I started this post a week ago when our contract for the house collapsed. We were about a week from closing, when our buyers had an unexpected snag with their lending company, and had to switch to a new mortgage loan officer and start completely over from scratch. Thus our deal crumbled and I ended up making a ton of phone-calls to make sure the movers didn’t show up and such. It’s a good thing I hadn’t filled out those change of address forms just yet! Otherwise, that would be a loooong drive to the mail box.
It’s also a good thing we never listed on MLS, so in effect, we are starting from scratch, too, now.
The whole of this long experience wore me down, though. We’ve been talking selling the house with our friends who ended up not buying it since December. Kevin and I talked about it, and decided to JUST HIRE A REALTOR this time around, and do it the conventional way. Ptttthhhh. Homeschool moms have a hard time with conventional things… since we are, by nature, trail-blazers in our own minds.
But for house sales, I figured, it was time to sit back and call in a professional. I hope that I’m not going to regret it. For starters, things are looking good. The house is shiny, the yard is manicured, and we are now sporting a new yard sign, lock box, and MLS number.
However, I wrongly believed this was going to be easier… HA! This realtor has had me knee deep in black mulch doing the front and back flower beds, weeding and mowing and raking, making small changes to furniture arrangement, packing and boxing clutter (that we didn’t even think we had); and we’ve been showing the house a little and already had one open house (even though we didn’t get a lot of traffic because it was over Easter weekend).
The front and back yards have both been given ample curb appeal, don’t you think? My neighbor even pitched in to loan us a bench for an outdoor seating area.
Come on, now. You know you want to move right in and sit out there to have your coffee every morning (especially now that the pink “redbud snow” – blossoms falling from above – is mostly gone). At least the cats love it.
I’ve even planted garden plants for our future buyers… out of the kindness of my little green heart. Tomatoes, peppers, parsley, garlic and more… and I’ll probably start some seeds this week with the boys, too.
I’ve discovered that I really love gardening and plants. It has become kind of an obsession. I really don’t mind, whereas, I had hardly a moment for outdoor stuff in my 20’s (other than field trips and camping – I’ve always loved field trips and camping).
When I move, I’m going to get a greenhouse, and I’m going to put a kitchen inside it… and maybe a bed. I may just live out there with my plants.
Shhhhh. Don’t tell the boys. I’m also planning something extra special for them so they can acclimate to being “country folk”: an OUTSIDE BATHROOM. Seriously… being boys, they LOVE DIRT. I don’t love it inside my house… so I’m building them a really groovy outside shower and sink. I’ve been drooling on pinterest pictures and ideas for the farm for the past few months… so many great ideas.
And those scorpions I talked about? So over them. I’ve been clearing the carport out and aside from a mass amount of rusty old junk, I have only found ONE SINGLE SCORPION. He was so tiny and helpless… and he flattened himself out when we picked up the pallet he was hiding under as if to say: “You can’t see me!!!! Please don’t hurt me!!!” And here, I was afraid of them. Whatever. He met the heel of my son’s boot and that was the end of him.
I kind of felt sorry for him…. if you want to know the truth.
We also found a centipede and a millipede on the same day. Did you know they actually eat spiders? What’s so bad about that? I definitely have a spider problem out there. Like an “if you stand still, they will wrap you in silk” kind of problem. Bring on the spider eaters… which, sadly, includes a generous amount of wasps. Believe me, they already got the memo… I had to kill three of those last weekend, too… because they just couldn’t leave me alone while I was working. My policy is: if you fly up in my face, you are going to die… beneficial bug or not. Only butterflies, honey bees, ladybugs, and lacewings get a free pass.
In the middle of our crazy, we also took a quick field trip to Rodeo Austin. Before we found out that our closing day wasn’t coming, we spent our entire spring break driving back and forth to the country to move things, clean things, sand things, pack things, mow things, weed-eat things, paint things, water things, feed things, sweep things, haul things, check on things, and more. I was losing sleep with all the ideas in my head about what we were going to need to do or build or fix… worrying about different problems – the unknown, guilt over not doing this while mom was alive – even though we couldn’t afford it then… and with each step, it was getting more real.
And now we are in MLS limbo. Time to just be still and let God do what He is doing… because after all, this is all in His hands and has been from the start. It took longer for Him to get me on board with it all than it will to sell the house, I’m sure… since I never wanted to sell it in the first place! Even less now… since it looks like a model home (with the added bonus of mature trees and amazing landscaping).
The boys’ bathroom is pretty difficult to keep clean all the time, but we’ll manage. I’m bribing them with treats and following them around like a mother-hen.
My ace in the hole with this house selling business? You can renovate a bathroom or kitchen in a weekend, but you need a decade to grow mature trees. Especially trees like mine!!! I HEART MY TREES. I hope to take that point to the bank in a few weeks when we get an offer.
Some good news to even out the stress of getting “show ready” again (to which my husband says “I’m too old for this”)? This past week we had someone look under the farm house and walk through it to give us repair estimates, renovation estimates, and tell us if the house was level. We had gotten another estimate which the guy disclosed that it would cost us upwards of 15 THOUSAND dollars to level it and more than we wanted to spend in renovations. His advice was to demolish it ourselves and build from scratch! Old farm houses can get real expensive if they aren’t sound on their foundations, apparently. New construction is much cheaper; I’m sure it’s much easier for the builder, too. The good news? Seems our tiny farm house roof and foundation ARE in good shape.
BIG – SIGH – OF RELIEF.
My grandpa knew what he was doing when he put the farm house together… which we have been lovingly calling the franken-farm-house because it is actually THREE different sections made of two buildings and a new addition connecting them. Wasn’t it such a cool thing that back when the Greatest Generation were building things, they didn’t just throw everything away and start from scratch? They actually RECYCLED the way all today’s posh, urban, crunchy, hippies like to tell the world to do very loudly. It was all the rage back in my grandpa’s day… and he was quietly leading the charge before it was cool. I know this… because what he recycled is actually still usable today – for his GREAT GRANDCHILDREN to use.
Talk about green living! All that and he milked his own Jersey Cow, too.
Speaking of cows… this one is my new neighbor. Yep, so cute, I know. We also pet a really nice cow at the Rodeo. And I held the sweet sleeping face of a 5 day old baby goat. It was all I could do to keep from giving my boys ACTUAL CHICKS in their easter basket this year…. along with their sugar-free, gluten-free treats, of course. We celebrated Passover and Easter, both. Looking at this… can you even imagine passover? Actually killing this animal at sundown? Perfect and unblemished year-old goats? Ones that had names, and were loved?
And imagine how hard it was for God to do that to His very own son? I just can’t. The son, or the goat. Passover lambs are meant to be loved. I’m such a crybaby.
They might talk me in to the goats yet.
I’m still holding out on the dog, though. I just can’t imagine having all those THINGS TO CARE FOR. What in the world do you do when you want to travel? It sounds like so much more work than easy-going, independent cat-farming. Cats may be hard to herd, but they are super easy to just leave someplace so they can eat mice while you take a vacation. Me and cats understand each other.
Y’all… regardless of the animal situation, I’m ready to do this moving thing. I don’t even KNOW what all I already packed and put in my storage unit that I thought I would already be opening by now. There could be food, make up and candles melting in my Pod.
This is such a great lesson on patience and trust. Even the Easter story had some waiting involved in it… and lots of sacrifice.
Don’t you hate those types of lessons? Me, too. Gah.