I’m still in shock. In the course of two days we put our house on the market, sold it, and bought a house I toured via FaceTime in Minnesota.
I mean, there may have been much dancing, and many high fives with the kids, and much screaming.
But let’s back up. When we first made the decision to relocate for my husband’s work we knew one of the biggest challenges we’d face was getting our house ready to sell. We’ve been in our home for 8 years, and let’s just say it wasn’t in great shape when we bought it. We were investing in the neighborhood, the schools, and it had these great bones underneath all the stuff that needed to be done. We assumed, as everyone did at the time, that the real estate bubble wouldn’t burst. But burst it did. And while homes in our area weren’t dramatically impacted it didn’t improve our financial situation like we thought it would. Looking back we were pretty bad at managing our money then. The Centsible Life was actually born out of that time, though. Once we realized we needed to do extensive, expensive repairs and were dealing with a lot of expenses due to our kids special needs we needed to get our financial ship on course.
It’s been slow progress over the years. We’ve done small things, we’ve remodeled whole rooms, we’ve painted, we’ve destroyed things, but in the end we had more to do before we could put our house on the market. We put off some of the bigger projects (like the kitchen) so we could get those done when the kids could be out of the way over the summer this year. With the plan of moving after school lets out (and my husband starting his new job in March) that timeline had to shift forward dramatically. So, over the last 2 months I took on the project of purging, decluttering, organizing, cleaning, and prepping for the renovations, and then the planning and management of the renovations of the house, and finally cleaning, reorganizing, and staging the house to sell. This as you can probably guess was pretty time-consuming.(understatement of the year)
Even though the renovation phase involved contractors there was still the management of the projects, attention to details, and wrangling of kids + dog that needed to happen while there was a mess around us. We moved everything to the basement so it would be out of the way, aside from our largest pieces of furniture.
My mom came to visit and saved me with her attention to detail, her cleanliness, and her ability to do all the laundry (thanks Mom!).
he help of a stager (provided by our realtor) was definitely something that made the home not only showcase our taste, but also made the home much more inviting and welcoming.
This house has been amazing for our family, but it was time to move on. When people ask if I regretted doing those renovations just before we move I say ‘no way.’ The renovations were for a potential buyer-not us, so some of the things on my list didn’t get done or weren’t necessary when it came to remodeling to sell.
In the end the hard work, money, (a little) blood, sweat, and tears were worth it. We listed out house on a Monday evening with showings to start Tuesday and within MINUTES I had showing requests. By Thursday at noon we had EIGHT offers on the table and we had shown the house (sometimes multiple people in it at once!) over 20 times. It was in a word: insane. Not only did we have a number of offers, we were very happy with the sale price we arrived at. And I got to put a big old checkmark next to sell house √.
Meanwhile….we had been stalking real estate listings in Minnesota to get a sense of the area, and we saw a house pop up that we loved. It was an adorable rambler (ranch style for you non-Minnesotans) with a fully finished basement and plenty of room for the family. Good schools, nearby trails, and a quiet neighborhood meant we were pretty sure this was ‘the one.’ I had plans to fly out Friday (the same week) to Minnesota for a weekend of house hunting, but when we saw the house we contacted our realtor and she booked my husband a showing the next morning.
They already had an offer on the table, and if we wanted a shot at the house we’d have to act fast.
So, my husband went and toured the house (the very first house we toured in Minnesota actually) and I toured it via FaceTime. We debated a bit about some of the drawbacks (no house is 100% perfect after all) and we decided to put in an offer. We figured it was unlikely to be accepted, and we were just warming up for the real deal that weekend. But, it was accepted. And with that we put a big check mark next to buy house. √
And I LOVE it. I know it’s a business transaction to purchase a home, which is 100% how I approach it, but once we were under agreement I let myself breathe and fall in love. I was fortunate enough to have time to tour it and see it at length during the inspection that weekend. We even met the owner and it made me love the house more to spend some time sitting at the kitchen bar soaking in the space.
I mean the backyard, guys.
And yeah, that wine bar got me, too.
Everything that comes after the offer phase (inspections, appraisals, etc.) has all worked out-minor stuff has come up and it’s all fine-yet I’m still in shock.
Now we wait. In about 45 days the moving company will come to pack up our house in PA. In about 50 days I’ll arrive in Minnesota to our new home.
It’s been a wild journey over the last few weeks and one I’m excited to see the conclusion of, so we can finally all be back together again and enjoying our new home.
I have a lot to share from the process we just went through that may help you if you’re ever in our shoes in the coming weeks. For now I’m going to take a nap.