Our realtor is going to kill us! My husband and I have been going back-and-forth about whether or not to sell our house. Yesterday, he told me to pull the listing. “Why don’t we give it a month and then if it doesn’t sell, we can pull it,” I suggested, “It’s only been six days.” Yes, six days that feels like six months! Oh my goodness, being in this ‘limbo’ really sucks. Each day, we wait around for a call from our realtor, reaching out to ask if we can step out for a few minutes for yet another showing. When she does, we go into full-on ‘recall’ mode. But it’s not like we’ve had a ton of requests for showings. In fact, we’ve only had 4 in six days (and two were with the same people). Our house just isn’t generating the ‘buzz’ we anticipated. We expected a line of people out the door, anxiously waiting for their chance to look at our home and later putting in a padded offer (to beat out all the rest). Ha! No, we’ve had 3 sets of people that came through and put in a total of zero offers. Most sellers would take this as a sign that their home was overpriced and that lowering it would be a good idea. Not us!
Nope, we actually want to raise our price! Why would we want to do such a ridiculous thing? Alright, whether it makes sense or not, this is my logic. First of all, with the exception of our sunken living room (aka ‘the Chapel’), we have completed all of the projects we started and boy, does our house look nice! It is to a point where we can simply enjoy it and not constantly think about ‘what’s next’. “We’ll never be able to afford anything like it again,” my husband reminded me today. Unfortunately, he’s right. If we were out shopping for a home, our current home would be way out of our price bracket. The only reason we were able to get into it was because when we bought it 7 years ago, it was a major fixer-upper, and the market was much more reasonable and affordable. Over the years, we’ve made constant improvements to it and invested a great deal of time, money, and energy. It has been completely updated and has all kinds of custom features (thanks to my highly skilled hubby).
Leaving all of it behind is going to be hard. There are so many unique features that we won’t find anywhere else. I seriously doubt we’ll come across another house in our price range that includes (among other things) a dog door (built into the wall in the laundry room), two living rooms, an art studio, and an indoor gym. Yes, it’s massive and it’s way too much house for two people and a dog; however, I’m not sure how well I’m going to adapt to something that doesn’t allow ‘room to breathe’. I love my husband, make no mistake, but I also enjoy getting far enough away where it doesn’t feel like he’s constantly ‘in my bubble’. There’s also the fact that the house is now running like a well oiled machine because of all of the upgrades we’ve made. The major things, like the roof, all of the windows and doors, the heating and cooling system, and even the plumbing have all been recently replaced. There are no ‘unknowns’ because we’ve physically gone through every space in this house (including the crawl space and attic).
I also think about the expense and stress of the move itself. Moving isn’t cheap or easy, especially when it involves moving several states away. In order to make it more economical, our plan was to sell most of our furniture and just keep the bare necessities. By the way, the ‘bare necessities’ includes most of the stuff from my husband’s gym and workshop. But even with whittling down what we currently have, it’s still going to cost thousands of dollars to get all of our stuff from ‘A’ to ‘B’. ‘A’ is where we presently live and ‘B’ is, I honestly have no earthly idea. We started out with a plan to move back to where we used to reside (or fairly close), and then my husband mentioned moving to Florida or even possibly staying here. Huh? I suppose there are many positive things to say about Florida. It does have Universal Studios and Disneyworld, after all. Aside from that, you can keep it. Between the constant storms, the ginormous bugs, and the sweltering heat and humidity, no thanks!
And no matter how old I get, you’ll never catch me living in one of those ’55 and older’ communities, something Florida is quite renowned for. It just isn’t my style. We have friends that just bought a place in a massive retirement community and for them it works well. For us? Not so much. And as far as staying here, I’m not totally opposed, although it seems silly to sell and stay. If we sold our house but stayed in our community, we wouldn’t have to totally start all over again. We’d have to adapt to a new neighborhood and new neighbors (who may or may not be cordial), but we wouldn’t have to find a new dentist and hygienist and doctor and hair stylist. With the exception of the heatwave, the weather here is usually lovely. I can walk outside for exercise year-round (although I do have to bundle up in the winter). At our current home, there is a walking trail mere steps from the front door. It is so convenient to just slip on my shoes and head out the door if I want to take a walk.
In addition to the walking trail nearby, there are so many other ‘conveniences’ that we get to enjoy. The lab where I get regular blood draws I can see from my bedroom window. How’s that for ‘a view’? The nearest grocery store is a 5-minute car ride. Most shops and restaurants are within a 5 – 10 mile radius. It only takes 15 minutes to reach the airport. And the ski resort is only 20 minutes away (I don’t go but my husband does). There’s also the fact that if I choose to visit my family (mom, daughter, and/or siblings), I just have to hop in my car and I can be at their doorstep in 3 hours or less. Oh! Another important thing I should mention is that there’s no traffic. I mean, there is, but it’s nothing like what I would normally experience in a big city. No, it’s not even close. I rarely even encounter it nowadays because (much like an old person) I’ve learned to take back roads and stay off the main drag (where most of the congestion occurs).
On the other hand, there are plenty of reasons why staying is a bad idea. The primary one has got to be that just like I can arrive at my family’s doorstep in 3 hours or less, they can do the same. Ack!! There’s also the cost of living which keeps climbing at an unheard-of pace. I’m lonely, there’s that. And if we stay and don’t sell, we’ll still have a mortgage payment for what remains of my natural life. I’ve tried paying extra principal and working towards paying it down quicker but it barely seems to move. If I had a rich aunt or uncle that left me a large inheritance, it wouldn’t be a problem, but that won’t happen in my lifetime. Most of the time, we end up paying when someone dies in our family, rather than receiving a payout. The other thing about staying is the job prospects here are terrible. Most jobs involve working in retail or the food industry. Yuck and yuck! I enjoy the social interaction I get when working but since I’m immuno-compromised, being around (and exposed to a lot of) people could put me in a rather precarious position health-wise. I’d rather not take the risk if I don’t have to.
Needless to say, I sent my realtor an email tonight and gave her a ‘good news, bad news’ scenario. I told her that I had completed the list of amenities throughout the house (she had requested) in addition to an explanation of the heating/cooling system in each room (everything from electric wall heaters to baseboard heat to radiant ceiling heat to ductless mini-splits to wood-burning and natural gas fireplaces to heat pumps with back-up furnaces). My brain hurts after going from room-to-room and trying to provide adequate information on how each room is heated and/or cooled. I also told her that we were thinking about increasing the asking price. My husband thinks she’s going to be really upset with us. She probably will be. I wrote in the email that if she wants to scream in my face, she’s welcome to. I just asked that she give me an opportunity to put in my ear plugs first. I really hope she receives the ‘news’ well, or as well as can be expected. I guess I’ll find out in the morning.
I just feel like if we’re going to make this move, everything considered, we’re going to need the extra money. If someone isn’t willing to pay it, it’s simple, we stay. Anyway, I’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, I’m going to head over and climb onto that large rectangular object (bed) that promises sleep. Whether or not it intends to keep that promise remains to be seen.