a 3 car garage (or a giant shop) and 2. space for a ping pong table. I'm not kidding, when he walked upstairs and saw that giant room with the ping pong table in it he felt elated and giddy and like everything was right in the world. 

Hubby has always said bigger is better - but now that we are faced with this big decision, I'm not so sure about that. Bigger means more space to clean, and honestly, our 2300sf house is a nice cozy size, I've grown to really like it! But then, I crave change and I have been wanting to move further east for a long time now. I work things out in writing pretty well, so here are my lists of what I like about my current house and also my wish list for our next home. :) 

Things I love absolutely love about our current house:

  • large windows with views to greenery out every window
  • remodeled kitchen - designed by me, which means every single thing in there is purposefully placed. I love my kitchen (for the most part - wish I had a giant pantry)
  • yard big enough for exploring and getting lost in (this is also a negative as we don't want to be slaves to the yard - but the yard was great when we had lawn care guys coming every two weeks!)
  •  our fireplace - it's awesome and is a massive heat producing warm vessel of toasty vibes on winter nights (and it wasn't cheap!)

Now here are my requirements for our next home:

  • view of nature in the backyard, not facing any backdoor neighbors
  • big kitchen connected to the family room/dining area 
  • an office
  • a guest bedroom
  • a soaking tub in the master, because I love baths (current master doesn't have a bathtub)
  • 3 car garage (for the hubs)
  • a big enough house to host big family gatherings
  • neighbors (this is a weird one, I know. But....I really want to experience a neighborhood with lots of neighbors, where the kids can play in the street, and everyone knows your name)

Now comes the tough part. The house we have the opportunity to purchase fits every single requirement I've laid out! It is a stretch on our budget (considering we just refi'd our current house and have a small mortgage payment and low loan balance at present). We like to travel, and this purchase will shrink our travel budget. Also, it's in a neighborhood, with lots of people, and lots of kids. This will be a huge change for us - and one that I've been hoping for, but also, one that I'm unsure of.

The owner of the new house is willing to wait for us to get ours under contract, which is nuts in this market! Which means we are listing our house for sale THIS WEEKEND! I love stress (not).... We are listing our house on Friday! Pictures will be taken today and it's nowhere near ready for pics.

I'm freaking out a bit about the whirlwind of this house buying and selling business...but hey, the time is here, it's time to go, so sell we will. A new home awaits us.

 

PLEASE PRAY FOR MY SANITY!  

 

 

Selling a home on Zillow

Hubs and I toured a house that was for sale last Friday and we decided we wanted to make an offer on it. It was the first house (in over a year that we've been looking) that we both walked through and just totally loved. The floor plan was SO good! It had a 3 car garage (because the hubs has a lot of tools and would love more space to work on projects), and there was a large master bathroom (with soaking tub!), with a view out of the back of the house to WOODS (a big requirement for me is to have either a fantastic mountain view, or to have a greenbelt behind the house we move into - I want a little slice of oasis in my backyard, I know...I'm quite picky).

In order to purchase another house, we needed to get our house under contract real quick like. 

So....on a whim, on that very same day, I listed my house for sale by owner on Zillow. It was a Friday afternoon when I posted it - and after I posted, I called my hubby at work and told him what I'd done. NOTE: It's generally a good idea to run these kinds of things by your hubby before you take action. (that's what he said)

I quickly cleared rooms of clutter and photographed and then uploaded iphone pictures of our home as I went through the house on my declutter mission. 

 

OH. MY. GOSH.

 

The phone calls started coming in, one after another. I didn't realize the depth of Zillow, I was a bit short sighted in that. I was unprepared for the onslaught of calls. Our house was the ONLY one for sale in our whole area!!! There are a ton of people looking to move into our area, so as you can imagine, our house was quite popular. I went to bed that evening feeling a bit overwhelmed, and also feeling slightly proud of myself for possibly pulling this whole thing off. The new house wasn't reviewing offers until the following Tuesday, so I figured I had until Monday to get our house under contract... 

We weren't ready to show the home on Saturday as we had a memorial service to attend, and oh ya, all that clutter I had cleared for taking the pictures was now sitting in all the hallways and you could hardly walk through our house there was so much stuff everywhere. So Saturday night I decided it might be best to hold an open house the following day. That would make us clear the clutter *real* quick! It was a late night that night and the hubby even finished two projects that had been waiting for him to finish for months. I love to give him incentive to finish projects! There was one year where I had scheduled our daughters birthday party to be at our house, and he stayed up until 3am installing our new hardwood floors the night before the party - because he was so close to finishing, he felt he just had to get the floor done before the big party. Whatever works.... ;D

Anyway, the following day, my generous mom came over and hung out at our house while the open house was going on. She used to be an agent herself, so she offered to hold the open house for us (thanks mom!). Off we went with our girls - to explore the area we are looking to move to.

Seven different couples walked through the open house, and everyone loved it. It feels good to get so much positive feedback on all our hard work remodeling over the last 8.5 years! We've poured our heart into this house, which is why it's such a jam packed emotional move for us.

After the open house, I received a call from an agent - he wanted to present an offer to us not more than 4 hours after his clients had walked through our front door. I felt like I was in a dream land, it was all happening so fast, too fast, really...

The offer was pretty good, but there was one problem. In the meantime, we had decided that we listed the house price too low (which actually, I had listed it Friday, and then lowered the price at 3am that night in a panic that maybe I'd over priced it...and then again, changed it back up the following night once I realized I had totally underpriced it from the get go). So anyway, the agent brought pens so we could sign off on the sale and we informed him that we were expecting other offers, and that we would get back to him. We don't ever commit to big things like this without first sleeping on our decision... (ignore the fact that I listed our house without first sleeping on the idea - hah!).

So anyway, we received another full price offer (at the higher price), and the calls were flooding my life. We countered the first couple, heard back, then countered the 2nd couple. The fun of listing your house for sale by owner, is that we get to call the shots. Even if we don't really know what we're doing (I'm sure this can be a bit maddening to professional real estate agents who deal with FSBO deals!). We sat there with those contracts, contemplating and weighing them against each other, trying to decide who we would end up selling the house to. Both were strong and competitive offers, which didn't make it any easier.

We talked to several agents, who of course wanted to list our house for us, and claimed they would get us more in our pocket at the end of the day.... Then we sat, in limbo, not willing to sign off on our house until we had an answer on the house we were trying to buy. The night was stressful, our potential buyers were waiting on our reply, and meanwhile, we were busy making several amendments to our offer on the house we wanted in order to sweeten the deal in an attempt to win the bid... in the end, we were outbid. With that, the rush to sell our home halted, and we came to our senses a bit. We realized that the close date on the offers in hand were both right when we'd be out of the country - and that seemed like a terrible time to move our entire lives. The buyers were both willing to rent back to us, or to change the close date to a better date to accommodate us, but with the other house purchase not being a factor, we really needed to think on the sale. All I could think was, "No time to pack!" and, "Where will we move?"

With that, we thought about our best strategy for maximizing our sale so we could be in the best position for our next home purchase. Ultimately, we decided to wait on the sale - to post it again in March, but next time, actually put it on the MLS (still without an agent) so we can reach a much greater range of potential buyers. And by then, we'll have a plan in place for where we will move, and how we will pack up all of Pete's TOOLS. Because let's be real, he has accumulated a lot of tools over the last 9 years of marriage....  

In the meantime, we've been really digging into our plans to move, going over the pros and cons (there are quite a few on both lists), and exploring all possible ideas on where to go and what to do once we sell.

I'm a girl who likes change, and who enjoys a fun challenge. This house is officially nearing the point of being the longest I've ever lived in one place - I'm SO ready for the challenge of change! Maybe I'll go into the 'why I want to move to suburbia' details in a future post. Or maybe my next post will be an announcement that we'll be moving to Costa Rica for a year (a long held dream of mine). The tides are changing over here, and we're so looking forward to moving on and making new memories together in a new place, whether it be locally, or in a warm climate - only time will tell! 

 

Make today great

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Good morning!

It's day 1 at the 2016 Beachbody Coach Summit in Nashville, Tennessee.

Today my mantra is Make Today GREAT!

A sleepless night filled with construction noise outside the window (ALL night) and a party in the apartment above us and sleep was hard to come by. As in, I didn't sleep at all. I tried listening to an audio book and also tried a Pandora sleep station as I laid there, but sleep didn't come.

I'm choosing the happy path today despite the lack of sleep. I had a photoshoot this morning and am so thankful for the opportunity. It was pouring down rain, but I found joy in the situation. I mean heck, my pictures will look like they were taken in Seattle! I am in a training session now and have a team party later.

I will make today great. 💖

Start Doing

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Have I mentioned how much fun I've been having out there on my bike?

Here's the thing, I was kind of nervous about getting my own bike. The idea of riding by myself was scary (bears - eek!). And I was worried I'd spend all this money on a sweet bike, and then discover that I don't truly enjoy riding. To add to that, I wasn't sure if my biking friends were going to want to have me, a total nEwb, hit the trails with them. But I went out and crushed those fears by just getting out there and doing!

I've proved to myself that this fancy bike was worth it, I'm feeling even stronger now, and really find myself at peace when I'm riding through the woods.

I had to start somewhere and it took courage to start. We are all a work in progress, but YOU JUST HAVE TO START!

Take your fears and CRUSH them!

Living in fear is not living.

Empower yourself to get going and life will brighten up for you. ☀️😘