Better And Better

If you don't draw yours, I won't draw mine. A police officer, working in the small town that he lives in, focusing on family and shooting and coffee, and occasionally putting some people in jail.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stress of moving

We're moving.


My commute currently means that I'm on the road for over an hour a day, and can't partake of some of the benefits of living close to work, like taking the patrol car home, or checking on duty from home, or having lunch or supper with my family during my meal break.

Add in the fact that my wife --a sculptor-- needs a shop, and to this point her needs have been served by our screened-in back porch.

Add in the fact that, while a good little house, we really need a bit more room than our 3/2, 1440 square foot domicile provides us. Frankly, I'd like an office, rather than to have the desktop computer in the living room.

So we're looking. But.

(Of course there's a "but.")

But we have to sell our current house, first.

Hard to sell a house when you're living in it.

Especially when there are... concerns. The house is getting on in years (ca. 1983). It's in a neighborhood that's beginning to slide into a shallow decline. When we bought the house, it wasn't until we sat at the closing table that I discovered this: See that red shape that I drew behind the back fence of my house? That's the large portion of a drainage ditch that we charitably call a "creek," which I own. It's pitched at about a 50% grade, and is pretty swampy at the bottom. I can do nothing with it. But I'm taxed on it at the same rate per square foot as my front yard and my living room. Oh, goody.

So what do we do? Well, we're barely living in it.

My sister in-law makes her business "flipping" houses. She buys 'em cheap, fixes 'em up, and sells them at a profit. That's how she makes her living. It's a lot of work, but she knows the business, and makes a tidy little profit at it. She's provided some consult for us on this issue, and is adamant: Get everything that you can possibly remove out of the house, get it fixed up and cleaned up and polished and painted as nicely as possible, and show it with barest minimum furniture and human articles in it. People, when they come in to look at your house, don't want to feel like they're walking through your home; they want to envision it as their home. So you make the beds, remove any real color from the common rooms (helllllloooo, neutral colors...), and basically live out of suitcases. Oh, those foo-foo pillows? They get put on the made bed every day.

All the furniture that is not a bed or the couch goes to storage. Plus, most of our clothes. And kitchen items. Kitchen table, and whatnot.

Then we fixed up the house. New back splash and counter top in the kitchen. New counter top and sink in the bathroom. A dividing wall in the living room was removed. Siding on the gables outside was replaced. The backyard shed was fixed up. Two weeks ago we had golf-ball to lime-sized hail. Okay; new roof.

I'm freaking hemorrhaging money, here. All on spec.

My wife, the frugal one, is beginning to seriously stress. Both of us are stressing about the disarray that our house is in, while we try to put lipstick on our pi... uh, swi... uh, lovely princess of a house. We're going to be moving our daughters out of one of the best school districts in the state. We don't know that we'll even get within $10k of our house's appraisal price (you know, the rate at which it's being taxed on). And we're tired (work, commute, kids, grad school...). And we can't find anything, because it's all packed away.

This sucks, Beavis.

Add all that to the fact that we don't even know where (except generally) we'll move when we sell this thing. We need money in hand to figure that out.

I'm tired of being a grown up.



At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 6:41:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Living out of a suitcdase is no fun at all. When I last moved we had shipped everything to the new home and then had the buyer back out at the last minute.
For six weeks I lived with a sleeping bag, two pots and a very small dog until the house was finally sold. Fortunetly for more money than we had listed the house for. Good Luck with your sale and remember that "this too shall pass"

At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 8:36:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Thanks, WR.

At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 12:34:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matt? You might want to not highlight all your home's shortcomings on a web site where potential buyers might google through ...

Just a thought.

Oh, and good luck with it! You have my sympathy. I hate moving. Back a few years now, we moved 6 times during one 5-year period (3 of those were out-of-state moves), and I gave birth to 5 babies during that same 5 year time frame. When we moved into this house, I swore I would. Never. Ever. Ever. Ever. Move. Ever. Again.

Twelve years and counting ... :)


At Tuesday, May 01, 2007 12:54:00 PM, Blogger Brandon said...

My wife and I are seriously considering a move (to Texas, coincidentally), and I'm not looking forward to the things you've mentioned. Still, we just can't help but think it'll be worth it. The jury's still out on our decision.

So - keep your head up. It'll be worth it. :-)

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 4:38:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good luck with everything.
I'll send up a prayer to Him to speed things along.

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 8:47:00 AM, Blogger Matt G said...

Pax (good to see, by the way, KJ!), I've been pretty discreet about who I am, and the specifics about where I live. I mean, yes, the reader will find that I'm within a day's drive of Ft Worth. Well so are a few million other guys.

The issue with the creek is impossible to hide. (Yet, somehow, I knew nothing about owning it until closing. I'm more honest than that as a salesman.)

There's lots of good parts, too. As I mentioned-- renovated kitchen and baths, Next week it'll have a brand new roof. New siding at the ends. New (last year) central A/C unit. We put in tile floors 6 years ago, and have put in tile mosaic floors in the bathrooms and front porch since then. And seriously, the school district kicks major butt.

All in all, I would have to say that it's a lot more house than the one we bought-- I'm expecting a profit. But then again, there's that neighborhood thing. About 15 houses in the local 4 blocks with For Sale signs in the front yard.

I just need a little family who's about where we were, 6 years ago-- ready for a decent little starter house, ready to have their second kid. Happy to have a decent yard to grow tomatoes in, with a fences for a dog and a swingset/fort for the kids.

At Wednesday, May 02, 2007 11:11:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matt
Know just what you are going through - we are in the same place. Fixing it up so that we can move out.
Good luck to ya!

At Thursday, May 03, 2007 10:23:00 AM, Blogger Tam said...

If I never move again that would be just fine with me.

At Tuesday, September 29, 2009 3:48:00 PM, Blogger Matt G said...


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add to Technorati Favorites