Friday, November 13, 2015

2015 In Review

I feel like I have some catching up to do with our lives over the past while.

Our desire was always to live on an acreage, however we didn't want to spend what most acreages are worth. We desired to be debt free, and lower our mortgage. Those things don't usually go along with living on an acreage.

After much consideration we decided to put our house up on the market. Now let me catch you up. We first bought our duplex when we found out I was expecting Eli. We lived there for 3 years and then we found out we were expecting Judah and decided to look for something bigger. Hindsight, we really didn't need anything bigger. The duplex would've suited our needs with a family of 4 (and even a dog!!) just fine.

We started house hunting, and found a home that had been on the market for quite some time. It was empty, and originally when I saw the listing on MLS, and I saw what the kitchen looked like, I told andy I would never live on that street because of it being a bus route, and the kitchen was ugly. Never say never, because we ended up buying this home. This home also ended up being right around the corner (within walking distance!!) from our duplex, which we planned on renting out!

Before & After of our kitchen renovations

So we moved into our house and prepared to have Judah. After living in this house for 3 years, we decided to get it ready to sell, and move back into the duplex while we looked for an acreage. We did a lot of work on the house and in the end it was looked amazing compared to when we bought it. We re finished the cabinets, put new counter tops in, put in new doors, re did the bathrooms, painted, and a few more little things (like taking the stick on tiles off the back entrance wall and putting up wood panelling!).

We put the house on the market, and on the first day we had 12 showings! Amazing!! We had an offer come in within 4 days, and it was at full asking price. They did the inspection and found a crack in the foundation downstairs, and walked away. We were shattered, and kept waiting. Trying to keep my house clean for showings at a moments notice with 2 small kids was hard. After close to 4 weeks on the market we got another offer, and it was a waiting game. This time the offer and inspection went through, but heres the kicker!! They wanted 15 days possession. It was between our house and another house (we'd heard that before!!) and they wanted to know how fast they could get in. Our duplex wasn't ready until July 1st which was another 6 weeks away! We told them we could make 15 days happen, and it was a go!

Now what???

Andy called his mom and she told us we could stay at her condo until July. She went to stay with her parents and we stayed in her condo. This is a 4 story adult only building. To say the least this was not a fun way to live for 6 weeks, but we were so blessed to have somewhere to sleep! 

When our current home came up on the market there was just exterior pictures. If you've bought a home or two, usually that means not good things for the inside. We waited. Then pictures came up of the inside, and when Andy showed me, I told him we needed to go see it. Our realtor had us inside the next day around lunchtime. 

We pulled up to the house and she said "Guys, I haven't been inside the house, but I just feel like maybe this is your house!" At this point, we had been looking for quite awhile, and working with this realtor for sometime. She had been through the ups and downs with us, and knew how we felt defeated. We went inside, and it was beautiful. Most of the acreages we looked at needed to be gutted and updated, but this one didn't need that. 

There were a few things that we didn't love, like no garage, and no basement. So that equals not a lot of storage. But for 3.5 acres, and a 1600 square foot house, for under $400 000, you almost can't go wrong.

We decided to put an offer in, and after going back and forth a few times she accepted our offer! We were ecstatic!

The next day I got a call from our realtor saying there were a few issues. The home we put an offer on was built in 2003. It had all the permits pulled but not all of the inspections had been completed. To name a few was the foundation, and electrical. Electrical wasn't a big deal, but foundation was. She needed to extend how long we were pending for, so she could get it sorted out. She wasn't aware when she listed it that this was an issue. When she bought the place, her husband dealt with all of it, and he had passed away shortly after they purchased.

Everything worked out however, and she was able to get the final building inspection done, and we were okay to move forward. But because she needed to extend how long we were pending for, that meant the possession day got pushed back as well to July 25th. We told Andy's mom we would be moved out the first week of July!

This was an issue. We both felt like we couldn't stay at the condo for another 25 days, and it wasn't fair to ask this! But our duplex was available for July 1st.

We made the choice to move back into our duplex (with the absolute bare minimum, so all of our belongings were in storage!!) and get the duplex ready to sell while we lived there!

In 25 days we moved in, gutted the bathroom, painted the fence, replaced carpet, and did a few other odd jobs. 

We put it up on the market, and received an offer even before a sign was placed on the front yard saying it was for sale. Here things may get familiar to you! We accepted the offer, and the inspection was done. The moisture level in the basement was high, and the buyer decided to walk away! We again were shattered, and continued waiting. We waiting a few more weeks, and finally got an offer and accepted.

We moved into our acreage on July 25th, and couldn't have been happier!! Andys mom took the boys for the afternoon and a sleep over that night and dropped them off in the morning and went on her way.

As I was unpacking upstairs my cell phone rang, and Andys mom as on the other end, asking to speak to Andy. The cell reception in our house is horrible because its concrete walls, so we went out onto the deck to talk to her. The police showed up at her home to tell her that Andys brother had unexpectedly passed away that night.

The next 10 days were a whirlwind. Between trying to unpack, take care of grieving family, and plan a memorial, it was crazy!

When Andy's brother Jonathan passed away, he had been living in and out of shelters, and the night that he passed away (which was actually in his sleep) he had been staying in a shelter. I went with my mother in law and also my sister in law a few days after he passed away to pick up his belongings, and speak to the director at the shelter. They invited us to come back later that week, where they would put a memorial service on with some of the other clients and friends that Jonathan called hid family. This was an amazing service, and I gained a new respect for the people who struggle with addiction. The people who showed up, and spoke new Jonathan, and loved him. He was only 34 when he passed away.

After the August long weekend was over, Andy went back to work, and we settled into what was a new routine of living on an acreage.

Just a few short weeks later, Eli started school, and then we needed to find a new normal and routine with only Judah and I being at home.

This last year has been one of the hardest years we've had to face. Between moving 3 times, renovating 2 homes, and having a family member unexpectedly pass away, was not something I would've believed if you told me was going to happen. Im ready for 2015 to end, and 2016 to start.

Thats where Im going to leave you for now. Thanks for reading, and please comment if you feel like you have something to say!

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