Monday, September 10, 2012

GULP!

Our New Home-to-be!  Coming late winter 2013!

Well, there it is.  Our big announcement!  Technically, I'm not broadcasting to the world yet though (ahem, Facebook).  But, we are moving!  Building a new house.  OMG.  OMG.  OMG!!!  This is happening so quickly.

We've been seriously talking about moving for a few years now.  We like our neighborhood and like our house although we knew that staying would mean that we'd need to finish the basement with the kids getting older and needing more space.  So it was basically getting to the point - did we want to move or did we want to finish the basement?  The other big factor in this, unfortunately, is the school situation.  While we have been happy with the education our kids are receiving at our elementary school, there are some things about the school that concern us.  The teachers and administration have been very good but in terms of the population of the school the majority of the school has kids that have a very different background than we do.  For me it's mostly socioeconomic and that there are very few kids in my kids classes that my kids feel like they connect with.  I've realized it for a while with Caroline but now that she's in third grade she's started to verbalize that while she's friendly with everyone in her class, she's not truly friends with anyone. Add that to the fact that over the years when there have been kids that she's been friendly with, when it came time to have a play date, I can say without any misgivings that I would never have consented to letting her go to their homes because the neighborhoods they live in are not very safe.  And then add that to the fact that the middle school the kids would have been slated to go to would NOT have been preferable.  I've only heard negative things regarding that school, unfortunately.

We had been seeing signs for this community for well over a year now but we've just had a lot of anxiety of about the fact that we'd need to sell our current home and have the new home be contingent on that.   So basically we never looked into it much further than browsing websites.  Then back in early August we went and actually looked at the model/community and I quickly felt that maybe THIS was it.  Ten minutes from our current home (one zipcode over), same distance from my parents, a smidge closer to Jason's parents, the kids could stay in all of their same extra-curricular activities, and a better bunch of schools (elementary is great, middle is okay, and high school is okay - in fact at this point it would be the same high school Jay and I went to...ha ha ha ha!)

But then we went on vacation and it was sort of forgotten.  But not really.  I continued to go back to the website and kept building and rebuilding the model I liked.  I had all the options I wanted memorized.  Jason saw me looking.  He knew I was ready.  Then on Labor Day (only a week ago!!), my mom and I stopped by the model/community on our way back from taking the kids to the park.  We walked through again, I talked to the sales manager and learned some interesting things about the services they provided.  I was ready.  My mom commented on how much she liked the looks of the exterior of the homes - something called "arts & crafts" on the model I liked.  (I had no clue, I just liked it!)

We went home and as soon as Jason got home from golf, I kind of pounced.  And rather than wait, he agreed to go back that afternoon to meet with the sales agent.  Big thanks to my mom for watching the kids on short notice!  We spent three hours there.

And that is where my extreme anxiety began and has continued through this week.  We spent the rest of the week getting in touch with the realtor we are going to use to sell our house, getting pre-qualified for a new mortgage and trying to decide which lot we wanted.

I can honestly say that I don't think I've been this anxious or stressed about anything in my life.  This whole process of selling our existing home is wrought with so many different emotions.  I'm overwhelmed but realize I need to take it one day at a time.

On Saturday morning our realtor came to the house for our first meeting but based on the emails we'd already been getting from him, we were already very impressed.  He walked through the house and commented that it's in great shape, needs little things addressed here and there but that our large lot that backs to the woods (along with nice appliances) will really help to sell the house.  So now we have a few weeks to get everything in order.  We need to declutter and store, Store, STORE stuff.  OMG.  Can I say it again?  I'm overwhelmed.  I already made a list of the physical things we need to attend to - thankfully doable but still scary to think about them altogether.  We'd really like to be listing by the middle of October if at all possible.  Eek!  Jason is looking into storage facilities to hold our decluttered stuff that we are NOT getting rid of.  He wants me to make a checklist that goes room by room of all the stuff that needs to be done since he knows that will help my anxiety level.  I hope so.

And while I have all that anxiety of getting things done, then there is the anxiety of dealing with all the unknowns in this.  Will the house sell and for how much in time?  We are hoping based on a house that recently sold that is the same model with a few differences at a price that we liked seeing.  If they could get that much for it, we hope we could get something comparable with the price amended for no basement, but with the idea too that we have a premium lot.  And while we will see if there is any potential to "rent back" from the buyer, we also realize that there's a good chance that won't happen which means we would temporarily need to relocate until our new house is done (predicted February 2013).  Without even asking, my parents have already offered and while it would be tight in terms of sleeping arrangements, it would be totally doable - and for that I am unbelievably grateful.  Humbled, actually.  I have great parents!

So with all this in mind, we went to the sales manager on Sunday (only yesterday!) and signed a contingent contract.  We are hoping to break ground by the end of October.  This was the fun part in that we picked out what we wanted and applied the lessons we learned after building our current home.  (I will tell more about the new house in the days to come...)  But I left there feeling anxiety for different reasons.

I guess the "best" news is that if for some reason we cannot sell our house, the most we'll lose is $1,000.  Not cheap, but it could be worse.  The sales manager also said that because the community isn't even halfway done yet, he can extend the contingency for quite a while given that we are continuing to do all we can to sell our current home.  The other good news with all this is that the realtor we are using was actually recommended to us by the builder because he's so good at selling homes in contingent status that the sales manager doesn't seem the least bit concerned because this guy is so good.  We also feel as though we are putting our house on the market at a good time as it is finally rebounding and people are buying again.  I don't think I have enough fingers to cross.

So while it felt good to put the "sold" sign on the lot marker yesterday, my brief elation has been replaced by my extreme anxiety.  The planner in me can only plan so much in this process and I am already trying to prepare myself for all the possible outcomes which I know is impossible and just might land me in the loony bin.  I also might end up losing all the weight I've wanted to lose as I have almost no appetite and anxiety like this totally makes me stop eating.  (A silver lining?)  I slept terribly this week too - even when I'm not thinking about it, I'm thinking about it unconsciously!

I know that people sell their houses every day and we are in a pretty good situation to sell and buy/build again.  We thankfully purchased in 2003 and have equity in our home.  I keep comparing our situation to that of my parents in 1983 and reminding myself how stressful that was on them in moving out of Baltimore City to the county mainly for a better future for their children - exactly what we are doing now except just from one county zip code to another.  I wish I could fast forward to know that everything is going to turn out okay but I also know that Jason and I are educated decision makers and planners and that our "leap of faith" is more like a little hop.  We have a wonderful family and they will be there for us no matter what.

One day at a time.  Heck, one breath at a time.  Please think of me and my fragile spirit these next few months.  I know we can do this but I'll need all the thoughts and support I can get.

1 comment:

Katie said...

Yes, you can do it & once you are in your brand new home, you won't regret it at all!! Congrats! Go for it!

(P.S. & our house stayed on schedule with THREE blizzards during construction and I was prego-- talk about stress!)