Getting back on the horse

Or something like that.

Last night it just occurred to me that maybe I ought to start blogging again. Or at least allow my imaginary readers to catch up with us. There have been a lot of changes in the last few months.

Back in December, I posted a video announcement of the anticipated arrival of our sixth baby. I am now 32 weeks pregnant (tomorrow, technically) and things are going swimmingly. I had a week of bad foot and ankle pain but that seems to have calmed down. At the moment, I’m enjoying the rhythmic bouncing of my belly as this baby has hiccups again. Everyone else is doing well – playing Lego when they don’t want to be outside and jumping on the trampoline, playing with water, etc. when the weather is nice. What a blessing the beginning of summer is!

We are nearing the end of birthday season with just Erik’s birthday left in about a week and a half. Sam turned two, Ben turned four and Jenny turned nine, all in the last five weeks. Oy. Erik’s birthday party will be the last in this house BECAUSE….

 

WE SOLD!

 

That’s probably the biggest update and will only be surprise if you’re not my friend on Facebook or otherwise communicating with me online or in real life. So, maybe like one or two people? Maybe..?

Something like two months ago, I finally decided to be bold enough to express how important it was to me that we move ASAP so that we might have a shot at moving before this baby is born. We painted and painted and painted…and painted. And then we called a realtor when we only had one last project to do – putting in new baseboards and trim. In the fall, we assumed we could list our house for about $210,000 or so. With some changes in assessments and other things going on here, when the realtor came on May 5th, he said he figured we could list for $235,000, based on a comparative market analysis. We made a plan to meet eight days later and do the paperwork to get it listed. We then enlisted the help of Mike’s dad and our brother-in-law to come the following weekend to get the trim work done. Once that was done, Mike and I caulked and cleaned and painted trim and then cleaned and organized and decluttered a bit more before our scheduled meeting. On May 13th, Dan (our realtor, who the kids insist on calling by his full name – Dan Petersen) came again and told us that due to some other changes in the market and a house nearby selling for what had previously seemed an unreal amount of money (600 square feet for $253,000?! With a shop, but still..), we would be able to increase our list price. So we were thinking maybe by five or ten thousand max. Nope, we listed for $255,900. Crazy. The next day, he came to take pictures for the listing, put up the sign (hooray for being official!) and told us not to expect too much too soon. The next afternoon around two, he called and said someone wanted to see the house at six. SERIOUSLY?! Deep cleaning commenced and a few hours later, he told me that it was actually two different people back to back who wanted to see it. So we cleared out and hoped for the best.

Late that night, a little more than forty-eight hours after signing papers and days before the listing ever made it online, we got an offer on our house. We countered, they countered, etc. until we agreed on $251,000 on Friday afternoon. Sign up to accepted offer in two days. At this point, we hadn’t even looked at houses or thought about buying because we thought we’d have a long wait before getting an offer. That Saturday, well-meaning friends and family were telling us that we had better be in a hurry and get looking or we were going to end up without a house. Well, we had faith that the right thing would turn up at the right time, that God would provide just the right house for us. And then we settled in to wait and look cautiously without getting ahead of the sale of our house. Our realtor actually wanted to wait until the last week in May just to look because our buyers were first timers and the risk of hold ups was a bit high.

The following morning (four days after the sign went up in our front yard), I was looking at Facebook and noticed that a friend had shared the link to a listing that she thought I might be interested in. I looked and was impressed with the pictures, number of rooms and location (although I didn’t know the exact address at the time). The price seemed to be at the high end of our limit but I figured I would at least email Dan and let him know that we were interested. Within five minutes, I got a text from him asking if we would like to see it that afternoon. This was a total surprise as we thought he would suggest we wait and also because we didn’t ask to see it, just expressed some interest. We said we would look at it, figuring it would just be the first in a long line of houses we would see before finding the perfect place.

During church that morning, I realized that this house was not only in a desirable location, but actually about a minute down the street from our church. Mike’s parents live a few blocks away from there making them about a seven minute walk away. I got just a little more excited at that point. We went that afternoon and liked what we saw. A lot. Dan figured that the only reason we were able to see it before it got snatched up was because it was a long weekend, meaning that other realtors from that real estate agency (not the one Dan is with) had not yet seen the listing. It had actually only listed on the day we accepted the offer on our house, only two days before. He also thought it might be around $10,000 less than market value for the area. We asked about thinking on it for a bit but he figured if we did that, we would miss our chance. So we put in an offer. They countered late that night and we came to an amount we could manage.

Then we waited. And waited. Waited for our buyers to show evidence that they were doing anything, waited for an inspector to go look at the house we wanted to buy and one to come here. Finally it all just happened, all at once last week. On Friday, the inspector looked at our house and found some damage under the house. But even that turned out to be no big deal – easily fixed without gutting the bathroom like the buyers thought they would have to do. We agreed to fix it on our own dime before we move out and that was enough for the buyers.

SO, all that to say that in the space of four days, we both accepted an offer on our house and had an offer accepted on the house we are buying. In the span of three weeks, we went from no sign of selling to sold signs on both yards. And in thirty-seven days, we will move. Same town, only eight minutes from where we live, but within walking distance of our church, Mike’s parents and three of our homeschool friends. It will cut Mike’s drive to work in half and he will be able to walk in twenty minutes if he wants to. Yes, it’s going to cost us more every month but it’s also a house we can stay in for a long time if we need to. It has four bedrooms, two bathrooms and almost three times the square footage of this house (we will go from just under 800 to almost 2400). The kitchen looks out towards the street, the driveway is concrete and it is south facing which means warmth in the winter but not too much in the summer. Much to our kids’ delight, it even has a playhouse in the backyard. We are so blessed!

So then there’s the other stuff. We’ll be moving one day after I hit full term. I’ve also been potty training Sam which means in the middle of packing, I’ll be keeping an extra eye on him. I’m thankful for the nice weather and a big backyard here to keep the kids busy most of the time, and for a thirteen year old homeschooled neighbour boy who comes to hang out with them almost every day. We also have friends with trucks and strong arms and shouldn’t have any trouble moving when the time comes. Most of the packing will have to wait for the last week as I already packed almost all the non-essentials before we put the house up for sale. I imagine we’ll be eating out just a bit come July. 🙂

There’s more to our life, of course, but at the moment, pregnancy and moving/house selling have definitely been taking up most of our brain space. And we’re so excited that after almost nine years in this little house, we will be moving on to something bigger and better!

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