This post is a little on the word-heavy side. So go pop a bag of pop corn, pour a Dr Pepper and get comfy. You’re about to take a trip inside my head and my heart.
After we announced that our house was for sale we got the same question over and over. It came from our friends, our family, our neighbors, and random people. I know most people were thinking “You guys are LOCO CRAZY!” But they nicely said:
“Why are you selling your house?! AFTER ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON IT?!”
Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time we were asked that during our selling process we wouldn’t need a mortgage on our new house.
Our intention was never to flip the house. We made every upgrade because it was what we wanted. Although, we were always mindful of resale value. You HAVE to be when renovating. We knew it wasn’t our forever home.
A quick little backstory on how we ended up with that house in the first place is an important part of the story. We had only been married 4 months, when the company I had been working for was bought out and I was laid off. During that time, I was able to cash out my 401K with no penalty. I was also given a generous severance package. As a newly married couple, we had barely any savings. This was in the summer of 2011, the low of the housing market in Salt Lake City. I had a very strong gut instinct that we needed to use that money as a down payment on a house. We stumbled onto the house, and knew it was something we could live in and fix up. I don’t feel comfortable disclosing the purchase price, but it was less than what you could even buy a condo for now. We were so grateful to just HAVE a house! It was surreal to us that we were home owners. We put our hearts and souls into every little thing we did to our house.
The past 3 years, my day job had been in real estate, and I became a Realtor. I watched the market very closely, especially in our neighborhood. After Evelyn was born, I just knew it was time. We tried to put it off. But that nagging feeling was there, stronger than ever.
There were things that we compromised on when we bought our house.
(No where to put a swing or rocking chairs- a life long dream of mine!)
(Just one bathroom for the whole main level)
-Walk-in master closet
(We have shared THIS for 2.5 years… and we’re still happily married. I know!)
-Formal living room
-2 car garage
Now, I understand that nothing is impossible. And we actually toyed very seriously with the idea of combining the back two bedrooms to make a master suit. But when it comes to a renovation, you have to look at the numbers and figures. The return wasn’t there. The renovation would make it nice to live in, but we would never get that money back in the sale of the house.
It was time to sell, and capitalize on our investment and find a home with the things we had compromised on.
It was a very emotional decision to make. I’ve cried more tears than I’d like to admit. I kept telling myself, “It’s just a house, stop crying.” But to me, those weren’t just walls and a room. Our house was very much a character in our lives. Those walls box up the memories of significant events in our lives.
We always knew Green Meadow Manor was a stepping stone. She made it possible for us to have our dream home. We were able to more than double our investment, allowing us to have the down payment we need for our next home.
It’s still hard. It’s not just a money game. I’ve always been a blue personality, and I definitely felt a lot of raw emotions during the process. I meant to write this post awhile ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until now. And even now, I feel a twinge in my heart. I miss my house. I feel very homesick for a place that is no longer mine. I wonder what the new homeowner is doing to her.
I’ve never done well with big changes. This was a huge leap of faith for me. I heard a quote that said, “Making a big life change is scary. But do you want to know what is even scarier? Regret.” I knew if we didn’t do this now, we would lose our window, and I would regret it. Sometimes you just have to hold your head up high, try not to cry, and say goodbye.
As cheesy as it is… they say you never forget your first love… and that’s how I feel about our first house.
And as a little postscript, I’d like to add this for my blogging friends:
I am SO sorry for how behind I am on reading your blogs! I promise I do care. I want to catch up, and I will. Real life is so busy. I have a very demanding baby who I love with all my heart and needs my attention. Selling the house was busy. Selling other peoples’ houses is busy. Going to Disneyland is busy My blog isn’t a business. It’s just a glimpse of my life, my talents, and the things I like to do in my free time. I love you all, and I love the internet friendships that I have. Thank you for being patient with me. High fives all around.