This morning my husband called me to say, “Everything is going through,” that means, our house is sold!! The relief that we won’t have to pay a mortgage payment and a rent payment in a couple days is still settling in…
What have we learned from this experience?
-Things don’t turn out how you expect them to! We hired a stager to set up our home all beautiful-like, and I’m glad we did—it gave us a lot of views online and showings, but there were several things we couldn’t change about the house that made it so that not many people would want it (a couple were that we were backed up to some apartments and the garage wasn’t attached to the house). We had hoped that we would sell the house in 2-3 weeks, but it took 2-3 months.
-The first offer for a house is usually the best offer. Our first and second offers fell through, but this adage lined up to be true. We finally got an offer where the people really wanted the house, and now it is sold!
-Sometimes you have to cut your losses and move on. We hoped to make a lot of money on the sale, but we just made some. People were telling us, “Rent out the house!!” My response was, “NO!!” I want to be fully in Minnesota, not having to watch out for a house in Illinois. Dave Ramsey recommends always living near your rentals, so that “you don’t have people changing their Harley oil in your living room.” Besides, sometimes you don’t always make money, and you just have to admit it and leave.
-Having an updated kitchen DOES help! We were hoping for some first-time home buyers who just wanted to update the kitchen and main bathroom themselves…but it seems people in that area of Illinois just want everything all updated for them. Moving forward, this means we want to keep our kitchen up to date…within reason, because having updated kitchens and bathrooms DO help houses sell.
-Having a realtor DOES help you sell the house. Our realtors took a lot of time to talk us through things, to reassure us, and even look out for the house when we had already moved out of state. We are thankful for them—and all of us are glad that the house is sold!
-We have great friends that are neighbors. Several people helped us out with keeping the lawn mowed, so we didn’t have to hire someone. When we needed help to get the house ready to sell, and then the furniture packed in the moving truck, lots of friends and family showed up to help. We were so blessed by all the people who helped us! Thank you again.
It is weird that we won’t be going back to that house; we WILL be going to visit our great neighbors and family again, though. Reflecting on the different rooms of the house makes me thankful for so many people in our lives.
My favorite room in our house on Windsor Dr. was our baby room. That gray-green painted room had been a messy office until we found out we had Joel on the way, so we emptied in, painted it a peaceful gray-blue, and the transformation stuck. I spent many hours in that sweet, bright room since our baby arrived; it is the room I was saddest to leave. That was the room we brought back our newborn to and our friend Kirsten slept over that first night home and held him when he was awake for three hours in the middle of the night. That’s the room where I would fall asleep nursing and sat in our comfy, Goodwill chair for hours. It was in that room that Stephen told me he had lost his job; nevertheless, that is the room where I called out to Stephen (while feeding the baby), “Why don’t you apply for a job in Minnesota?!”
I will miss our kitchen—with its yellow wallpaper (that Stephen hated!), the table that gathered mounds of stuff, and the opening into the downstairs (that we never had the railing up until we were showing the house). I loved that kitchen—with its window to the back yard. While a new Mom, I loved coming down to the kitchen to eat a jello or chocolate pudding after a midnight feeding. We cooked lots of great food in there. Even while we were packing up this last time, there were no chairs or anything except food on the counters, and it was filled with people talking.
I’m thankful for that garage—even though it was unattached. I enjoyed having to walk a few steps outside before going in to get the car. That was the first garage I ever got to park in! We had two productive garage sales in that place—the first one was when we purged a lot of bachelor furniture, and the second was smaller, but I made a great friend –Meghan—because of that sale. She stopped by on her bike, then came back later and bought a few things including a few of my cards. She told us where she lived on the next street over, and a few weeks later we walked by, saw them, and started talking. She helped me with my labor last November! I think we will always be friends.
Our neighbors all around us were great friends. Stephen knows how to be a great neighbor, and he made friends with most of the neighbors all around us. I had grown up in the country, a mile from anyone, so it was new for me to have kind and helpful people all around us. I wish I had relaxed more and just enjoyed them better (I did more this summer while staying at the house while waiting for it to sell). So it is the PEOPLE that we miss as we say “Good-bye” to our home on Windsor Dr. The people fed, loved, and helped us so much, and we miss them.
Now that the house is sold, Stephen and I are both excited that we can just go back and enjoy the people (instead of doing yard work and cleaning!). We are excited to find a new home with more great neighbors around.
The photo below shows it like it was–we were way behind schedule, tired, but thankful to be done and for the new chapter ahead.
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Thank you again, and peace to you and your family!