On the Market

by Kathy on March 15, 2011 · 5 comments

in Bob, Decisions, Family, Godparents, Hope, Loss, Memories, Our Home, The Future

I started writing this post sometime last Fall and then, as it often does, time got away from me. I decided to come back and finish it this week when I realized that our house has been on the market now for over 5 months. These recent months have been a roller coaster ride getting our house “show ready” as quickly as possible and then trying to keep it that way so that whenever we get a call that someone wants to see it, we can be accommodating and make it available for their realtor to walk them through. We have had a decent amount of traffic, especially considering the economy and the state of the housing market. However, we have not had any offers.

Five months ago (in early October 2010) I got an email from a neighborhood acquaintance, that she and her husband had signed a contract on another house in our neighborhood and that they were going to try to sell their home (4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, updated and in a great location). Our sons had gone to preschool together and we had carpooled to/from a few times, so though I was familiar with the house and the block it is on, I had never seen the inside.

As I typically do when I find out there is a house on the market in our neighborhood that we MIGHT be interested in, I immediately forwarded the email to Bob. I introduced the attachment with, “Don’t think I am interested/the time is right, but I do recall it appearing nice from the outside, I haven’t been in.” Bob replied, “It’s always worth taking a look.”

Fast forward a few days… I went to look at the house with Abby while Sean was at school. Since we weren’t officially looking, but we are “always looking” (for a bigger home, we are currently in a two bedroom) sometimes I will go ahead and check out a house that we are interested in on my own and then if and when I like it enough, Bob will go and see it himself or we will return together. As it turned out, I LOVED IT! Bob went that evening to take a look and was just as impressed as I was. Later that week we made an offer contingent on the sale of our home, we negotiated with the sellers and entered into a contract with them.We immediately listed our house, “priced to sell,” with the same realtor that sold us our house eight years ago. We worked very hard to get our home looking the way our realtor and we thought it needed to, to make a good impression on potential buyers. We have tried to stay even keeled during the process. We understand that there is a lot of inventory out there right now and though many of those other houses may not be as nice as ours, the asking prices are significantly less which is attractive to buyers. That said, it hasn’t been easy.

As we wait for potential buyers to find their way to our house, I find myself making connections with and comparisons too our struggle with secondary infertility and pregnancy loss. I am experiencing many of the same thoughts and emotions to other times in our life when we had to wait, to try to be patient and to remain optimistic when the we had little control over the outcome of our situation. In many ways we are living our life in a state of limbo not knowing what our future holds. Will we continue to live here in the house that we have made our home for the last eight years? Will our children continue to grow up here in a place that holds so many special memories? Or will we soon be moving to a new house, a new place to call our home and build our life?

As I try to rationalize and make peace with either possibility, I find myself reviewing all the pros and cons of staying here or moving on. I use to do the same thing before we had Abby. After Molly was born and died there was a period of time when I believed we might never be able to have another biological child and I didn’t know if we had it in us to pursue adoption after all we had been through trying to expand our family. I would try to make peace with Sean being our only (living) child and tell myself all the reasons why that would be okay and even wonderful for our family. In the end I think our life would have been awesome with just Sean and I think it is incredible now with Abby in our family too. Likewise, whatever happens with our house, I believe we will be fine.

Every time we get “the call” that someone would like to come and see our house the cycle repeats itself. I get excited, but try not to get my hopes up too much. I get focused and enter “attack mode” as I do any necessary cleaning and straightening around the house. We move a lot of things from our house out into our garage for showings, such as Abby’s high chair and the gates that are usually at the tops and bottoms of our stairs. We clear our counter tops, tables and desks. Being the OCD control freak that I am, I stage everything “just right.” We turn every light on in the house and then when the time comes, we leave.

While we are gone and after we return home, I often wonder about the people who were here. What did they think of it? Were they impressed? Could they imagine themselves living here? Then we wait for feedback, if we are lucky enough to get some, from our realtor. She is often encouraging, relaying that their agent told her how much they really liked it. However, time after time, nothing has come of it.

We understand that our house in unique. Not a lot of people are looking to buy a two bedroom. Buyers may appreciate all the work we have done remodeling and making improvements over the past eight years, however when the time comes to choose a place to live, many will not prioritize quality over getting a good deal. We are finding out that some of those who have come through our place are choosing foreclosures and other bargain buys over making an offer of our home. Though it is hard to accept sometimes, we “get it.”

So now we remain, doing our best to practice patient optimism (an awesome term that my brother-in-law coined when he and my sister were in the midst of the domestic adoption process awhile back waiting, hoping and praying to be matched with a birth mother/baby).

Our current contract on the house we want to and hope to be able buy is up for extension again later this week. We are hoping and praying that once again the sellers will be willing to give us another month to keep trying to sell our house, so that we can ultimately buy theirs.

We also have received word from our realtor that one couple that saw our house a few weeks back have narrowed their search down to two homes (ours and another 3 bedroom in the area). Apparently this couple is in no hurry to make a decision and of course our realtor (who is also theirs) needs to let them take their time in discerning this. That said, it is both exciting and frustrating to know that they MIGHT be preparing to make an offer on our place or that they may also choose to go for the other one.

This week we also agreed to lower the asking price on our house again. This was not an easy decision as we already feel like we are practically “giving it away,” after all of that we have put into it over the past 8 years. However, we realize that the “market price” of a house is relative, especially in this economy and thus it is really only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

Now for my shameless plug… For those of you that live in the Chicago area or may know someone who does (or wants to). Please feel free to share this information with anyone who might be interested in our house. The MLS # is 07652756. The asking price is now $259,000. We have 2 large bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and a 2 1/2 car garage (built in 2005). We remodeled the kitchen in 2007 (with cherry wood cabinets and doors, granite counter tops, all new appliances and ceramic tile floors). We also remodeled the basement in 2009. There are a number of pictures included in the listing of our home in our Beverly neighborhood (St. Barnabas/Sutherland schools). We have loved living in this house and on our block (Claremont Ave.) for almost 8 years now and it will be bittersweet to leave if we are able to sell it.

Thank you for your support, encouragement, kind words, thoughts and prayers, as always. As with so many things in life, I never imagined it would or could take this long to be able to sell our house. However, not unlike our five year journey through secondary infertility and loss, I know that this will be resolved eventually. In the meantime, all we can do is try to keep our house clean and “show ready” while it is on the market, as we hope and pray that one of these days “our buyer” will walk through our door.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Knock knock - it's cancer! March 15, 2011 at 2:32 pm

I *heart* your home. I looked at the pictures… how pretty.

Showhome is right!

Wow and the windows are so pretty. I love them.

I know you'll find someone, I am sure you will.

You just need to find a young couple, who are looking to starting a family, it's perfect… and the basement -score!

Keep us up to date on this,' kay?

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2 Kathy March 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thank you Michelle! You are too kind. I will keep you posted. Good luck tomorrow!

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3 Amy March 16, 2011 at 8:26 am

My parents live in Mt Greenwood so I'm familiar with your area. Can I just say that I love the stained glass windows? You'll find that special buyer.

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4 loribeth March 16, 2011 at 9:13 am

What a lovely house you have, Kathy! I am drooling over your kitchen (ours badly needs updating, if not a complete reno). I know the market in the States is not great at the moment, but I'm sure you will eventually find the right buyer.

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5 Kathy March 16, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Amy – Small world! How fun that your parents live in Mt. Greenwood. I love the stained glass windows too! There were here when we moved in. Apparently one of the previous owners was pretty crafy and made them himself. Thank you for your encouragement! 🙂

Loribeth – Thank you! I do love our kitchen and will miss it if and when me move. It was a challenge to live through the remodel a few years back, but some awesome when it was done! 🙂

A litte update: We got a call this morning for a showing this evening. So I "got to" spend the rest of the day prepping for it. When we returned after the time period we were not supposed to be home Bob and I couldn't tell if anyone had actually been here. Usually the realtor will leave a card or turn off some lights or something. But everything appeared to be just as we left it.

Fast foward to just a little while ago when I went to throw something away in our kitchen wastebasket. I noticed a large styrafoam container in there and asked Bob what he had brought home from work in it. He told me that he had seen it earlier and assumed it was mine… So there is our answer. Clearly someone was here and getting our house "show ready" today was not in vain.

Hopefully we will get some feedback about the showing in the next day or so. It would be awesome if this was "the one!" 🙂

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