“Why on earth would you move when you have a perfectly fine house that you’ve worked so hard on?”
That was a question that we were asked over and over again when we announced that we were moving. It wasn’t always in those exact words, but some variation of “Are you crazy?” Truthfully, we weren’t looking to move. The house we were living in was great, but we knew that it wasn’t our forever home (and by forever I, of course, mean our home until both of the boys graduate from college and we can retire and move to the beach.)
We had worked hard on that home. We lived there just shy of 6 years, and I feel like I never really stopped working on that house. Not that it needed a ton of work. It was perfectly fine the way it was when we bought it. But… that’s just not the way we roll. Our two biggest projects involved gutting the kitchen (which you can read all about and see pics here and here and here and here) and building a fantastic back porch that was really more like an outdoor living room, fireplace, TV, couch, and all.
From simply painting a room to major construction, we had done it all. Just before finding our new house, I had just finished a quick, inexpensive bathroom remodel of the boys’ bath.
Yes, we hadn’t planned on moving, but we’ve always been lookers. Lookers. The housing market had started to improve and we were…curious. Curious to see if there was anything out there that had something that our current home didn’t have. We made conditions, criteria. We would only move if the house:
- was within the boundaries of the high school we want the boys to attend. To explain, they are in a private school right now that only goes up to 8th grade. We were thinking ahead.
- had a pool. We live in California. It seemed silly to be living without a pool that you can be in 365 days a year.
- had bigger bedrooms for the boys. Their bedrooms were teeny tiny and seemed to be shrinking as the boys were growing.
- was on a cul-de-sac. Because that’s the American dream.
It was a very specific list and we did not expect to find a house that met all of the criteria. Never dreamed we’d find something that checked off all of the boxes.
But then we did.
We quickly made an offer. The seller accepted. We were thrilled. But the seller had a contingency that involved finding their “home of choice.” Basically, if they didn’t find a home that met their needs to buy, they could back out of our deal.
We waited a month. We extended the contingency twice. The seller wasn’t finding anything. They were also looking for something very specific. It seemed impossible. The waiting and wondering were driving me to drink so we graciously backed out of the deal.
“You know, our house is great,” we told ourselves. “We are fine here. Sure, that house would have been perfect, but maybe God wants us to stay put. Maybe He had even bigger things planned for us and we need to be patient. Yeah, we’re good. It’s okay.”
Two days after backing out, the seller’s agent called. They still wanted to sell to us and were willing to do whatever it took to make it happen. Did we still want to buy the house?
Why yes. Yes, we did. We still wanted the house. It was the end of October and set the closing date for January 6th. Maybe this was God’s plan after all.
We quickly put our house on the market. We were confident. Probably overconfident. We had put almost 6 years worth of work and money into that house. We expected it to sell the first day. It didn’t. But within a couple of weeks, a young couple came along that appreciated all that we had done and wanted it as badly as we wanted to sell it to them. They made an offer. We requested a rent back to get us through the holidays without having to live in an extended stay hotel with two children a Golden Retriever and Santa. They agreed. We would close December 20th, rent back for a month, and move on January 18th.
It’s so weird when the timing that you thought would be impossible to work out, works out.
But there was still some timing left to tackle. Timing the whole remodel.
And there was lots to do.