That Home Owner Life
We have owned our home on a little street in Oak Cliff for 5.5 years now. I bought the house before my husband and I got married. I had a great job, it was cheaper than rent anywhere in Dallas, and places roll the red carpet out for first time home buyers, at least they used to.
We bought this house expecting it to be a starter place that we lived in for about 5 years. It’s perfect for entertaining with a wide open floor plan, huge kitchen, and huge living room. We figured around that time, we would just starting having kids, and once we had one, we would leave. Since it had just 2 bedrooms in almost 2200 square feet, it wouldn’t make sense to have multiple kids here. We were in no rush, and actually thought we would have a challenging time having children due to medical issues I had had for about 10 years.
Man, what’s the point of having plans? Almost 4 months after buying the house, we found out that I was pregnant! Yes, mid-engagement (rebels, I know), with about a 10% chance of conceiving, on birth control, pregnant.
Okay, okay. It’s going to be okay. We have 2 bedrooms, we can make one a nursery.
Then Life Spirals.
You are 3 years in, you have a 2.5 year old, and one half way baked and on the way. We tried selling at that point. We felt we had no room. The market was definitely in our favor, and we could make a considerable amount of money on the house and get us out of this debt we had created in the life spiral of lost jobs, new businesses, etc. We had no money to make any adjustments or updates to the house, but it was a great house still. We didn’t go all in on effort to sell, and got nothing back in return. Typical.
1 year later, we got the bug again. We met with a realtor this time instead of trying on our own. We got a long list of “to-dos” on the house, and we attempted 3 or 4 things on the list. Thats about as far as we got, and then life kept doing its thing.
So, Now, 1 Year More Down the Road.
We are back at it. We get the same bug to sell at the same time every year, August. Not ideal here people. It doesn’t make sense to put a house on the market when everyone is settled into school and no one is eager to move and go through the hassle of moving during the holiday season. Who cares about that, though? Clearly not us.
So we met with the same realtor as last time, got our even longer “to-do” list, and committed to this process. This was on August 2nd. Our realtor wanted our house ready to go by September 15th. Renovation, and all, completed.
I don’t have a full time job now, and have made a conscious effort to slow life down and simplify in our house, so we thought we could actually do it this time. Damany, my husband, and I had a real long conversation about actually doing this the right way. We agreed on clear communication, to eliminate frustrations, and work as a team on this.
The next morning we were on all sorts of phone calls with the bank for a loan, plumbers, roofers, electricians, handy men, and air conditioner companies. We wanted to get EVERY inch of our house looked at by experts to know what we were really in for money-wise. We actually talked to 2 to 3 of each of these professionals. It was exhausting, and I knew it was just the beginning.
Once we got all of the bids from everyone, we had to get a loan. We didn’t have the cash to cover this. We found if we put $15,000 into the house, we could see a return of about $30,000, and probably a quicker sell. So it was worth it to us. I was so nervous about getting a loan. I felt with the debt we had out there now, it was going to be a challenge. One failed meeting at our personal bank, followed by one call to my personal credit union, and we had a check on our way in 3-5 days! Personal loan versus a Home Equity Line of Credit all day!
So, in the first 10 days, we got bids from multiple vendors, secured a loan, went to a weekend family reunion, and I had done a first round of decluttering our house and put on a weekend garage sale. That garage sale was super crucial to getting our mindset in the right place. It helped us eliminate a lot of stuff we had collected over 5 years together, and got our house in a clearer spot to get these renovations started.
If I only knew now that was just the beginning of a wild 20 something day ride, I might have stopped there!