We are slowly starting to look at houses again, catching open houses when we can.  The trick is to see them without running your realtor around since he's probably not going to get a dime from your move.  Do tell, you say.

Well, because of articles like this, Matt and I are seriously considering renting again, unless we are able to practically steal a house.  It just doesn't make sense for us to purchase a home if we will be moving in less than 5 years.  We're pretty sure within 5 years we'll know our long-term plan for our family, and that's when we'll consider settling down for good.  Renting is a great feelikng: we don't have to sell it (ever),  and we don't have to worry that the house we just bought is a depreciating asset.  House prices continue to fall, and we are doing suprisingly OK in the market.  Why take your money from a place where it's growing, and sink it into a place that may cause it to shrink?

 
This is the one I've got my eye on.  It doesn't have much of a back yard, but I suppose a pool could make up for that.  The front yard is decent, and since it's a private drive (well, more like a long driveway with a fence at the road) I figured the kids could play in the front.

We were a little surprised to find tonight that it is no longer on the market, however (thus the fuzzy pics, pickings are slim).  Tomorrow we will investigate.  It's a foreclosure, and the price had been dropped significantly.  Perhaps it's been snatched up already.

And yes, we've decided to stay on the west side.  We just don't want to leave the tennis club we belong to!

 
 

We saw the house.  It was VERY similar to this one, minus a few windows and such.  I was tempted, but couldn't quite decide ... and Matt was no help since he didn't go look at it.  Today it showed up "pending."  Guess it wasn't meant to be.

I'm actually tempted to rent again.  It's hard to justify a realtor's commissions if we're going to sell again.  Who knows ... we might make it down south after all.  Or we'll find out we are staying here, and then I'll look around for my acreage.  I'll let you know if anything significant happens ...

 
 

It's certainly not where I'd live forever, but I'm loving the idea of space!

 
 

Saw a decent house yesterday ... Matt loves it because it's close to work and right in the middle of everything.  When I say in the middle, I mean literally in the middle of two neighborhoods of monstrous houses.  I don't love it on the outside, but the inside is quite beautiful.  It's very roomy, and the back yard is already set up for a couple of horses.  We saw it in dim light, so I need to see it again to see if I can work with it.  My big fear is that we'll be the fun house where all the kids in the adjoining neighborhood run.  The pool would have to be reworked (inground, hopefully), and the yard needs some maintenance.

Just letting you come along for the ride ...



 
 

    


Our "Vally Park"

 Over the course of the next few days I will post some of the 120 photos I took at the park yesterday, both because there are too many for one post and because I will need something easy to post as I frantically search for a place to live.  WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!  But first about the park ...

We had a VERY last minute showing yesterday (pat us on the back for getting it together in very little time), so we headed to the park with our school books in tow.  We ate a fast-food picnic, played, and did our school work on the most perfect day of the year.  I took along my camera and experimented, with some fairly good results.  This, of course, is not hard to imagine when you know how photogenic my kids are.  But I am also quite proud of a few of my nature shots.  Who knew, including me, that I had an interest in photography?  It was such fun for me.

And now for the house news:  Pat me on the back for forcing my family (kids in tears, husband in disbelief) to show the house in an hour and a half.  Usually we get more notice than that; and keep in mind that life was not exactly normal around here due to the widespread power outtages that still persist.  BUT ... get it ready we did, and within a couple of hours we had an offer.  We've since countered and agreed on terms, and are still in a state of shock that we have to be out by November first.

Are you wondering why I've now made an announcement twice that we've sold our house?  Well, the first contract is contingent upon the sale of their house, which is priced too high.  Their contract was a beautiful thing: it did not cause our house to go "pending", in which case no one would take a second look at our place.  The other great thing about it was that it was "sudden death" -- it required no notice to them if we accepted another offer.  So we are in business with these new folks.  Their only contingency is a contract that they are not "officially" out of due to a failed inspection (mere paperwork).  Their house is sold, and they are impatient.  Two houses they've tried to buy have failed an inspection, so they are ready to go.  This also explains the expectation of moving in at closing.

Our heads are spinning, and we don't know what we are doing.  Nothing out there seems to have all that we're looking for (3000 square feet or more, 5 acres, not UGLY, not out in the middle of nowhere ...)  We might be forced to rent an executive home for a few months so that we are not pressured to "settle" simply because we're out of time.  This is a good problem to have ... I'm not complaining.    As I've said from the beginning, God will show us the way!


Want to know what's out there to rent for a family of seven?  Much ... in a market like this.

And now for my beautiful family ...


 


Indian boy.

Mia the peanut.

Cute boys in cool tones.


Elena


Noelle in cool tones.


I know.  She looks like Julie Z.  I hear it all the time.  :-)


Julia in sepia tones.


 
 

We got an offer already.  It's not quite up to asking price, which is quite reasonable as it is, but they're not that far off either.  FIRST SHOWING!!  We're going to counter today ...

We feel it's an "Ace in the hole" because here are the details:  It's a contract that doesn't require us to mark the house "pending", which is good because I think that "Pending, may accept backup offers" is pretty much the same thing as saying "Please don't ever look at my house again.  Even if financing falls through, please consider my house off the market and possibly even damaged goods."  So it will remain active because their contract is, of course, contingent on the sale of their house.  If something better comes along, that we can accept more quickly or at a better price, all we have to do it tell them and generously give them the chance to offer us more money.

Is that sweet, or what?

I mean, who knows what could happen, at this point?  I'm almost not even excited about it because it's too good to be true, too many things could still go awry, and we have no freakin' idea where the heck we're gonna live.  I almost didn't post about it because my very next post could possibly be "God not only doesn't want us to move but He is also testing our Faith in Him".  But what's the fun of getting a contract on your first showing if you can't shout about it?

We had another showing last night, so we're going to find out the feedback there before we counter.  Pretty fun stuff!

Oh, and as for the comments about my clean house, let me say this:  First of all C, the reason the basement looks so incredibly good is that there are only about 5 toys in it.  No kidding.  I've been slowly weeding them out such that the basement has looked pretty decent for awhile now.  Gone are those days when I just shut the door.  It taught  my kids all the wrong things.  Plus, they are older now.  That makes all the difference.  That, and the fact that the previous owner's tacky paint and gross carpet have been replaced by beautiful neutral colors too.

And you know how you're imagining my life is total hell as we try to keep it clean?  Well, getting it fully clean -- every room perfect at once -- was very, very hard.  It took days, as I would clean one room only to find my previous work undone.  But now?  I LOVE it.  And so do the kids.  Our standards are UP THERE and all we have to do it raise our consciousness.  Clean up messes sooner, and be more aware of the number of times we set things down.  I'm sure we won't want to live this way for the rest of our lives, but we all agree that our new lives will be a lot more like this.  Keeping it up is so much less stressful than bad habits!

(One last thing -- Owen has been sick for almost 2 weeks now with a terrible infection.  He is getting a re-check right now after finally seeing some results yesterday due to the second try at antibiotics.  I will let you know how the appointment goes a little later.)



 
 

This is a most round-about way of getting you photos of the house, but here it is at last.  Wanna buy it?

http://www.cbws.com/Property/propertydetails.aspx?SearchID=1830816&Property=CFCC501F-2452-49B6-8DB5-0CE6906593C2&RowNum=1

We're trying not to be greedy on the price, knowing that we will likely get a really good deal ourselves on a house.  Matt was here when the realtor took the photos and hashed out the details.  I had to laugh when I noticed that he put something about the "great neighbors."  They are, by most people's standards.  It's just funny because it's the main reason I want to move: their kids!

Sorry I've been so absent.  We're always gone now, in an effort to keep the house intact.  I guess you all better join me in asking God for a quick sale if you want me to keep blogging.  And while you're at it, ask Him for 5-10 acres, and a really, really beatuiful house because right now there's nothing out there that I like.