On Selling Our House When You Have Kids. Who Live There. All of the Time.
Well, we survived the first three days with our house on the market. For those of you who seemed rather shocked at this decision, Mr. AP and I have been mulling the decision to sell our first home over and over again in our heads for at least the last year, most recently becoming serious about it within the last several months. And by "serious", I mean we've chatted a little about it between school pick-ups and bath time and maybe once or twice over dinner last week.
When we purchased this home in 2010, we knew it would be our "starter home" or the home we would put a little elbow grease into, working hard to make it our own Home Sweet Home and live in it for the next 5-8 years. And we did just that. From floors to walls, backyards and beyond, we buffed and shined and sweetened this place up, filling it with love, laughter and enough crap to choke a small country.
If anyone is to blame for pushing us to get our house market-ready in under two weeks, that would be me. I take full credit for stuffing six years of "shouldda done this/that and the other fixer-upper thing" into approximately forty-eight hours but we did it and I've managed to keep it looking like a couple of DINK's live here for a little over 120 hours.
So, how does it feel?
Utterly insane. Exhausting. Overwhelming. Defeating. Exciting- All at the same time. Literally at any minute of the day I could be feeling one of the aforementioned feelings followed quickly by the next.
Insane because this house is lived in not only by a couple of adults but also three kids under the age of 7 and 110lbs. worth of adorably lazy dog. Exhausting because keeping the house 15 minutes from clean at any given hour of the day is hard work. Defeating because with every showing we have, I stalk that damn showings app waiting for feedback. 85% of the time, feedback never appears.
Exciting because I think of this like a little game- the challenge being to sell this house in two weeks or less, something I'm quickly realizing that only adds to the level of Crazy. I'm an over-analyzer at heart so when I look at the numbers and see that we've had 1 (busy) open house coupled with 16 private showings and 2 more on the calendar, the numbers just don't add up.
"Why hasn't there been any 2nd showings?"
"All of the feedback we've received has been excellent, why doesn't anyone want our house?"
"THIS HOUSE IS AMAZING AND PERFECT AND SOMEONE NEEDS TO LIVE HERE BECAUSE I AM OVER IT AND I'M GOING TO DIE IN THE NEXT HOUSE BECAUSE I'M NEVER, EVER DOING THIS AGAIN."
See? I'm being completely rational about this whole entire process.
"We've been on the market four days," I have to keep reminding myself. Someone just as crazy as the two of us will buy this house and raise babies in it and love it to death because it looked like a ransacked homeless shelter back in 2010 and somehow we fell in love with it and spent our life savings on it and made it our home.
So there's hope, but talk about an exercise in patience. While keeping our house show-ready with kids in tow feels a lot like swimming upstream with my hands tied behind my back, we're making it work and getting by and looking forward to new horizons.
And by "getting by," I mean we're spending a lot of time in the car, getting breathed on by the dog and his hot dog-breath, eating snacks and lunch on the run, touring local playgrounds and parks like it's our job.
It's wonderful. I don't know why anyone would ever put off this kind of fun...
As for the million dollar question, "where are you moving to?" Well, we're just not sure about that yet. Mr. AP keeps reminding me not to get emotionally attached to any of the houses we've seen lately but I'm all like "DO YOU EVEN KNOW ME?" (As I've already picked out who's sleeping in what room and what color the textured runner will be that will run down the front staircase and how I've already planned backyard birthday parties in such-and-such yard...)
But we're just not quite sure yet. Maryland will remain our home and the boys will remain at their beloved school, so it's not like we're picking up and moving cross-country because I don't think I could survive that type of business in my current mental state. As it is, half of our house is stacked Tetris-like in our garage and I couldn't imagine having to box any of that nonsense up and ship it somewhere. Driving it a county over seems about all I can manage right now.
So that's where we're at right. Beef stew is simmering away in the crock-pot and I've picked up the house for the umteenth time before tonight's scheduled showing. As I sit here and look around me at our clean walls, tidy rooms and freshly steamed carpets, the house hardly looks like our own. Our lives, our days are SO messy, chaotic, disheveled even and this? This isn't us- but hopefully soon, it will be someone else's and we can take our disheveled days somewhere new.
The boys will be bathed and loaded into the car and we'll probably drive circles around the block while someone else meanders through our home and tries to picture themselves living the dream, right where we've been living our dream for the past six years.
Life sure has a funny way of working out... but we're ready for the next great adventure.