Hold tight, kids…. this is a big one!
Since roughly August, my posts have been sporadic and the house work non-existant. I’m sure you’ve noticed a change in our pace. It was partly DIY burnout, partly the result of finishing nearly everything we wanted to change. But there is another reason we’ve been hands-off at the Fixer-Upper lately and it’s a bombshell. In early fall, we put our house on the market.
I know, I know, we should have told you! Should have shared the ups and downs (and why’s and how’s) of selling the house you’ve watched us pour our hearts into for the past three years. But the idea gave me the heebie-jeebies because you could easily find our house address online when it was for sale. The paranoid nutjob inside of me felt like we would be inviting trouble. And also, we didn’t want our agent having to sort out house voyeurs from prospective buyers. Because cleaning up a house to get it ready for showing? Soooo not fun, and not something you want to do over and over again for lookie loos.
We accepted an offer in January and closed on the house yesterday. Who knew you could sell a house in NY in the middle of winter? We’re still surprised. I waited until after the closing to share our news because, again, I’m paranoid. I did not want to jinx the sale. But everything went as planned and a nice young family now holds the key to Dirty Gert. We wish them well and hope the house brings them as much happiness as it did us – minus the crying over Home Depot bills and remodeling stress.
Most of our friends and family think we’re crazy, and that’s ok. They thought we were crazy for buying it, and look how well that turned out! I know it’s hard to understand why we would sell a house we worked so hard to make perfect, especially since it was never our intention to “flip” the house. When we bought it, we called it our “forever house” and planned on raising a family there. If you peek through the archives, you’ll see that we rarely made quick fixes or settled for sub-par materials because we planned to live with our choices for a long time. Yet as time wore on, we realized that although we love the house it wasn’t really the best fit for us. Our lives and goals have changed pretty significantly in the past three years, as they’re bound to when you’re young and unsure where life will take you. My job responsibilities have increased with each passing year, and inevitably so have the hours spent at the office – an office I was commuting about an hour to. Teague’s construction business took off, so the lack of a garage or usable basement was a problem. With fuel prices constantly rising, all the extra square footage seemed expensive and wasteful. And our little village was a long way from any good shopping, restaurants, or entertainment which made us lazy hermits who never left the house together to do anything fun.
Those are a few of the many reasons we decided to sell. Getting our money back out (plus a little sweat equity) before the market tanked even further was another consideration. The decision wasn’t easy, but it feels right. We weren’t as attached to the house as one might imagine given the blood, sweat and tears that went into it. I eventually came to see it as a giant to-do list rather than a comforting place to rest my head. Had we slowed down and allowed ourselves to enjoy it more, we might have felt differently… it’s hard to say.
In any case, as of yesterday we’ve passed the torch on to someone else and will be (gasp!) apartment dwellers for the next year or so. We moved into our new place two weeks ago and honestly couldn’t be happier. It’s a large apartment in a historic home in Manlius, NY… a cute little suburb of Syracuse. The new place has big windows, some original hardware, and a whole lot of old house charm. We’re fighting back our fix-it urges and learning to live with white walls. I’m sure there will be a string of fixer-uppers in our future, but right now we’re taking a well earned time-out so we can live a normal life. At least for a year or so!
I’m not sure what will happen to the site now that there is no house to fix, but I will definitely check in now and then to say hi and share anything cool I find. Thanks to the houseblog community for all the support and motivation you guys have given us over the years. You guys totally kick ass. We couldn’t have done it without you!