We have lived in our home for 13 years and 9 months. Our daughter called it our “Double Wide Palace” the first time we were able to go inside of it on our property. We felt a little bit like the T.V. family, The Jefferson’s, we were ‘moving on up’ from where we had been. My husband and I found the land 2.62 Acres, in a nice rural area. It is 10 miles to the nearest grocery store. There are cattle farms, tree farms, goat farms, pecan orchards, peach orchards, cotton fields and a strawberry farm all within a 5 mile radius of your home. This is country living at it’s, almost best! It is a 45 minute commute to work one way for my husband every day. Our oldest daughter and grandchildren live 30 to 45 minutes away depending on the traffic, near my husband’s job. The decision has been made. We are selling our home and moving closer to our grandchildren and my husband’s job. It is another city. It will be city life! Are we making a mistake? Well, you only live once. Make life simple and enjoy it!
We do have a buyer! The sale is Pending. This has prompted us to get serious about looking for a ‘new’ home. Our realtor showed us 11 houses on Saturday. She was awesome! We thought she did a great job of showing us the different areas of town we needed to consider as well as top of our price range and not quite top of our price range. We saw new construction as well as houses with some age and ‘character’. I like the one’s with character. My husband likes the new construction. We did not however, see ‘The One”. We will know it when we find it. It is fun to look at houses but it is also exhausting! We were in bed asleep 2 hours ahead of our normal bed-time on Saturday!
We went to Open Houses on Sunday afternoon. We learned several things.
- Just because an Open House is advertised, doesn’t mean it will actually happen
- Neighborhoods with new construction have representatives who are supposed to unlock doors to model homes. Those representatives don’t show up on time and are not especially informative
- There is a brief window of time to see many houses. Typically it is 1 pm- 4pm. We were in a mad rush because the houses were all over town. Once we drove out to an area, there was in fact NO Open House even though it had been advertised
Update: June 13, 2014
We have had 3 offers, all which we accepted. None were approved financially to purchase a home.
Lesson learned: Ask your realtor to be sure the buyer is preapproved prior to accepting an offer. That will save you a lot of emotional trauma! When you think your house is sold and it is in fact, not….that is an emotional let down!
Of course, our realtor will show us any house we wish to see. We have to realize that we are not her only clients. There is some ‘homework’ (tee hee hee) we will have to do on our own thus the Open House escapade.
Websites like realtor.com, trulia.com and Zillow.com have been a great help. They are not created equal though. Realtor doesn’t have as many pictures of each house as the other two sites. Our realtor said that is because they charge for extra pictures. Zillow has a lot of pre-foreclosures which are so pre, the realtor can’t even find it. We found a house we really liked on Zillow in Pre-Foreclosure but couldn’t find any other information. Our realtor took us to it on Saturday so she could see it also. There is supposed to be a paper taped to an inside front window on a foreclosure home. There was not. However, there was a construction crew replacing the broken fence. They were able to provide the realtor with contact information, consequently we were able to go inside the home. As is true with some foreclosures, the evicted owner trashed the house. They destroyed many aspects of the interior and removed every light fixture in the house. There are only wires hanging from the ceiling where lights used to be. The house has to be remodeled before it is livable again. The entire kitchen and bathrooms had to be gutted.
We are learning as we proceed through the home selling and home buying experience. It can be a bit emotional. It can be fun but also exhausting. Do you have any advice you would give about your experience?