Thursday, March 24, 2011

{Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes}

Warning: long post ahead.  Mostly for my benefit in terms of documenting the craziness of the last few weeks as we sold and bought a house.  If you are bored to death right now, read on. 

We have been thrown for a loop the last couple weeks. 

We put our house on the market the 3rd week in January.  It was a decision a long time coming...

We never imagined staying in our current home as long as we have (almost 7 years!).  When we bought the house we figured 3 or 4 years and we would move on to something with a little more space and yard.  But we ran into a couple obstacles in the last few years.
1.  Housing Market slump...um, serious slump. And we bought in 2004 before the major climb in housing prices...but we still found our equity slowly dwindling away completely.
2.  Self-employment.  You basically can't get a mortgage until you have been self-employed for at least 2 years...and at that, you have to show progress, profit, success.  So much more scrutiny compared to when Trev was just a W2 employee.

But fast forward a few years, and now we could actually qualify for a loan if (BIG IF) we could sell our house.

After some prayer and thought, we decided to just put the house on the market and see what happens.  There were about a dozen homes in our neighborhood for sale (a couple with our exact same floor plan)...but they were ALL short sales or foreclosures.   We figured since ours was a conventional sale, we had that going for us. And maybe, just maybe, we could break even and get out of the house and be lucky enough to be a BUYER in this market.

Being winter, means less home sales in general.  But we figured we can't sell it if the house isn't even listed! So we listed it the third week of January...all along telling myself, we won't be able to sell it.  I mean there are articles in the newspaper every day about how the housing market is still getting worse.  So it was a long shot.

We might have some luck in the spring...and if the housing market rebounds a little...maybe by summer or fall?? 

Turned out those were wrong assumptions.

We had a few showings the first week. One low-ball offer we turned down.  And then the 2nd week of February we had a showing and got an offer the very next day! It was slightly above our 'rock bottom' price, so we were happy about that!  Just the opportunity to get in the market as a buyer far outweighs the sacrifice on price on our current house.

I was sad signing the papers...really sad and emotional.  We have had so many memories in this house!  The buyers are a young couple with a 2 year old....just exactly how we were when we moved in with Carson (I was prego with Addy).  We knew it was the right time to make the change.  Trevor...the ever stable source of reason...knew the house we needed would be out there right now. Available (i.e. we did NOT want to build).  I mean if we got an offer in this crazy housing market, we were being blessed and guided in this move.   He was confident we could actually make this move BEFORE the baby comes (and avoid moving twice).

So the house hunt was on!  Luckily the buyers aren't moving out here until May, so even with a late-March closing, we are able to rent back from them for a few weeks. 

Trevor has been looking at houses off and on for a year. (I wouldn't even entertain the idea of actually looking at houses until we had a buyer on the line...) We had narrowed down our area and even pinpointed neighborhoods.  But now was the time to seriously pour through the listings.  We went looking at houses just 4 days later.  We found one we loved, but it had been on the market on/off for 2 years, so we felt good about continuing to look for another week or so before making a decision.  Well, the realtor called me 12 hours later to tell me the house we really liked had an offer on it...but the agent was willing to hold off on presenting it to the seller if we wanted to submit one too. 
Stress. 
Major Stress. 
We knew we loved the house...but we just hadn't SEEN much yet.  And making such a huge decision under pressure is not how I roll! We spent the next few hours pouring through more listings on line...not finding ANYTHING close to what we found in this other house.  The sellers had recently significantly lowered the price, so we knew it was a deal (hence the other offer!).  But come on...2 years on the market and NOW there were 2 competing offers.  Seriously?!!
Seeking inspiration through prayer and serious discussion...we put in an offer that evening. 
Then came 24 hours of torture. I was literally waiting by my phone and email (like on House Hunters!!!)...waiting for the call if we got the house! I was physically sick that day......actually worrying myself sick that we could lose this house.  And worried all the other homes we would look at later would be compared back to this one house and I would be devastated. 
FINALLY the call came at 6:30pm...we got the house! I literally started crying when my realtor called...totally excusing myself and blaming the pregnancy hormones! I was just a complete nervous wreck about it.

So we sold and bought a house in 6 days.


More stress the next few days as the inspections were done.  We had some water in our crawl space (hello...winter in Seattle!)...and I worried again the buyers would pull out and both deals would be dead.  But they just wanted that remedied plus a few other items.  And then no major concerns came up on the new house (just a few things we needed the seller to fix)...
And then more stress as the appraisals were done and we approached final signing.  When we sold our condo in SLC, the buyers pulled out the DAY of closing...so I was so skeptical and hesitant and worried (insert serious paranoia here) up until the day the buyers actually signed the documents and they were recorded with the county. Being the seller in this market is SO stressful...buyers are rare, and you pretty much are at their mercy the entire time.


We have already started packing.  We closed on the sale of our home on Tuesday and close on the new house tomorrow! We'll take a week to make the transition and do the big move next week.  Yah, I'll be 35 weeks pregnant. 

On the bright side...that gives me a full month to nest and get settled before baby comes (hopefully!...baby: you can not come too early!)

And, oh yah. It is less than a mile from our current house.  But that short mile puts us in another school district completely and a different ward (church) boundary.  Sad and excited sums it up. We are sad to leave our friends, but glad to know we will still be close by!  It might as well be across the state though...the kids are in for a big change.  For now they are just excited, but I am thinking it might be harder than they think to jump into a new school without knowing anyone. 

We have felt guided and blessed throughout the entire process.  Things have truly fallen into place in every aspect even despite the stressful moments.  Which just affirms to me the right timing of this move for our little family.   We feel so blessed to be able to purchase a house we can see us living in as the kids grow up and attend high school.  Which means no more moving for a long time!! Which is good considering the last few weeks have probably taken a few years off my life. 

Before we started packing I took pictures of the kids in their rooms...Another sentimental moment....but had to capture their house/room we have been in the last 7 years. I am sad to leave these cute rooms, but the kids are over the moon about their rooms in the new house (insert major re-decorating and work for mom here).















8 comments:

Hilary 6:19 PM  

Thanks for posting this story, somehow it gives me hope....

Camille 7:47 AM  

Oh I got emotional looking at those pictures. It has been an awesome house and been there so long! Hope everything goes well today and you get good news!

Marissa King 8:13 AM  

How exciting! Where are you moving to? Which ward will you be in now?

Amy Hoppie 8:39 AM  

Seriously, how do people make decisions without inspiration? It is so comforting to be able to move forward with something this huge because you guys were able to ponder, pray, and get an answer. I have moved 4 times while pregnant...I wish we lived closer so we could help. Best of luck with the entire circus!

Sharon/MOM 8:59 AM  

I was teary reading that Rochelle. So sweet and inspiring and comforting. I've been worried about your stress level...but now you are going to be able to just get on with it all and I can't wait to see it all happen! Congratulations! Get those keys! So happy for you and your family!

Carmen Goetschius 9:15 AM  

Congratulations, Shelly! That was a crazy 6 days. Excited for you -- cannot wait to see pics of the new house. Love to you as you pack and reminisce, and prepare for a new season of life!

Love, Car

Erica 9:40 PM  

WHOA! What a roller coaster of emotions in that post! I'm so happy for you and your family...what a HUGE relief to have all the paperwork signed and finished. Thats when you know the stress will alleviate!

Congratulations though! What a great milestone. Love the pictures of the kids in their rooms. So many memories made there...but so many more await them. Great documentation Shell and I can't wait to see the posts to come!

MUCH LOVE!

Bringhurst Family 6:49 AM  

I felt like I was reading my sell and buy story. Only I wasn't pregnant...bless your heart =)

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