December 5, 2012
I woke up early Friday, Nov. 30, and began preparing our home for the new buyer. All the necessities that had been left needed to be packed. Every room needed to be vacuumed or swept clean. The bathrooms needed scrubbing. Travis came home early from work to load the items I had packed that morning and disassemble our Sleep Number bed.
We were so excited, so ready to close that door (literally) in our lives and open a new one.
And then the phone rang, and the deal was off. Maybe temporarily. Maybe permanently. We didn’t know, so we did the only thing that made sense: we continued emptying and cleaning our first home.
The water had already been shut off, and we had no way to connect to the internet — a necessity when you work from home. We had to leave whether we closed on the house that day or not.
We left our empty home not knowing when or if we would see it again and made the drive to my father’s. The weekend came and went. We would have to wait until Monday to learn if we could close.
We got the bad news Monday. We can’t close on our first home until after Christmas, which means we can’t close on our new home either.
I won’t go into the specifics of what happened. It’s really not important in the grand scheme of things. We’ve got some options, so we’ll be be looking into those this week.
In the meantime, we’re calling my father’s house home. We’re so blessed that he and my step-mother invited us back home for this time in our lives. They welcomed us with open arms and even said I could set up my Christmas tree in their living room this year.
I’m sure I’ll find plenty to blog about during the next month; just maybe not what I’d originally intended to write about. We’ll hopefully be in our new house before the new year, and I’ll happily blog about it as soon as we arrive.
November 29, 2012
The boxes have been packed. Most of the furniture is out of the house. I’ve scheduled shut-off dates for the cable, utilities, and electrical. And now it’s time to say goodbye.
Before I do that, though, I thought it might be fun to look back and remember some of what we’ve experienced while living in this house.
- We learned at age 22 what being a homeowner meant.
- Travis and I shared wedding anniversaries 1, 2 and 3.
- We made major decorating decisions and furniture purchases for the first time in either of our lives.
- We brought Roxy home in 2009 after we rescued her.
- We learned how to disagree with one another and to compromise.
- I prepared and hosted my first Christmas dinner in 2010.
- We tackled major renovations both inside and out of our home.
- We spent four days snowed in our house in 2011.
- We lost power for a week in April 2011 when tornadoes tore through our area. We were extremely fortunate to only be without electricity.
- I fell in love with Travis’ entire family, but especially his parents.
- I learned how to cook.
- Travis finished school in 2012. (He actually graduated on my birthday.)
- I watched my career grow and improve for years only to be cut short when I was laid off earlier this year.
- This is the only driveway Travis’ truck has called home.
- I went to the mall about 2.8 million times, at least. We only live 10 minutes away.
- We both celebrated our 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th birthdays.
- We learned to budget.
- Three bridesmaid dresses were added to my collection. (All from brides I met while living in Chattanooga.)
- Travis learned what living in a bigger city was really like.
- We spent about three weeks of our lives sitting in traffic (see above).
- We learned that an hour between us and our family really was a hinderance.
- We took some pretty awesome vacations: Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, St. Augustine, the Bahamas and a few others closer to home like my family’s annual trip to the mountains.
- We shared our first-ever white Christmas together in 2010.
- We helped family and friends welcome new little additions.
- We watched friends move away only to come back home.
- We said goodbye to all of my Chattanooga friends after we all left the news business.
We hope to make as many memories in our new home, which will be closer to our families. We’re trading “city life” for a slower pace. Now, we’ll be 10 minutes to our parents instead of the mall. (Don’t worry, the mall is less than an hour away.)
We’re scheduled to close on our first home tomorrow. I’m not sure what walking out the door the last time will feel like, but I hope I can look back and remember all the good times we’ve had in this house while looking forward to what’s ahead for us.
November 14, 2012
Moving preparations are moving along in our house. With only 16 days left in our beloved first home, I’m beginning to feel the pains of moving.
I shared my moving binder contents last week, and it has been a huge help in keeping me organized. I’m finding that the weekly to-do lists I typed up are the most helpful. This week I know that I have to:
- Have the comforters/quilts in our house dry cleaned
- Throw out expired foods/medicines (Done!)
- Finish packing downstairs (Done!)
- Shop at Sam’s Club since we’re moving an hour away from the nearest store (Done!)
- Pack upstairs (Nearly done!)
- Find a new allergy shot location
- Finish calling companies to schedule shut-off dates
If I don’t cross everything off the list, it’ll just move over to the next week. This system is working out really well for me.
In other news, we rented a storage pod to relocate all of our things from one house to the next. The pod was delivered last week, and I’m happy to report that we’ve already loaded a lot of boxes and furniture.
We’re using Go Mini’s, which is similar to PODS. It’s surprisingly affordable, plus our pod will be stored at the Go Mini’s secure location while we’re waiting a few days to close on our next house. We won’t have to worry about where to keep all of our furniture and boxed items for that weekend, which takes off a lot of stress.
Also, Travis and I can load items into the pod as we have them ready. We won’t have to rely on movers or friends and family to load and transport all of our items from one house to the other. With all of the injuries in our families lately, having the pod is a huge help.
Our friends and family are still graciously helping us pack and prepare for our move, and we’re so fortunate to have their help. My best friend spent a day with me last week helping me pack all of the decorative items in my house. My in-laws helped us load all of the packed boxes and a lot of furniture into the pod last weekend.
My in-laws will be back in a week or two to take our deep freezer to their house and to help us finish loading the pod. My aunt and grandmother will be visiting after Thanksgiving to help pack my kitchen. I’m quite attached to my kitchen and all of the items in it, so it’s going to be great to have their help with my most beloved items.
We’re trying to eat out of our freezer as much as we can. I’m trying a lot of new recipes, but I’m not doing much grocery shopping. At this point, we’re only shopping for necessities: milk, bread, etc. I’m expecting to eat out a lot during the last couple of weeks in our house, which is just fine with me.
I feel really good about everything that we’ve already accomplished for our move. I’m pretty confident that we’ll be out of our house on time with little stress. Hopefully, those aren’t famous last words…
November 12, 2012
Moving preparations are in full swing around here, but I wanted to take a quick moment to show you the sale pending sign that showed up in our yard a couple of weeks ago. Also, if you’re in the Chattanooga area and in need of a realtor, we highly recommend Judy Webster with Keller Williams Realty.
I’m off to find more boxes!
November 7, 2012
We have to be out of our house November 30, so I’ve got a busy month ahead of me.
I’ve been doing tons of research on how to organize my move, and decided to create a moving binder to keep all the papers and information I’ll need during the next month in one place. So far in the binder I have:
- A November calendar to keep up in important dates
- A zippered pouch to hold business cards, pencils, a calculator, etc.
- Blank paper to list important details
- An incoming mail log to ensure everyone who sends us mail has our new address
- A list of the shows we DVR
- A log of companies I need to call to change our address
- A list of services to cancel (utilities, trash, etc.)
- Weekly to-do lists beginning with this week
- Sheet protectors for papers we need to keep up with
I found a free printable cover for the binder, and I think it makes it look super cute, which means I’m more likely to tote it around with me and use it.
We are so excited about our move, and now I’m even more excited because I know that I’ll stay super organized and on top of my growing to-do lists for the month.
To see some of the other moving resources I’ve found lately, check out my moving board on Pinterest.
November 2, 2012
Our house is officially under contract! We received an offer October 17, and after some brief negotiations, we were officially under contract the next day. It was a whirlwind of paperwork, emails and phone calls, but we’re blessed that we were able to accept an offer on our home that we feel really good about.
It was only after we were under contract that we realized we had to find someplace to move. With only about six weeks until we had to be out of our house, we knew we had to get busy house hunting.
Luckily, we had already looked at most of the properties for sale in our future town, so we knew where to start. Travis was busy working out of town, so I looked at the most recent listings that had come on the market. I was able to narrow the house hunt down to four potential houses after looking at all the listings online. Of the four, I found what I thought was the house, but I had to get Travis to sign off on it.
It took a week for him to come back from working out of town and see the house. I spent the week biting my nails and hoping no one made an offer before we could. While I knew it was in God’s hands, I couldn’t help but be nervous.
Travis agreed it was the house for us, and we put in an offer!
However, our realtor told us there was an offer already on the table. I knew I did all that nail biting for a reason. We went to the table with our very best offer — only $900 off the list price — prepared to do battle.
The next morning, we learned that there was no other offer. We also realized that God truly does open doors. We went in with a lower offer and after some brief negotiating (we accepted their first counter offer), we were under contract for our new house. October 26 was our lucky day.
We had an inspection on the house earlier this week, and we now feel even more sure than ever that it is the house for us. The inspection only revealed minor fixes that we can take care of in about an afternoon.
We affectionally call what will (hopefully) be our new home the “big blue house.”
We are scheduled to close in early December. We are really looking forward to enjoying Christmas in the big blue house and being much closer to our family and friends during the holidays.
We’re praying for a smooth transition to a new town and an easy move. Wish us luck!
August 20, 2012
When we bought our first home, we knew we would only call it home for three to five years. When I lost my job a month before my husband finished school, we knew the time to move closer to our family was near. I spent about a month preparing our home to go on the market, and then we listed with an agent.
We have loved fixing up and living in our first home for the past three and a half years. We bought our house as a foreclosure just months after our wedding. The honeymoon was over as soon as we realized there wasn’t a surface in this house that didn’t need something done to it. Travis’ parents took several weeks off from work and moved in to help us renovate.
Over the next few weeks, I plan on pulling together a house tour of our very first house so we can remember not only our first home, but also this season of life and all the blood sweat and tears (literally) that went into making our first house a home.