Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Long Road Home. Well, sort of. Like, To a New Home.

We've been in our house for just over five years now, and with each passing year, Jon and I can't believe that we are actually still here. It's not that the house is so bad, but when we signed the papers at the closing, there was a sort of "cheers! To a two year starter home investment, so we can move on up in 06'." Not only have we not moved to something a little more spacious and functional, but this "investment", you know in a supposedly rapidly appreciating neighborhood, yeah, it's now a liability. The value, tanked. Our original 20% down payment, gone.

Ok, so blah...blah..blah.... I've been talking about moving for a long time. And as much as one talks about, that doesn't make it happen. Talking is merely talking. Finally though, I think we're gaining some momentum over here. The NEVER ENDING list of "to do's" to spruce up our current house to even remotely have a chance of selling it in this market is daunting. Last week though, as the thought about the reality of having an only child, in quite a childless neighborhood haunted me, I was freaked out into moving. The freak out got me in gear. When I was a kid, the neighborhood gang, the big group of children the poured from nearly ever house on my street, they, they became my extended family. Seven brother, four sisters, we stayed out and played all day long on summer days , and then came endless kick the can and ghost in the graveyard at night. I want this for Noah. He actually needs these surrogate siblings, so we just need to seek them out.

Jon and I have pinpointed it to three near by neighborhoods. Places with lots of kids and trees and playgrounds. We don't need too much, not very picky about all of this, just something a tad bigger than our current 1,100 square feet, that's inconveniently laid out as a square, a one floor ranch. A family room would be great, something we don't have right now. Maybe a second bathroom, oh gosh, I would really love that. Our house's "third bedroom", we latter realized is just a walk through tiny den. DUH! That's being used as an equally tiny playroom that just barely holds two kids, so playdates are few and far between. So three bedrooms, that might be a must. I'm not interested in another ranch, so we'll look for something two story. My ultimate goal is an older home, a small Tudor or a craftsmen, but I won't only be held to this, as long as it has interesting bones. And if I were to get picky, an attached garage would be just brilliant! And a sun room, like the one I lounged in as a kid....now that would be bliss.

Last night, after doing a drive-by on a lovely cape-cod that's up for sale, I came home and completely emptied and re-organized our bedroom closet. It's almost ready for a theoretically showing, and that feels great. Our "stuff" is bursting this house at the seams, especially the tiny closets, so to get one in check, even that is a great victory for me. One closet down, three to go, I CAN do this!

While cleaning the closet, a small sheet of paper slid out of a purse that I was about to donate to Good Will. It must have been meant to be, a sign, because at the moment, as it neared 11:00pm, that motivation had turned to exhaustion and anxiety, that this project of moving was all too big.
I thought, this one closet is just the beginning, how am I ever going to dig us out of this house, and make repairs and updates, and find buyers in this economy? So the sheet of paper.....it was a list, that I had written a couple of years ago. A list of things that we had to do to get the house ready to sell. It was a loooooooong, involved list. One that was so overwhelming that somehow it was folded up and forgotten about in the bottom of a purse.

But as I read this list, I started to realize something....slowly but surely, without even knowing it, we truly had conquered many of points on the list! I mean, we....we're doing it! The front and back porches were resurfaced and painted....check! The columns were repaired and painted....check! Crown molding put up, granite counter tops are in. A new kitchen sink, and two brand new garage doors. Check, check, check! Shelving for storage has gone up in our basement , and now they're full of neat and tidy boxes, and about a year ago, we cleaned out our filled to the brim garage, that's now organized and presentable.

It gave me hope. It made me see that this isn't an impossible task. I know it might take a while, but....we'll get there, we will.

And now you know.


Laura said...

That's kind of funny because I attacked our master bedroom yesterday. Not really for the same reasons, but I was in there organizing & purging stuff. We have been trying to limit the amount of "stuff" that we have since we have very limited storage too. In the back of my mind, I'm thinking, "Good, the more we can get rid of, the less we'll have to move, someday." Good luck with the rest of your projects and finding a house that is the perfect fit for your cute little family.

Jeremy said...

Ugh... moving is such a daunting and thankless task.

I've never been in the moving frame of mind because I love our house, but when it was sprung upon me, I didn't fully fathom the amount of work and preparation that goes into a move.

We've been in our house for 6 years, had two kids, and somehow in that time have managed to acquire a lifetime of, well, crap.

I'm completely overwhelmed with the amount of stuff I have to sort through, but I've been tackling it one task at a time. I figure that in five weeks when that moving van pulls up in front of our house, I'll have managed to get all of my list items done.

At least when your time comes, you'll be mentally prepared - because frankly, I'm about to lose it.

Anonymous said...

Good luck moving, especially with a kid!

Obviously you've outgrown it, but I LOOOVE your current house. I think the layout is so cool and you have such a nice backyard. Any boy would be happy to grow up there :)