Monday, August 26, 2019

Our House is Now Our Home: A house buying saga

As you may have noticed, I have been, well, a little remiss on updating my blog. This is because since late May, early June, we've been working on selling our home and buying a new one.



Both Breaky and I knew this would be quite the process. What we didn't count on was the emotional anxiety-coaster that would span three months.

In May-ish, we finally decided to have the very important first step in buying a house. Getting professional help. We had several people in and out of our house, taking a look and whatnot. Everyone we spoke to said our house was going to go for X amount of money and we'd have absolutely no problems selling almost immediately as our neighborhood is in high demand.

We then found out a very dear friend of ours became a realtor. Perfect! He and a coworker went through the house, echoed what others that have toured the house said in regards to the sale price and how quick our home would sell, and then we were off!

By this time, it's early early June and we had a list of things we'd need to accomplish before we put the house on the market officially. We packed up probably about half of our belongings and got a storage unit. Also at this time, we're touring houses left and right, not quite finding the house that is the best fit. We came close, actually considering putting in a conditional offer, but it got snatched up before we could move on it.

We continued our house project process by painting the living room, fixing a few things here and there.

 If you ever want to test your marriage, paint an entire 1/3 of your house with your spouse. Just sayin'

Then we toured THE house. I was searching the house listings our good realtor friend sent us and found a house that could have been built for us. So I favorited it and about 15 minutes later got a call from our realtor friend saying he loves that house too and we should tour it if we were available.

We toured this house, and even our realtor friend said how perfect this house was for us. It checked off all our "must haves" and even had a few of our "would likes" and "would be nice"s. So, despite our current house not even being on the market, put in a conditional offer. Basically, we're putting in an offer on this house, on the condition that our current house sells within a period of time. With what everyone was saying about how fast our house would sell, that should be easy right?

So, we put in that conditional offer. And lo-and-behold, they accepted! Great. Now we have like, less than two weeks to sell our house that hasn't even been put on the market yet.

Queue the frantic cleaning/purging. We quickly put the house on the market. Now, remember, Breaky works from home, and when he's not casting, he's taking care of our daughter and dog. So when there are showings, he has to pack up the kid, the dog and himself and head out for 15 minutes to a half hour, sometimes even an hour. And there were many, many showings. Logistically and emotionally, it was not an easy thing to go through. I felt helpless as I was at work while, at least twice a day, Breaky had to haul the two minions and a bunch of crap in the truck and figure out something to do for the time of the showing. Thank goodness the weather this summer was decent. Lots of trips to dog-friendly parks.

Picture: Breaky, BabyCPK and DogCPK on a rare, relaxing evening. These three had many, many adventures.

However, as the "due date" for our conditional offer loomed closer and closer, we still did not have any offers on our house. The DAY OF the due date, we had an offer! By this time it's mid to later June. Great. Closing will be in July, we're all good to go. Inspections are scheduled, closing date scheduled, easy peasy.

The buyer schedules that inspection. That next Friday I get a call from Breaky. The buyer is backing out "due to the inspection". I was absolutely devastated. It takes a bit to get me to cry at work as I work in a open-cubicle setting, but this did it for sure. I felt like I failed as a homeowner and a wife, and that this whole process wasn't at all worth all this hassle. The more we talked about it with our realtor, friends and family, we realized the backing out had absolutely nothing to do with our house. The inspection was a standard one, identifying a few things even we were not aware of, but were completely fixable! It wouldn't have even taken a few days for us to address and fix. We came to the conclusion they got cold feet for reasons other than the inspection, but used the inspection as a convenient excuse. While that eased my mind regarding my ability to maintain a homestead, we had a problem. The conditions of the offer on the house we wanted to buy were now not met.

We asked the seller for an extension, and it was granted. Wow! What luck.

Ok, back on the market.

What seemed like at least 2-3 weeks (which in reality was only 4 days) we got word that one of the latest showings resulted in a potential offer! YAY!

Next day: Nope. They changed their mind. Same day: Probably the nastiest feedback regarding the state of our house. It wasn't even things we couldn't control (house was too small, layout wouldn't work for them etc...) it was personal. I don't even want to get into it.

Next day: WE GOT AN OFFICIAL OFFER ON THE HOUSE! Not only that, but more than what we asked for.

Now, because of what happened before, the nerves didn't go away just because we got an offer. The night before the inspection I didn't sleep a wink. But that day came and went and they wanted us to address a few things, but other than that, we move forward! We complete the other inspection on the new house, fix all the things on our old house and start packing.

New closing date: August 6th. 

Packing, packing packing packing, then arranging utilities, getting a moving company (because the last time I moved I said I would never do that by ourselves again) and getting everything arranged for us to not only close on Monday the 6th, but to completely move out too.

Picture: BabyCPK helping her Dadda tape up a box full of clothes.

August 3rd, that Friday, we get a call from our closing agent saying, "we got some bad news, we can't close on Monday."

Evidently due to some logistical issues I won't go into here, we have to push back our closing date due to our buyers' problems. Now remember, we arranged for everything to be moved out on Monday. Movers, utilities, days off of work, etc...Our closing agent was going to see what she could do.

Now, that day we found out our closing was pushed back, I got a call from my Mom saying my Dad was on his way, via ambulance, to the hospital due to diabetic complications. There was nothing anyone can do, so it was determined that I would not head up to see them, as I wouldn't be able to do anything other than stand around worrying.

BabyCPK loves reading with her Granda! She loves him so much. 

The good news on our home-selling front ended up being that the sellers were and are angels and agreed to let us "take possession" of the new house with conditions and a payment.

So it was definitely determined that I could not head up to see my Dad that weekend, as we were still planning on moving that Monday.

Monday came and we moved. It was a blessing in disguise that we had a little more time to actually move, because we had so much more stuff than we thought.

STUFF. Baby for scale

Queue more logistical maneuvering on the part of our agent, closing agent and title companies.

New closing date: August 19th.

You read that right. 19th!!!

So we lived in a house we didn't technically own, all while still technically owning our old house, with absolutely no guarantee that this closing will actually happen. I did not feel like this new house was our home. It was a stranger's home that we barged in and took possession of, due to no fault of our own. 3/4 of our boxes remained unpacked, just in case. Nothing was on the wall, just in case. Officially changing our address was put on hold, just in case. Our lives were put on hold, just in case.

The Saturday before the 19th (closing date) I got a frantic call from my sister that my Dad, once again, was being transported to the hospital via ambulance due to a fall caused by another diabetic reaction. He rebounded faster than the last trip to the hospital, so again, it was determined that it was not going to be necessary for me to head up north, as we had our plates full ourselves, despite me feeling like a horrible daughter.

So, Sunday the 18th, I didn't sleep a wink. Not a damn minute. Going through my head were the worst-case scenarios. Where would we go if we had to put our old house back on the market? How much more would it cost to move everything we own back out of the new house and into....what, a storage unit? Should Breaky and BabyCPK just go on vacation for a few months? Go to my folks place?

It's kind of like Schrodinger's closing. We don't know for sure that this closing is actually going to happen or not. Is it dead? Alive? We won't know until we actually live through the 19th.

Since I technically didn't own the house we lived in for 6 years, I did not have to go to the closing for our old house. Something I'm starting to think Breaky regretted, as every 5-10 minutes I was messaging him to see if he had any updates. I was stuck at work, worried sick to my stomach, not having a clue as to what was going on. Was our buyer even there? Did they have a problem with a contract? Did the office catch on fire?

Finally, at 12:02, I get a message from Breaky. OUR HOUSE SOLD! Breaky left with the check in-hand. I walked to the vending machine to get celebratory Peanut Butter M&Ms, with tears of relief in my eyes, hoping to goodness no one tried to talk to me.

After that, I had to sit through two meetings at work, then I left for the closing, officially, of our new house.

After signing what felt like 80 million documents and dating so many things I don't know if I'll ever forget what date we closed, we are alllll doonnnneee.

Overall, I would absolutely not voluntarily do this again anytime soon. It opened my eyes to some obviously unresolved anxiety issues that I need to work on. Also highlighted the flaws in my stress-handling system. However, there were a few things that made this whole process not so bad.

Honestly, if it were not for our dear friend who is also our realtor, I would have rage-quit this process a month ago. We knew he was just as invested in getting us a great home that it gave me confidence in this whole process I wouldn't have otherwise. If you are in the Kalamazoo area, check out Thomas Whitener at Keller-Williams.
My Dad is recovering now at home and is getting better. Still in some pain, as he had to go through a surgery, but he is doing so much better than earlier, I can tell you that much. Our family is so grateful to everyone who reached out during this difficult time and who are still checking in to make sure he's ok. 

Also, I feel like this brought Breaky and me closer together as a couple. We drew strength from each other through this time and I am so glad I married my best friend  💝

Expect many more blog posts about new, creative and geeky projects for our new house! I promise now I'll be better about keeping this blog updated!! 

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