Have you ever seen such a beautiful thing?
That, my friends, is a fully executed contract for the sale of our house! That's right, you heard me, we're under contract!
But let's talk pros and cons...
I spent several nights of laying in bed staring at the ceiling going What have we done? This was the stupidest thing we could have done, this is going to bite us in the ass so hard, why did we do this, holy shit I'm scared, can we back out? How much money will we lose if we walk away now?
You see, we took a HEE-YOOGE risk and bought a house in Raleigh before we sold our house in Reading. Last time, it took us ten months to sell the house in Texas and we were apart for nearly that entire time, with Drew going back and forth from Dallas to Reading. It was terrible and I didn't want a repeat of that. However, I also didn't want the nightmare of a double mortgage with a vacant house in another state. I had nightmares of the pipes freezing and bursting and no one knowing about it until it was too late, I was worried about vandals and squatters destroying our house because isn't that a thing? Leave your house vacant and the squatters will come? Anyway, I was sure that would happen to us and I was terrified. I had wanted to wait to look for a house until we actually sold but Drew was not on board with that idea.
We went down to Raleigh once, supposedly to get to know the city and don't you know we found a house. I knew that was going to happen and that was the main reason why I didn't want to even go down there. Now we were in the position of having to decide between getting it right then or being okay with losing it if we waited. Drew was not okay with losing it and neither of us was really okay with being apart for a long time if the house in Reading didn't sell. There were so many late night conversations, so much back and forth and in the end we pulled the trigger and commenced to biting our nails and second guessing ourselves.
The whole double mortgage thing aside, I wasn't sure even I even wanted this new house. For one thing, I like old houses. Our first house was built in the 20s, with all kinds of charm and character.
Hi there, Old House.
We sure do miss you.
You were good to us, Second House.
You've served us well.
And then there's this guy.
The House on the Hill.
This house is roughly three times the size of our current house; it's kind of obscene and I won't lie, I had misgivings about it. I felt like it was too big, that we were biting off more than we could chew, that we don't need a house that big, I'm not a suburb type person, I want a yard with giant mature trees, subdivisions are so cold and soulless, I'm better suited to quirky small older homes, new houses have no charm, they have no story, I want a house with a story and character and past and what the hell am I going to do with all that space?
Then Drew started talking. For all my romanticizing of old homes, they're not without their issues. Old homes have teeny bathrooms and teeny closets. In both of our houses, the 'master' bathroom was barely big enough for a toilet, tiny sink and shower stall. Both of us couldn't be in the bathroom at the same time without somebody hitting some body part on something hard and cursing about it. Forget having two small kids and a giant dog in there at once, except I can't forget it because that's how I go to the bathroom every day of my life. Why everyone has to watch me pee is beyond me, but that's how it is.
Old homes are also rarely energy efficient. Even though our house has all new windows, you could tell in the winter where seals weren't especially tight and our utility bill reflected that. We also have creaky floors which are a nuisance when I'm walking the halls trying to get Andrea to sleep without waking everyone else.
Old houses almost always need fixing up. I actually love that about old houses; I love the refinishing and the painting and uncovering something cool, but again that's me romanticizing things. The reality of fixing up a house is chaos.
The reality is having your entire kitchen on your dining room table
for weeks on end.
Additionally, unless you're independently wealthy, which we aren't, and have loads of cash laying around, which we don't, the reality is you're fixing up your house with your own two hands on nights and weekends a little bit at a time for a very very VERY long time. That was the nail in the old house coffin. Drew looked at me and said "I don't want to spend my free time fixing up a house. I want to spend my free time with my kids."
Ugh. Way to play the kid card dude. What the hell can I say to that?
Because that's the reality. Drew has a very demanding full-time job that is NOT bringing my design ideas to life (as much as I wish it were.) He just got another promotion and I'm insanely proud of him, but that means he'll be even busier at work, with even less time for us, much less having any time to hammer and nail stuff.
And I have my hands more than full with both my kids, so as much as I want to pick up the nail gun and nail some boards to walls, the reality is I just don't have that kind of time anymore. Case in point, I'm blogging at one in the morning because that's the only time I get to myself anymore.
Now, at the risk of sounding like someone you want to punch in the face, living in an ugly house was not an option either. I love old houses but I love pretty old houses, not the ones with peeling paint and rickety porches and bats and cobwebs. Our house in Texas was gorgeous and perfect and our house in Reading was freshly redone, so even though they were older, they were not falling down fixer-uppers.
Therefore, all signs pointed to new construction, so begrudgingly, kicking rocks, I decided to give the Beast a chance. I know, punch me in the face for not being falling down grateful for a brand new house.
Just don't punch me too hard, because I'm there now. I'm incredibly thankful that we are fortunate enough to have choices. I know just how blessed we are that we won't have to carry a double mortgage and picking out the finishes for the house *was* pretty cool.
In fact, I'll be right back with all the insanely fun stuff that is designing our new house. But I'll leave you with this breakdancing bear, because
WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!