Sunday, March 16, 2008

Contractually Obligated

So it has happened! Hooray! If all goes well, we are going to sell our house! We got an offer at the end of last week from a couple who had visited the house twice, the second time during the weekend I was gone to St. Louis. We went back and forth with them negotiating over the weekend and eventually came to an agreement. Their first offer was somewhat stomach-churningly low and we didn’t feel like they were very cooperative in negotiating, but at the end of the day we were able to work something out. And what is it that they say about a successful negotiation being one where everyone leaves unhappy? We are definitely coming out in the red on this real estate transaction, but it’s not too bad if you think about what we would have paid in rent for our three years here. It makes me feel a little queasy if I think about how much money we are losing, but we are coming out with enough to move forward with our lives, and that is good enough, right? And we are so very grateful that we found a buyer so quickly. Our house was on the market for just 3 and a half weeks when we got that offer. I think that in this market, selling our house so quickly and for enough money for us to buy our next house is cause for celebration and gratitude.

Anyway, this evening our realtor came over with the final contract and Rob and I signed it. We are all now legally bound to this thing! The next step is the inspection, which should happen this week. We are keeping our fingers crossed for no big surprises during the inspection and then the buyers’ financing process. If everything continues smoothly, we will close on this house by the beginning of May. Sheesh, that seems shockingly soon. There will be a LOT to get done before then, as far as finding a new house in Texas (despite my previous thoughts we are leaning toward buying now because on a monthly basis it will be cheaper than renting), finding interim housing for Robert and perhaps all three of us here, and of course, packing up and actually moving.

We are grown-ups

This picture is from just a few weeks after we moved in to this house in July 2005. I am in the very early stages of being pregnant with Grace (~10 weeks or so) and we have just been spending all our time painting and dealing with contractors and living amongst boxes and remodeling detritus. It doesn’t show the whole house, which I wish it did, but it’s OK-- I won’t hold it against you, Dad. (My dad came to see us on the first of quite a number of visits he took on the front or tail end of business trips to Boston.)

I’ve been thinking about how the whole process of selling a house is structured to get you ready to emotionally detach yourself from your house. You are presented with lots of data and graphs that make your house just another statistic among all the houses in your area, realtors come in and move all your stuff around from where you have been living with it, you picture yourself growing to resent the house if you don’t sell it in the timeframe you need to, and you fervently hope and pray for someone to come and take it off your hands. Even after only a month of our house being on the market, I am starting to feel enough emotional separation from it to not grieve leaving it too much. Part of me does wish that this house that we put so much time and energy into renovating, our first home that we chose together, the house to which we brought Grace home from the hospital, was going to be lived in by someone who seemed a little more accommodating and friendly during the negotiation process, but really I don’t care too much. I am feeling much more future-centered right now. I might feel mournful as the process moves forward when it feels more real that we will be saying goodbye to this darling house, but right now I say, “Goodbye, house! Nice knowing you!”

No comments: