Friday, October 29, 2010

Designed to Sell, House Hunters, and My First Sale all at once...

Okay, yes, I do watch way too many shows on HGTV (and DIY when we get the freebie previews). And to be honest I've discovered first hand that those little 1/2 hour glimpses into home renovation and real estate transactions are a little misleading. One does not finish all house projects and stage their home and sell it in the space of one half hour. Nor does one find a new home by looking at 3 absolutely perfect properties (all in their price range and desired location) and move in within the next 1/2 hour. But the overall process, though a bit longer, is pretty much the same.

I know some of you know all about our recent delve into the real estate buy/sell process but I need to update a lot of people and thought this would be the easiest way to do it. (Sorry it's not a personal email to you'all!) I haven't put too much about it on Facebook because there are so many variables and contingencies and I didn't want to keep updating my status over and over until things were pretty much settled. So since we're at that point.... here's a brief run-down. :)

We had been thinking for awhile that it might be time for us to 'upgrade' our housing. Micah and I bought this house 2 months before we got married (10 years ago.) We spent 1 month making it more livable and then Bass moved in. After the honeymoon, I moved in (and brought the furniture.) :) We spent the next 9 years redoing the whole thing from top to bottom: new electrical, removing popcorn ceilings, new doors & windows, new moldings, refinishing the hardwood floors, a new kitchen, landscaping, a new roof, new furnace and a/c, etc, etc, etc. It's been fun and often crazy but we're finally at the point where the house is almost completely the way we want it. That must mean it's time to move, right?
We have loved our little home but it's feeling a little small lately. Only having 1 bathroom thus far has been okay, the kids are getting older and taking a little longer, and they could use a little more space outside to play. So since current interest rates are super low, we thought we'd jump in to see what might happen. We figured that if it didn't work out to sell or find a new place, we'd just stay put for a few more years.

Designed to Sell
We had some minor things to finish up before listing the house: a piece of missing trim here, a room that needed to be painted, a broken window pane to replace, and I needed to pack up some of our extra 'clutter.' (That extra clutter was 9 huge boxes that we had to lug to the attic!) We got all that done and put the house on the market on 9/17. We had 2 showings in that next week and received an offer on 9/27. We accepted which then gave us 2 weeks to find a new home. Eek!

House Hunters
We had previously seen about 7 properties and actually bid on (and lost) 2 of them. Inventory in our price range was a little low so we were really praying that we could find something. The night we finalized the deal with our buyers, we got an email that a new house had come on the market. We went the next day, loved it, and made an offer that night (9/30). We found out Saturday that we got the house! The new house is off of Old Philadelphia Pike near the Rt. 30 ramp in a little neighborhood of brick ranch houses behind the Tom's gas station. Or you can get to it from Lincoln Highway (by Amelia's/Rita's.) It's super convenient to everything but it's tucked back on a little cul-de-sac and is actually very quiet. We're now a little closer to LCCS where the kids go to school too but it's only a few extra minutes for Bass to get to work. It's a cute little brick ranch with 3 bedrooms, 1 1/2 baths, full basement (unfinished for now), walk-up attic, 1 car garage and it's very own DRIVEWAY! We're quite excited about having off-street parking!! It also has a nice sized yard in the front and back---perfect for the kids. It's very un-updated and needs a ton of work but it has loads of potential and we're ready to make it Bathtastic with lots of Sweat Equity. Bass just might need a few more Cool Tools, especially when we tackle creating a Garage Mahal or Man Cave. The Kitchen isn't Impossible but at some point we'll need to redo that too. (I think I just made this a contest to see how many TV show names I can work into this post.) :) When we officially close I'll start putting up 'before' pics.

Real Estate Confidential
Those TV shows don't always show all of the back-and-forth with the realtors. All the waiting to hear about inspections and appraisals and mortgage approvals. All the stress wondering if your house has major issues that you weren't aware of or if your buyer will back out unexpectedly. But we know that the Lord is working out His plan for our life and while it's been a month of appointments and paperwork and waiting, everything has gone very smoothly.
Our inspection had 8 really, really minor issues. The buyer asked us to fix 4 of them. We fixed 6 since the total cost was about $10 for all of it. We appraised higher than our asking price and didn't require any additional FHA repairs. With the new house, the inspection was pretty much what we expected but we were able to get a little bit of money back in closing cost concessions because of all of the repairs needed. It's quite a mess but has some Hidden Potential. Our bank also didn't require an appraisal there because it's priced so low, which saves us some money. :)
We got our mortgage approval and our buyer's just got theirs this week. So now we ready to set a closing date.

Design on a Dime
We just heard last night that it looks like (although it's not totally set in stone) closing will be on Friday, November 12. Our buyers have agreed to let us 'rent-back' for the following week so we'll be able to stay in our current house and not have to find something For Rent but have a week to work on the new one before moving. Our moving date is most likely going to be Saturday, November 20. Hence all of the boxes piled up everywhere! :)
Packing is going well---I have about 2/3 of the house done. All that's left is the everyday stuff: dishes, kitchen stuff, food, about 1 box for each bedroom, the linen closet, and clothes closets. Most of which can't really be packed until we get within a few days of actually moving. As we work on the new house, we'll probably take loads of stuff over each time we go to minimize the big move. It's been fun to think of how our current furniture and decor will fit in the new house and think about what we want to do with the bathrooms, kitchen, paint colors, etc. I've been to Home Depot and Lowes so many times that people are starting to mistake me for an employee. Hmm... could I get a discount for that?? ;) When the new house is done, I'm sure I'll be a Design Star.

So that's where we're at. Or where we will be at, I guess. It's bittersweet to think of leaving My (our) First Place but we're excited for all that comes next! Once we're set up you'all can come Rate My Space. :) Pictures of the whole adventure coming soon!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Hydrangeas and Harmony Disclosure Policy

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. 

I will give my honest opinion and assessment of all the products that are submitted to me and experiences I may be given. I reserve the right to opt out of publishing a review if I do not feel that I can be fair about my opinion.

As the owner of this blog, I may accept forms of cash advertising or sponsorship. There might also be paid topic insertions. I will and do accept and keep free products, services, travel, event tickets, and other forms of compensation from companies and organizations. The compensation received will never influence the content, topics, or posts made in this blog.

I believe in honesty and integrity; therefore, I will always give my personal opinion whether or not it shows a product or company in a favorable light.  Compensation received may influence the advertising content, topics, or posts made in this blog. That content, advertising space, or post will be clearly identified as paid or sponsored content.

The views and opinions expressed in this blog are purely and entirely my own. I do not claim to be nor make an effort to be an expert on any certain topic, product, or service.  I will only endorse companies, products, and services that I believe, based on my own experiences, are worthy of endorsement.  All product or service claims should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I Was Featured!

How cool can one possibly feel when their project/craft/idea/decor is featured on another blog? I don't know for sure, but I feel pretty awe-some!
I've been featured here:

24 Cottonwood Lane


Organize and Decorate Everything

It's OVerflowing
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