An Extended Break: Selling a Home and Planning a New One

Well, where do I start?!?

So after just two years, we decided to do the unthinkable… sell our beautiful new home. Why, you ask? Well the short answer, to make money and do it again.

Fortunately being in the building business allows our family to be able to do this “somewhat” easier than most. However, now that we’re full on in the middle of it… I’m not so sure I would sign up to do it again so soon. With two young kiddos packing, moving, renting, building, moving again, all in a short amount of time can be very overwhelming. BUT, it can also be very rewarding as well.

Motivating Factors:

I think its safe to say that once kids enter the family dynamic, the decisions that are made carry a little more weight. Previously, the discussion was only about our lifestyle and what we wanted as a couple. Now,  as the kids are getting a little older there are so many other elements that needed to be considered.

Number one: schools, this is self explanatory. Number two: my daily commute, currently about an hour and fifteen minutes each way (yes, 2-1/2 hours each day in the car that I could be spending with my family). Number three: our extended family members that we’ve become so dependent on having just around the corner.

After a few stressful months debating all our options, we decided to make the move away from our quiet little beach town. We found a community that checked all the boxes we were looking for, with the biggest bonus being that it was only 5 minutes from work. I know it doesn’t seem like much but after almost 8 years commuting daily, I am so excited to know that once the kids are in school, I’ll  be able to participate in all the normal parent things that are not easily attended when you work over an hour away.

The Old House

The craziest part about this whole thing is that when we built the last house, we tried so hard to plan it so it could be at least a 10 year house. By doing that, we really created spaces that worked for our life and our family needs. So it made it hard to leave and even harder to try and design a house that was unique in itself but that still incorporated all the elements that we needed.

Fortunately we had the benefit of meeting the sweet couple that bought our home and actually got to hang out and share a glass (or two) of wine. It makes it so much easier to know that the people who bought that house did so with the intention of making it their forever home.

The practical side of me is excited that the home we designed and built was a good investment that we were able to sell relatively easy once we made the decision to do so. The creative side of me takes so much pride in knowing that the house functions just as well for their family as it did for ours. AND, of course the sentimental side of me is just so thankful that seem to love it so much and are proud to call it their home.

Just in case you thought it sounded too easy…

I know sometimes you can read about all these folks that flip houses, DIY stuff all day everyday, and in our case build and sell houses “just like that.” But in actuality, there are some very stressful moments in all those situations. For example: our original plan when we got married was to build houses and sell them every 2 years as part of our financial plan.

Well we were off to a good start, got married, bought house #1, sold it, found a new homesite, moved closer to the beach, until… we built our second house in 2007. What was intended to be a 2 year house turned into an 8 year house due to the housing crisis that affected us all for so many years. We ended up selling just so we could move on to the next one. So our lesson in that situation was to make sure that we built any future house that we’d be happy in for 2 years or 10 years and is something that if we ever “had” to sell we could at least break even.

The most recent house went much smoother when we decided to sell, except for this one little (HUGE) thing called Hurricane Florence. Which up until the day or so before it hit the east coast, we weren’t sure if it was going to be a category 4 storm and possibly a direct hit to our house!

Keep in mind this storm hit us the week of September 11 (I honestly can’t remember what day because it was the longest hurricane ever) and we were supposed to move out of our house the following week and close on September 28th. Yeah, that’s right, this whole thing was possibly going to fall apart at the eleventh hour, not at the hands of an inspector or appraiser, but none other than mother nature herself.

Long story short, we ended up evacuating the kids and sent them with my in-laws, my hubby and I stayed behind to “man the fort” and after moving all the furniture that I could up to the second floor we were so fortunate not to have any damage from the storm  other than a few days without power, AND the closing still happened on time.

Needless today, this entire thing is a risk reward situation and we know that nothing is promised, but building homes is a journey that we do really enjoy (most of the time).

The New House:

Oh man… “here we go again” is what we should be saying. But, we are off to a good start so far. One of our common themes in any home we have built has been to make the house as good as we can, while being as conservative on the budget as possible. As it turns out, if I had an unlimited budget, I’d probably be able to go over budget and then some!

However, once reality sets in and I get the quotes back, this lady gets pulled back down to earth really quick. Now that doesn’t mean that we don’t spend money in the places that are important to us. But if there is a way to “get the look for less” I am certainly going to try that route first. At the end of the day, we have to keep in mind the total number when it comes to the cost of our home, so when one things goes over, we have to adjust in other places.

So the good news as of today is we’ve made it past some of the initial hurdles like getting the floorplans designed, getting architectural approval from the community review board, and getting through the permitting process. Now the biggest challenge will be to get the final budget numbers nailed down to be able to start construction in the next few weeks.

 What’s up next:

As we prepare to start construction (I can’t believe we’re at this point already) I’ll need to finalize some of the cosmetic design elements in the home. I’ve gotten quotes out the wazoo but now I just have to pick something… and try not to change my mind!!

Stay tuned…


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