Alright, seriously done with the cheesy southern sayings, but I wanted to update the blogaroo on our new whereabouts!
Several weeks ago, my family hit the road in one stupidly full van, headed southeast to our new city in Greenville, South Carolina (technically we headed to our temporary home in Lexington, SC, but you get the point). A move that's been in the making for almost five years now, we decided a few months ago that there was no better time than now. Our son starts school next year and the real estate market in Kansas City had exploded, so we threw caution to the wind, listed our house FSBO and boom. It sold, fast. That was that. We were headed back to the land of Zaxby's, chicken bog and boiled peanuts (or "bowled" peanuts as we say 'round here).
I can hardly believe all our family has gone through in such a short period of time when I go through my camera roll from the last four months. What started as my declaration that we were going to sell our house turned into a solid month of working 'round the clock, pretty much sun up to sun down. We had a lot of work to do to get our house ready to be put on the market. Lesson learned. I will never, ever, ever put off so many little "I'll do that someday" things again.
There was the attack of the chiggers after weeding our insanely weedy beds (and my selfless friend who endured said chigger attack to help me), the horrifying discovery that our basement was seriously cracked and had been strategically hidden with some caulk and paint by the previous owner, the contractors who let us down one after the other which eventually resulted in me repainting the entire (900 sq ft!) basement by myself the night before our first open house. I started at 10:00 at night, mind you, after two straight days of non-stop physical labor getting our house ready to go on the market!
My husband was out of town almost the entire time our house was on the market (um, for sale by owner) which was one of the most challenging things I've been through, short of childbirth.
Being the geeks we are, my husband created an iPhone app and I made a website for our FSBO listing. It was maybe way more work than it was worth, but it was fun and it makes for a good story, right? ;)
Once the house sold, we loaded up a PODS and busted our butts getting our house cleared out, cleaned up and the paint touched up. We sold off a ton of our possessions since moving cross-country is very expensive, as it turns out, and we only had one PODS (and hello, those things are much smaller than I'd envisioned). We said our very, very tearful goodbyes as we left behind the "family" we'd created in Kansas City to head toward real family in South Carolina.
We're temporarily set up in my parents bonus room until we move into our new home in November. Which is...fun. ;) God bless them for having us and our crew of five.
Hubby and I are picky folks, as it turns out! We spent four weeks house hunting. We found several homes we love. I found several absolute dream homes that my husband nixed because they weren't bikeable enough. He's not a cyclist per se, but he loves to be able to leave the car at home if he can head to a store on bike and he lovesloves to take the kids out in the bike trailer and go scout out new parks. In the south, this is no easy feat because so many roads are old, narrow, winding roads. It was seriously comical as I sent him address after address of potential homes and he sent me back super annoying bicycle faces.
What's a bicycle face, you ask?
I mean, totally cute until you're like DUDE, EVERY SINGLE HOUSE I LOVE IS A FROWNY BIKE FACE AND IF I SEE ONE MORE BIKE FACE I'M GOING TO GO OUT TO THE GARAGE, GET YOUR BIKE, FIND THE NEAREST LAKE AND FEED IT TO THE FISH.
Not that I had a freakout moment after four weeks of frowny bike faces or anything. I would never.
Because I'm a glutton for misery and self-beating-uppage (just go with it), let's visit those houses I loved that we don't have for one reason or another. Mostly for memory's sake because ever so often I think back on the house that was almost ours but lost at the last minute before we bought our first home and wish I'd saved pictures.
This one will go down as my all-time favorite EVER. When I walked into this house, I practically cried. Before I could convince my husband that living out in the country is actually something to be desired, not feared, this one sold. For a billion reasons, this was my favorite home. But mostly for this:
And this beautiful Charleston style home, which is my absolute favorite construction style (the color would totally have to go at some point, but this thing was incredible inside and parked right next to the most amazing amenities I've ever seen in a neighborhood, including a farmer's market):
There was the farmhouse that I fell in love with the moment we stepped through its beautiful front door:
This was the picture I snapped of the house from the gorgeous neighborhood pool which was literally right across the street:
There was the kitchen I just couldn't get enough of.
The front porch!
There were a ridiculous amount of bathrooms, and the one that would have been the kids' bathroom had double vanities. So friggin' cool.
Everything in this house was upscale. Not just "flipped" upscale, but true upscale. All cabinets were that soft-shut (I have NO idea what the technical term is, but it sort of grabs itself and shuts slowly and quietly), the trim in every part of this house was beautiful. Big crown molding! Big baseboards! Granite everywhere, real hardwood floors, brand new carpet, a gorgeous mudroom and super large laundry room. Every single room was HUGE. And it was even the perfect layout for our family in terms of not having that dreaded formal living and dining room like almost every other home we saw did. We are not formal room peeps! I don't want to have to buy a second dining table! Why do I want two of them? I don't. I don't want a room that gets used twice a year. I'd much rather use that square footage for big bedrooms, which this one had. Four of them plus a gigantic bonus room, in fact.
But, alas, this house wasn't meant to be. It had a few really big, giant strikes against it. On our second showing, the realtor (finally) mentioned that the house had been moved. As in, picked up off the ground and shuttled elsewhere. Oy. We've done the foundation issue thing. We're scared. We paid the high price for it. Like the realtor we eventually hired said, you just can't know for sure. You can't see inside the walls.
The house was also moved into a neighborhood of much less expensive brand new homes that were just starting to go up. We've also done the most expensive house in the neighborhood thing, and we don't want that again. I've seen those low price range new neighborhoods ten years down the road, and honestly, they just don't usually hold up. In ten years, they look outdated and run down. I don't want our older, classic farmhouse stuck in the middle of a neighborhood that may or may not be awesome ten years down the road. And I don't want to live in the middle of construction day in and day out for the next few years. I have three kids whose sleep I cherish.
And it had no fence. And no trees in the backyard. And no screened-in porch, which for a mosquito magnet like me now living in South Carolina, that's a big deal. And like full-on, brutal sun shining on the treeless backyard all afternoon long. Our quote to screen in the deck was thirteen thoooooooouuuuuusand dollars. No bueno.
We kept the house on our list because we loved it so, despite those big ole' strikes. We made our list of five homes we really loved and could see ourselves in, and we set our "we won't go higher than this" price and decided we had the advantage here. If the first house didn't happen, no biggie. We had four other homes we would absolutely love.
But...it did. Everything worked out painlessly, and as long as everything goes as planned during inspection and appraisal, this lovely little classic brick gal is ours November 7th!
I'm so excited it all worked out the way it did! It has the most space of all the houses we were considering with the smallest price tag. It's the only brick one we looked at, and I crush hard on brick homes. It has the front porch and a huge kitchen and a downstairs master bedroom, and 2(!) pantries, which is something I can't even wrap my mind around considering we didn't even have a pantry in our last home until the last year we lived in it, when my husband converted a coat closet to an inconveniently-placed pantry. It has a screened-in porch and big, beautiful trees lining the whole backyard on protected land that won't ever get developed. It has a fence and sprinkler system and a master closet almost the size of our last master bedroom. It has a neighborhood park and pool and four bedrooms, a huge bonus room and an office! It has vaulted ceilings in the living room and the biggest under-the-stair closet I've ever seen. It has beautiful landscaping and the best curb appeal of almost every home we saw.
So...you see...things work out. Just six months ago, I swore we were stuck in our house forever. I thought the market was too depressed. I thought there was no way we could even get enough for our house to pay off our existing mortgage.
And now? Now we're living in South Carolina, right near my parents, right near so many friends I grew up with, right where I feel we are supposed to be.
I shockingly miss Kansas every single day (I say shockingly in reference to the actual state...of course I miss the people like mad). I stare longingly at friends' pictures on instagram and I want to wrap my arms around all my friends back home so badly.
But things worked out. God provides.
Many more house details and dreams and desires to follow another day. For the one person who made it through this novel, thank you. You are an unsung hero. ;)