The last 8 months have been quite a roller coaster. First there was the hunt for a house on a few acres out in the country. We were looking for a fairly specific kind of place: out in the country, but not too far so Dan would not have to drive a long ways to get to work; between 5-10 acres with the ability to have a big garden, lots of room for the kids to run around, and a good spot for a few animals in the future; a pretty place with trees; a house in good condition so Dan wouldn't have to spend all his spare time renovating; a little bigger than the current house; and of course, within our price range (which had to increase as we kept looking!).
I remember the first house we looked at because it was on our anniversary back in Feb. It was a big white colonial style house built in the 1980's on 5 acres in the right area. At that time it was more than we wanted to spend (funny, because we ended up spending more on the place we got!). But when we got there, the realtor informed us that a contract had just been signed on the place. Missed that one!
There weren't a whole lot of places for us to see, so we had to sit and wait for them to come on the market. It seems like we went to look at one every couple weeks or so. Some of them we drove by and ruled out on the spot! None of them seemed quite right. Either they were old and needed some renovating, or the location wasn't quite right (one was literally, right next to the highway, oh yeah, that would be nice and peaceful), or not enough bedrooms, or a little too far out, or something.
So it seemed impossible to place our house on the market while we were looking because one, we didn't have to move, so we could wait for the right place, and two, we didn't want to sell our house and then be stuck with nowhere to go and settle for something we didn't like all that much.
Then, in May we went to see a place and it seemed close to perfect: 8 acres, newer house not needing work, a big shed, fenced in fields ready for animals, great location with more of a country feel, but not too far away. The only downsides were that the house was about the same size, and the price was a bit too high. Then our realtor found out that the owners had bought it only 8 months prior for a lot less than they were asking and she found out that they had tried to sell it themselves on Craig's List and been unsuccessful. So armed with this information, we made a low offer (it was still more than they had just paid for it!) and at that point the owners were not willing to negotiate. So we just left it there and continued to look at houses.
It was about a month later that the owners of the house reopened negotiations. It seemed like the longest, most drawn-out thing. I was ready to give up and move on more than once. Finally toward the end of June a contract was signed. The inspection and appraisal went fine and everything with the bank was good and the closing was set for Aug. 1st. Meanwhile we were busy getting the old house ready to sell (painting and such, you know, erasing the evidence of 4 small children living in a house!). I should say Dan was busy with that, I was busy with the kids. Then we decided that we would wait to put our house on the market until after we moved, a little risky I guess, but we wanted to make a good first impression on the market, and trying to pack, show the house, and keep it clean with 4 sometimes destructive tornadoes living there seemed counterproductive.
Stay tuned for the next installment of The Big Move!