Friday, 21 September 2012

My house-selling experience

I've owned 2 homes.  My first one, I bought with my sister when I was 19 years old, and eventually moved out when I became pregnant at 23.  I went on to buy a brand new home in a new development and I lived there for 8 years.  Now?... well... I'm homeless.
When my husband got a job back in the US in June, the first thing that we focused on was selling the house.  We knew it would be a huge feat, so I think we wanted to be as proactive as possible and get it out of the way as soon as we could.

One month after Brian left Canada, we decided to put it on the market.  It took me about a week to prep the house for the sale (minor repairs, cleaning, junk removal, staging).  We listed it at a fair price, had 9 showings in 5 days and an Open House.  We got 1 interested buyer (which is all it takes), and in 7 days after going onto the market, our house was sold.  They requested a possession date that was just under one month away.

My next 3.5 weeks was consumed with packing every square inch of the house - boxing our lives up and getting it ready to ship to Chicago.  Without the help of my husband, I had to enlist in some help from a couple of friends.  I was also still responsible for my (then) 2 year old - so there were certainly a lot of long breaks and distractions that went along with that. 

As much as I knew that the prep and move was going to be tough, I knew deep down in my heart that my bigger challenge was going to be on an emotional level -- this was the home that I built; the house that I got married in (literally); the house that both of my kids were born in (not literally, oh gawd!) There were so many memories made in this house and the thought of leaving it was heartbreaking -- but it had to be done.  So privately, I began to detach myself from it.  I didn't even think about being sad.  I invested my time getting everything organized and packed.  I got tunnel vision and focused on the road ahead of me, and didn't allow my emotions to get the better of me.
The moving truck came and everything was loaded -- my entire a truck...en route to Chicago.

Was it hard?  Not at the time.  In fact, I'm still very surprised at how easy I was able to keep things 'strictly business'.  It wasn't until my very last day in the house (sitting in the very same spot I sat the day I took possession of it, some 8 years earlier) that it finally hit me.  The rush of sadness, guilt and pain hit me like a ton of bricks...and I bawled.  But not for long, just a short moment, and then I stopped.

That's when I realized that no matter where I was - whether it was in that home, or in the US or in the North Pole -- the memories that we created as a family would always be with me.  The house was just a house.  Selling it was definitely a challenge, but in the end, I gained some very valuable experience from it.
My next house-buying journey will begin soon.  I'd be lying if I said that I'm not extremely nervous (watching too much Holmes on Homes).  I hope that the experience is pleasant, but somehow, I don't think I'll have that kind of luck.
I hope to share my experiences on the blog, so stay tuned...

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