*If you need to catch up, you can read about our decision to have a new house built here and the actual construction process here.*
During our initial meetings with our builder, one thing we discussed at length was how everything would work with selling our Shiloh house and moving into the one being built. We wanted to avoid moving more than once if possible, but we also did not want to find ourselves in a situation where we were carrying two mortgages at the same time. There were several options with how to handle this, but we decided that paying our builder a down payment to begin the building process, waiting until about half way through the build to put our Shiloh house on the market, and closing on both properties after construction was completed was the best option for us. Of course, this was a risk as we didn't know if things would actually work out the way we wanted them to with selling our Shiloh house.
After we signed papers to have a house built in mid April, we got to work getting our Shiloh house ready to be put on the market. We didn't have a ton of work to do for it to be market ready, but there were definitely a few things that we felt were important.
One of the first things we did was rent a small storage unit that we used for furniture, large toys, and a few boxes. We had so much furniture in the house that we wanted to clear some out to make it feel a little roomier. Also, I went through all the closets in the house and packed up about half of what was in them to make them seem less cluttered and more open. The garage was another area that we did quite a bit of work to . . . just packing up things that we could live without for a while and getting them out of the way.
It took us about two months to get all those things accomplished. Of course, we didn't work every day or even every weekend. This was all around the same time of Chris's grandpa's hospitalization, death, and funeral, so we had a lot of other things going on during this time, as well. We just took our time with the house stuff and worked on it pretty casually. Our goal was to have the house on the market by the beginning of July, and although we didn't quite make that goal, it wasn't too far off.
During fourth of July weekend, we gave the living room a fresh coat of paint. It really helped things look clean and bright. The children were eager to help us with whatever tasks we were doing (which wasn't always all that helpful, but we appreciate their desire to help and work).
The closer we got to putting the house on the market, the more time I spent cleaning, organizing, cleaning, packing, and cleaning. We even had an interior designer (who works for the company that listed our house) come over and give us some suggestions for making the house more marketable. Thankfully, she didn't have too many recommendations for us, but there were a few things that I needed to spend some time on. Trying to clean and organize with four littles running around was exhausting and often frustrating, so Chris and I would usually divide and conquer.
Chris and Brenson making some repairs to the fence
They had to go into our neighbor's yard for some of the fence repair. As you can see, he rarely mows and almost never trims, so they had to take care of the giant weeds before working on the fence.
Working outside with Daddy is one of this little man's very favorite things to do.
We also had an outside faucet that needed some repairs. Our little worker bees took care of business!
Finally, on Sunday, July 17th, our realtor came over for the afternoon, and we signed papers to list our Shiloh house for sale!
Seeing that sign in our yard was so bittersweet. This had been our home for ten years!
Our house was officially "listed" on Monday, July 18th, and by 3:00pm we had a showing scheduled for that evening. We had really prayed about the timing of everything . . . ideally, we wanted to get into a contract fairly quickly (because keeping a house show ready while living there with four small children is a difficult task!), but we didn't want to sell too soon as we still needed about 10 weeks for our new house to be finished. We tried really hard to not stress too much about it or play out too many "what if" scenarios.
We were really pleased with the service we received from our realtor, Ryan. We felt like he was on the ball and really worked for us. If you're local and in need of a realtor, message me and I'll send you his info :-).
Ryan had a photographer come to our house to photograph it for the online listing, which I really appreciated. I can't tell you how many online real estate listings I've viewed that had terrible photos. It's a total turn-off! Here are the photos from our online listing:
The first week our house was on the market, it only showed twice. While this wasn't necessarily bad, we were a little discouraged. I guess we thought we would have a lot of showings that first week? The following Tuesday (8 days after being listed for sale), we had another showing. Our realtor told us that the guy who looked at it was really interested and drafting an offer. The offer came in on Thursday, July 21st, and we were thrilled. The excitement alone of receiving an offer was big, regardless of the terms. The potential buyer offered us a good price, but the best part was that he wasn't able to close until September 30th. That was perfect timing for us! We counter-offered, he accepted, and we had a pending contract by Monday, July 25th!
When I saw that the online listing said "Pending", I had to send this screenshot it to Chris. Eeeeeeeep! (We actually sold it above list price).
After we had a pending contract, the next hurdle was getting through inspections and the appraisal. Thankfully, everything passed inspections with no problems and the appraisal came back right where we needed it to. We felt like we could relax a bit, and it was so great to be able to really live in our house again!
With our closing date set for September 30th, I held off on packing boxes until the first week in September. After that, I set daily and weekly goals and busted it every day. Soon, every room in our house looked like this:
I did a lot of packing during the day while Brianna was at school. Brenson was generally a good helper to me, but the twins were usually into everything, unpacking things I had already packed, and making additional messes. One day, I sent this photo to Chris with the comment that they were being so good for me while I packed, and approximately one minute later they dumped a box I had just filled. Lol . . . life with toddler twins!
There are a few things about our Shiloh house that made me sad to think about leaving, but the biggest one was probably our crepe myrtle bush in the front yard. This bush was a housewarming gift given to us by our church family when we first moved in. My Aunt Diana helped me decide where to plant it, and then oversaw the actual planting and transfer of it. I had no idea how to take care of this bush (or any other plant life), but she gave me a few tips and it (surprisingly) thrived under my care. We lost Aunt Diana to cancer back in 2009, and this crepe myrtle was a beautiful reminder of her. It always blooms about a week or two after every other crepe myrtle on the block, but is always gorgeous when it finally does. This year, it bloomed even later than normal, and I was so thankful that we were still there to enjoy it. It will always be so special to me, and I intend to drive by it every year around this time so I can continue to enjoy it. Of course, I had to do one last photo shoot in front of our beloved crepe myrtle (photos taken on September 14, 2016).
Brecklyn and Brooke
Brecklyn, Brenson, Brianna, and Brooke
Our September 30th closing ended up being postponed until October 5th, but we had everything set to move out of our Shiloh house on September 30th, so we went ahead with that plan (I'll give more details about this is my next post). The morning of the 30th, we took the kids to my sister's house for the day and finished emptying the last few things from our Shiloh house. Up until this point, I hadn't been too emotional about this house, but that changed when I saw it empty. We had lived so much life in that space. It was our very first house . . . the house we brought all our babies home to . . . the house we called home for ten years . . . and I just got a little overwhelmed with memories and emotions in that moment.
It sat empty for 5 days, and just before closing on Wednesday, October 5th, Chris and I walked through the house one last time. It was a great first house for us, and it was harder than I thought it would be to leave it for the last time. I shed a few tears as we closed that chapter of our lives, but I'm hopeful that our buyer can make many wonderful memories there, as well.
Good-bye our Shiloh house <3 p="">3>