Thursday, June 27, 2013

Big News

What could it be, you ask?  You already know I'm pregnant, I already said it's not twins, so what else could it be?!  I know many people did not even know we were talking about this but we have been thinking about the need for more room and a better bedroom situation and other amenities like an attached garage since we found out about the next baby on the way.  The housing market in Bismarck is going insane and we calculated that with our equity from this house we could move to the next bracket without spending much more.  We saw some promising houses online, Justin called the realtor so we could look at some (which were not the right ones) and she told us that in order to qualify to buy we had to have ours on the market.  This has all happened in the last few weeks since I returned from Las Vegas. 

There have been very few houses comparable to ours on the market in this city (as in less than five on any day) and another house on our street sold a few months ago for a price that seemed outlandish compared to what we paid in 2009.  We started preparing and filled many boxes and bags with clutter, toys and personal effects and stashed them in the garage.  Justin resealed the windows and touched up some peeling paint.  After this work the house looked so great and felt so spacious and wonderful that we had second thoughts.  It is amazing how invigorating it is to not have crap covering every surface and closets so jammed full that you can't fit another item inside.  Back when Oprah was still on TV she would always have episodes with this designer (Nate Berkhus I think?) about how Americans have houses full of crap they don't need and it drags them down in other areas of life.  She would shout "It's all too much!" to the audience.  I was always been annoyed by these episodes because I thought that Oprah could tell me I had too much when she lived in a campus apartment or a house with 1500 square feet and not a 50,000 square foot mansion (yes seriously...I read it in People Magazine) and didn't spent $3,000 on cashmere beds for her dogs (yes, also true).  But there is truth to what they were carrying on about and it does feel great to have a more pristine environment and forget about the garbage bags and boxes full of excess in the garage.  It is easier said than done to just "get rid of it" and there was one box of many that I filled with things for a rummage sale or thrift store but it is nice to be free of it for awhile. 

So, back to the story of how we have sold the house.  The realtor came over on Monday and took pictures and it went on the market on Tuesday morning.  I was warned to be ready for showings at any time and two were scheduled that afternoon.  They both made offers which their realtors presented to us yesterday morning.  They both offered to pay our asking price and agreed to everything we wanted.  One was slightly less good because the buyer had a house they had to sell in a small town first (in oil would have sold pretty quick but we had two options!)  While we were at the realtor's office I had three calls from realtors wanting to do showings and one more yesterday afternoon.  I had another one this morning.  I hope all those people find "the one". 

I admit that I caught a glimpse of the future owners when they were having their showing...I thought they would be gone but when I drove by they were standing out in the yard and I was very relieved to see two young and normal looking people who could have been just like us back in 2009.  And that is just what they are, from what their realtor told us.  They are getting married soon and have been looking for their first house and seen nothing but dingy crap (I second that sentiment!)  They knew as soon as they walked in that it was the one.  They like that it was modern but also had character and was clean and not outdated.  Which, of course, I remember thinking when we walked in before we even knew about the hardwood floors under the carpet and regardless of the 90's "old lady" décor.  It was at the top of their budget but they are making it work.  I was so relieved to hear about them that I knew I wanted them to have it and I don't know them but I am so happy for them.  I imagine the girl looking on Pinterest  for ideas and filling a bag with paint samples at Menards and Lowes like I did (the paint samples...I wish Pinterest had been around when we bought this place!).  But then I get sad thinking about it looking different.  I think about them driving by here when they are on thier way somewhere else, not believing that it is theirs.  I did that quite regularly before we moved in.  I know, I am a creeper!

We have not shared this on Facebook or told the world because we are both still processing it.  It is not a secret or anything but it just happened really fast.  It has been a hard decision and we keep reminding ourselves why we wanted a new house in the first place and how chaotic it was in here before we packed half of our belongings in boxes and plastic totes.  We purchased this house while I was having a hard time preparing for the bar exam and I found out I passed right after we took possession and having the house to look forward to helped me get through it. I keep getting hit with nostalgia remembering little moments that have happened here.  The previous owner had lived here since the house was built so I knew we would take care of everything here and not let her down.  We recently found out she died in 2011 so I am glad she knew her house was in good hands. 

I am excited about the idea of a new house but the problem is going to be finding a new house.  The same crazy market that allowed our house to sell in one day with no negotiations will challenge us as the buyers.  It is hard to stomach the idea of moving into a place that might be bigger but is not as high quality as our house now.  We have seen yucky carpet, horrible kitchen layouts and very cheap construction.  It seems like as the houses get newer (the newer houses we have seen have been mass built development homes) the quality gets worse.  Other houses we have seen have been built in the 70s and are just so dated it is hard to decide what would get our attention and time and money first (gross carpet? horrible bathrooms? awful deck about to fall off the house?)  Many people in Bismarck are buying houses in the process of being built from various developers but they usually don't have finished basements which would leave us with less space than we have now.  We have some requirements that we are not compromising on (attached double garage, four or more bedrooms, not too much to ask, I don't think!). Our realtor keeps saying the one for us will come on the market and I hope it does because these new buyers understandably want their house since they gave up their lease when they started house shopping and are living in their parents' basement and we don't want to be moving when I am eight months pregnant. 

I want to flash back to 2009 and 2010 in the blog archives but I am not ready for that yet!  Too sad!  I know I will feel better when there is more certainty about where we will be living next so I will do that when the time comes.  There will for sure be a layout change on the blog because it is creepy to have a picture of someone else's house (not yet!)) on your website.  I am really happy that I have this first hand account of life with our first house.  I think It will be something to look back on for years in the future. 

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