moving/house sale update

Lack of post excuses:

  1. I prematurely packed my camera cord {true story!} and I hate a post without a photo or 2!
  2. I’m a believer in that whole not counting your chickens thing.

… But… Things are rolling right along with the move. And I think we are close enough I think it’s safe to tell…our house is SOLD! Ok, not sold sold, but under contract. Inspection, appraisal, everything’s dunzo but the closing, which will be April 21. Huzah!

We are feeling so, so lucky that the timing could not have been better. We will have justenough time to move our stuff into the house (which happens a week from today by the way) and do a quick clean of the old one before transferring it over to the new owners (sniff!), leaving us with only one house payment AND giving us a nice bit of equity to reimburse our savings for the down payment we put down.

I couldn’t really give many tips on how to sell a home by owner, even if this whole things works without a hitch, because I really feel ours was a combination of timing and price and pretty fliers. Because we sold our home without a realtor, we were able to price more competitively than the many other homes for sale in our area. And the buyers were looking for something just like ours- our floor plan is kind of unique to the Utah suburbs.

Not only did we DIY our home sale {with a little help from our family}, we are DIYing the move, too (with a LOTTA help from our family). All of our possessions are being moved into a conveniently located {driveway} enclosed trailer {Jonathan’s company owns it} while we clean behind ourselves.

I’ve already prematurely boxed up eleventy things I’ve had to make-do without. I wanted to do an even bigger mass-cleanout/pare-down before moving but it’s tricky. So my new plan is to have a housewarming-slash-take-my-stuff party where I gather it all up and hand it out to who wants it!

I love checklists, but all the moving checklists I find online are for those movers who hire out everything. So I made my own. Here’s what’s left on the move:

  • Use up freezer/fridge contents, cleaning supplies, etc. as much as possible
  • Finish packing/labeling/moving all boxes and furnishings to trailer
  • Request moving help from friends and family
  • Change address with USPS.com
  • Cancel utilities for the day after moving out
  • Set up utilities for new home day prior to moving in
  • Change address on all services such as internet, cell phone, magazine subscriptions, Netflix, etc
  • Change address with the IRS
  • Change address with bank and order new checks
  • Update insurance policies
  • Clean walls and floors for new owners
  • Clean oven/fridge/dishwasher and microwave for new owners
  • Take lots of pictures of the new place before we do anything to it {before-and-after photos are important!}

After moving in:

  • Change address with DMV and apply for new Driver License
  • Change address with employer

{And the fun stuff}:

  • Send out change-of-address cards to friends and family {we’ll just see if I really get around to it…}
  • Meet the neighbors! {Silly checklist item but a real goal of mine is to get to know the people in my neighborhood this time!}
  • Get to know the ‘hood – find out the best place for grocery shopping, when garbage pickup is, and where to take Sadie for walks {trails?}
  • Plan a housewarming party for early summer!
  • Make a yard plan!

Am I forgetting anything?

Well that’s what we’ve been up to. Sad to leave… but can’t wait to post about the new place. (:

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NEW house sneak peak & updates

I’ve been a horrible blogger because life’s been so very busy! We are still trying to sell a house and will soon be closing on, and moving into, a new one. I can’t wait to move in, but selling a home is super stressful! The purchase of our new home isn’t contingent on selling ours. If we don’t sell ours in a timely manner, we will be either dropping the price, or doing a lease-to-own option. We’ve had people looking, and have some interest out there, but we’ve also already had gotten our hopes up prematurely a few times. We are new at this. It’s definitely an adventure!

Enough about that – onto the fun stuff. A sneak peak at the new place and some progress. Here’s the outside of the house. The yard will need a LOT of work, particularly the back yard, but that deck is really nice and it’s fully-fenced with a nice vinyl fence with the exception of the front gate-pieces which we will be doing right away. {Pictures aren’t very good, because I was trying to snap fast during a quick plumbing-check visit!}

A few inside pictures. The kitchen! I love it. I wasn’t too sure about stained wood cabinets {I prefer white} but these are alder and really nice. We’ve already bought a fridge that will be delivered around move-in time – a stainless steel French-door LG, same as the white one we already owned a loved. My mom now has our white beauty. (:  Eventually we will cycle out the black appliances for stainless. There’s waaay more storage in this kitchen and that island! I love! The door on the left of the second picture opens to the deck, obviously.

The entry / living room. You walk in and see the fireplace. The living room and kitchen are open so it’s a typical rambler floor plan. The fireplace is in need of a nice mantle installed, so that’s another project for the first year there I think. Shouldn’t be too hard to come up with something that makes it more of a focal-point. I kind of love how this house is sooo plain. Means I don’t have to undo any wackadoo stuff from the previous owners. Very blah though. Can’t wait to inject lotsa personality into this joint and have some crazy friends come help us break it in!

Master bedroom and bathroom. Wow that bathroom pic is bad. It’s a nice, huge space though with a jetted tub and glassed in shower and double sinks. Fancy! Can’t wait to spruce up these areas.

Lots of other spaces I don’t yet have photos of {like I said, this was a sneak peak! ;)}, like the nice laundry/mud room, 2 more bedrooms, a second bathroom, and plenty of space to work with in the completely unfinished basement.

Here’s a list of the things we know for sure we will be doing to the house {short-termish}:

  • Put some gates up on the sides of the house so the fence is fully closed off.
  • Paint the whole place. Kitchen, dining, living room, entryway and hallways right away, all the same neutral light gray/tan. The bedrooms and bathrooms can wait.
  • Window treatments – maybe some bamboo shades? – throughout the house. I am horrible about making decisions on window treatments for some reason! Someone help. Ideas?
  • Building a mantel for the fireplace.
  • Remove the huge mirrors in the master bathroom and put up two smaller ones. Switch out faucets and fixtures eventually.
  • making something of the rest of the existing landscaping. It’s hard to tell quite yet how much work we have ahead of us. Maybe in the spring we will be pleasantly surprised and the grass will survive.
  • Furniture and decor will be very use-what-we-have. I don’t plan to buy anything new except for what’s required to fix up what we’ve already got. Meaning I’ll be spray painting some lamps and maybe staining/glazing our kitchen table a nice color.

Not-so-immediately:

  • Paint the rest of the rooms.
  • Replace the dining room chandelier and kitchen faucet with something nicer. Put some hardware on the cabinets.
  • Pouring a side RV pad, building a shed, and putting in a garden in the back
  • Re-stain the deck to a less reddish/orangish color. Possibly pour a patio. JB wants to do a stamped concrete patio, which I think would be fabulous! It’s so awesome he is handy.
  • Finish at least some of the basement, to include a family room. We’ll have the tv upstairs for a while til that’s done, and the bulky leather couches.

And a wishlist of some other projects:

  • Paint the front door, garage doors, and trim around the doors a nicer color. Black? And hang some bulkier black outdoor light fixtures. Some awesome huge carriage lights perhaps?
  • Build a bench under the master bedroom window.
  • Maybe get a decent-sized flat panel TV for upstairs once the basement is finished, and revamp a dresser for a media console.
  • A craft area downstairs – nothing fancy, just some space to make messes.
  • Replace the mirror and fixtures in the second upstairs bathroom.

So yeah – the list is gonna require a second job and lots of Red Bull … or else just a long time and lots of patience and creativity. Or maybe all of the above. I’m super excited and hoping the sale of our house works out soon! Can’t wait to get in there and get started! I’ll certainly try to get back to better blogging in the process.

Anyone have any priceless house-selling or moving advice for us?

movin’ on up

Some big news from my little corner. In probably less than two months, we’ll be picking up and moving our stuff to a nicer, bigger home. Yup. A couple weeks back, we put a bid on a HUD home and were notified within days our offer was accepted. I will (obviously) give you way way more details on the new abode later on.

We are in the process of trying to sell our home right now. It’s very, very sad for me. I really love our house. So, because I’m feeling sentimental, I wanted to do a post about our first house complete with tour. Lots of photos ahead.

We picked it up in 2006. It had been vacant for a while – maybe a couple years? And a rental (a couple of frat-boyish bachelors) before that. The neighbors gave us the scoop. They all seemed pretty happy having a couple kids move in who turned it from this:

To this…

…in a matter of months.

Here’s what she looked like last fall, after some plants matured, we re-roofed the place and painted the front door (sorry about the shadows):

Oh yeah – that’s the travel trailer we bought from our neighbors last fall. Cute, huh?

Here’s a rundown of the work done on the exterior {in no particular order}: sprinkler system redone, raised vegetable gardens, built a shed, planted 6 trees and countless shrubs and flowers, mow strip in the front yard, new roof, new trim around the garage and front door, new front window, newer and bigger patio, flower beds around the fence line and in front yard, fixed and functional gates on the sides of the house, ripped down the old, gross shed…

Phew. Makes me tired thinking about it.

The insides were as bad. Everything was pretty grimy and sad. Water damage in the basement, WHITE (but gross) carpet, WHITE (but gross) walls, WHITE (but gross) cabinets.

Everything was white, white, white. You know… but not crisp, clean white. Gross. We redid a LOT. The entire house has been painted, including trim, ceilings and doors. Some of the rooms painted twice. We redid the flooring in all the bathrooms and main living areas and refinished the basement and basement bedroom. We replaced nearly every builder grade light fixture, faucet and mirror to prettier, nicer versions. We changed out the sliding glass door in the basement to french doors. We replaced the yucky carpeted stairs with new painted wood treads and risers and installed a runner on them.

Here are some photos of what are house looks like as of now {some of these are the pics on For Sale By Owner websites}

Continue reading “movin’ on up”