Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A change is (FINALLY) a comin'

Apologies for the lack of posting this past month.  It has been a weird summer and I didn't really know how or what to post on this little o' blog of mine.  The best way to describe June in one word was stagnant.  Our house sat on the market for most of the month with countless showings and no interest.  I had hoped to be knee deep in boxes right after Meghan's graduation on June 4th, but instead we did little but keep the house in pristine condition and on alert for the next last-minute house showing.  Finally, we received an offer at the end of the month.  It was not an easy one though.  Initially we turned it down because the sellers had some weird conditions, such as a 3 week option period, where they could back out within 21 days for any reason at all.  Unheard of in residential real estate where the option period is usually 7 days....just enough time to get the house inspected and uncover any problems.  A week later though, we were renegotiating the deal with much better terms.  SOLD! 

If June was stagnant, than July could only be it's polar opposite: frenetic!  We traveled to Austin and toured 10 homes on a Saturday.  Of the 10, only one fit the bill for us and we quickly placed an offer on the house after returning to Houston that weekend.  We countered a few times, only to have the owners actually have a change of heart and actually withdraw their house from the market!  This, with 3 1/2 weeks until we closed on our Houston home and were essentially homeless.  When our realtor gave us the news, I panicked.  Distraught is putting it mildly.  I went into our bathroom, shut the door, and sobbed for a good 20 minutes.  Nothing else we had seen that weekend even came close to what we wanted,  and I was starting to think maybe we would have to rent something just to get the girls into a school district by mid-August.  But a couple new homes came on the market and we headed back to Austin the following weekend to search again.  The first house we saw, I had completely dismissed online.  It looked nice, but had no dining room.  We never use our dining room, but we do have nice furniture for it, and I do like the option of having that room.  It had very ornate vanities in the bathroom that weren't quite my style either, though the claw foot tub was nice, admittedly.   We went to see it though because the upstairs had everything the girls wanted: a media room (in addition to a gameroom) and two full bathrooms upstairs, including a private one in one of the bedrooms.  As we sat outside looking at the nice, but unassuming exterior, Meghan asked "Why are we even wasting our time on this house?"  My first thought after entering was, very small entry and yep, no dining room.  But then we walked further in and I realized I was walking on dark, wide-planked hardwood floors.  I noticed the HUGE granite island in the kitchen with gorgeous cabinets; the sink, granite, and cabinets in the laundry room;  the built-ins in the study, with granite counters.  I spent so much time downstairs looking at all the extras that the girls had seen the whole house and were shouting for me to come see the upstairs.

It was in a word: AWESOME.  A wet bar off the gameroom with sink, wine refrigerator and hardwood floors,  a big gameroom and an even bigger media room with projection screen theater.  The 3 upstairs bedrooms were also big and Claire had already claimed the one with the private bath (being the oldest full-time kid at home, she got first pick.)  The back yard had a covered patio (and by covered, I mean cedar-planked) and a huge backyard that backed up to greenbelt.  Nothing behind us except live oak trees as far as the eye could see.  The girls and Jack were sold, but ever the realist, I wanted to see the other houses on our list.  By the time we had driven to the next house, our realtor had called the agent on that house and found out there were two other interested parties.  Well, we spent our time at this next house writing up a contract on the one we had just toured!  We offered more than the asking price, determined not to let this one get away from us.  Long story short, we found out that afternoon the house was ours!

It has been a whirlwind since.  We are closing on both our Houston home and our new Austin home this Friday in Houston.  Movers come tomorrow and Thursday to pack us up and load us out.  After closing on Friday, we will say our last good-bye to Houston, our home for 12 years, and head west to Austin.  I will have lots more updates and pictures when we get moved in.   In the meantime,  here is a link to our new home.  It is even nicer than the pictures, and we are very excited to call it home. 

Wish us luck!  See you all on the other side!!