So what happened to me? I was running every day and then… not.
I have my other posts about illness at the end of November, but really I kept pushing through until my last consecutive run on December 5th. I got one more in on the 12th at which point I gave up. ha! But let’s start back at the end of November.
My hubby was off work the day after Thanksgiving. A friend of ours was hiring him to build a deck on her new house (hubby is a home builder/remodeler), so we went over that Friday to bid it. I spent some time wandering around playing with the goats and the horse and just watching life at her place. When we left, I sent her a message telling her how much I love being over there. She is only a mile away (her back pasture backs up near my house), but the feel is completely different. She has 12 acres and feels more rural than my 2 wooded acres at the entrance to a nice subdivision. That’s where it all started. In the conversation, she mentioned that her recently widowed next door neighbor would be putting her small farm for sale sometime soon. I talked to Derek, and we decided to call her. She was a sweet lady and invited us over the next day to look at her place. All of this happened Friday, November 25th.
The next morning we all loaded up and went over to her house. It needed some TLC, but we really liked the feel of it. We also really liked the farm buildings. The property is 10 acres with a barn, a tack shed, a shop, 2 coops, 2 loafing pens, a round pen, and it is cross fenced with pipe, goat and wire fencing. There is also a fenced garden, a pecan tree, asparagus beds, grapes and a peach tree.
Stepping aside for a second, my husband and I have been talking forever about wanting to live out in the country with animals and everything. That was the initial goal when we moved from the big city, but somehow we ended up in this beautiful large house with small land. This is a great place and we don’t regret that decision at all, however we did start getting the bug for livestock pretty hard core at the end of summer. We had casually looked around, and couldn’t find anything. There were other barriers. Financially, we could afford the land/house but we wouldn’t have money to fence it. Or we could find fenced land, but wouldn’t be able to afford the house/improvements. There were smaller acreages, but it wasn’t worth moving if we were going to have to settle. We decided it just couldn’t be done “now” and to wait until all the kids were in school before we started looking for real. A few months after that, a friend moved into a little house on 50 acres and we fell in love with it. We talked about it more and more and dreamed about what it would be like in a few years when we got ready to move – later, not any time soon.
So back to the 26th: After leaving the farm, we called our realtor. He had sold our house in the city 3 years ago and we really liked working with him. He also worked out here in the country so we decided to get his opinion.
He came over on the 29th to talk and look at our house and make suggestions. At our city house, he had a laundry list of things we had to do in order to sell quickly for what we wanted. We did them, we sold quickly and got out of there. We were prepared to get the list from him and get it done, maybe finishing and listing by January. He wasn’t here at the house long at all before he suggested we list for more than we had expected. He suggested we do some landscaping in the front (we have minimal curb appeal because we just don’t go out there so we don’t think about it), and then just general fixing up things (paint touch ups, etc). That’s it. He said it wouldn’t be a bad thing to be on the market around Christmas as long as I was prepared to show the morning after Christmas and not be put out. I was suprised that he wanted to list so quickly.
We spent the next few days patching paint and cleaning up a little. On December 3rd we bought our landscaping for the front but we weren’t able to get it in the ground because of freezing weather. The woman who owns the farm had gotten a realtor and the realtor was out of town so we were just waiting around.
We went back to the farm on the 5th. My dad and his wife came with and looked around. This was our “official” showing of the house with both realtors and no home owner. We made an offer that night.
The next day was a little strange. We got a “no thank you” on the offer, not even a counter. So we tried again. This time we offered what she asked but wanted 90 days to sell our home. She had a set time she wanted to move out and didn’t want to give us so long. We finally settled on 47 days. Phew! Our offer was accepted on the 6th and we filled out the forms to list ours that evening.
The realtor picked up my listing forms at the elementary school on the 7th and the house was on the MLS that night. We were lucky to have had professional photos made when we first built our house. We were able to use those as the listing photos. I think it looks very different to see the house empty vs full of my stuff (and now Christmas decorations). We also used a few photos of the back yard (wooded) and one of a deer hanging out in the back yard (not an abnormal thing). The listing looked great. I wasn’t sure what to expect though. It hit Zillow that night. I remember seeing it on our way home from church. When we sold the house in the city it took a while. I remember being excited to get showings but I think it took a week or so for things to pick up. I don’t remember exactly.
The next morning I was in a tizzy (as is my nature). We didn’t have the signed contract for the farm yet, we didn’t have a sign/lock box at our house (I was told they would come Wednesday), and I just wanted to worry. I called the realtor after dropping off the kids (on my way in to town to get more keys made) and he said he was about to call me. We had a showing! Our first showing! In an hour! Yes, I was about 30 minutes away and no, the house was not ready at all! I rushed home and that is the fastest cleaning I have ever done. I scrubbed, I swept, I vacuumed, I washed mirrors and the dirtiest windows, I scrubbed toilets, I hid toothbrushes, I shined the sink, and I got it done. I was heading out the door with the baby and the dog when the realtor got there. Phew!
We ended up showing 2 more times that day and set up 3 showings for the next day (Friday) and 2 for Saturday. It was crazy and hectic and stressful and great! Also, my house looked fantastic! It was hard work but oh I loved it so much when it looked like that (notice the past tense… heh… we’ll get there).
Friday morning I got a text from the realtor that we had received an offer. What?! It was a full price offer, really clean. The only hold up was that we hadn’t had an inspection on the farm yet. We spent the afternoon hashing out lease agreements (they wanted to close 4 days before we were to close on the farm) and we went back to the farm that evening to do an “inspection”. Our lender didn’t require an official one so we did it ourselves. This is a perk of being custom home builders. I had the contractor (my husband) and even the boss/business owner (my father-in-law) look it over. The issues were mainly cosmetic, with the exception of some plumbing in the bathrooms. We had decided to remodel the bathrooms first so it didn’t really matter. We also had the foundation guy come give us a bid (oh yea, foundation issues, sigh) and it was within what we had expected. So we accepted the offer on our house that evening. We still showed all 3 times that day (We’re on Friday the 9th) but the people on Saturday eventually cancelled.
One perk of the weather is that we never did get those plants in. They were in the garage when the buyers saw the house. Because they were not in the ground, they do not have to go with the house. So I have a garage full of landscaping to put at my new house!
December 12th the buyers had the inspection done on our house. There was only one request we found unreasonable. We discussed (via realtors) and sent some documentation and they removed it. So on the 14th we were done with the signing of amendments. Phew!
So this is where we sit now. Everything is good to go on buying the farm. Everything appears to be good on selling our house. The only major thing we need to happen is the appraisal on our house. We are putting enough down on the farm that it could appraise for less than asking and we would be fine. The situation with the buyer is such that we really need a full asking-price appraisal. There’s nothing to be done about it though, so we wait. I haven’t heard anything about when this will be so I try not to stress about it.
Throughout this process we have given it to the Lord. I keep asking him to put something in the way if it isn’t to be. Everything just keeps working out and this is the last road block. I hope and pray that it goes well, because at this point I am much more invested. Through that first 2 weeks I was more than prepared to back away. I was completely secure that the Lord would lead us where he wanted us to go. Unfortunately I have lost that sense of peace as we have moved farther. I feel like the Lord is letting this happen (there were some details that had to work just right, and did) and so I would be devastated if the appraisal isn’t favorable. Not to mention the work of packing up our whole house for nothing. I have definite opinions about the whole real estate process. Our realtor said not to be surprised if we get a call January 2nd to set up the appraisal (we close January 6th). I find this ridiculous. The appraisal should be done ASAP so that both parties can move on with their lives. If this goes badly, both families will already have packed, we will lose the farm, and the other family will have lost a month of searching (they are coming from out of state and really need to get in a house quickly). It just seems so backwards that everything can seem so perfect and then, poof, it’s not – the day before we close or sometime close to). End rant. But seriously.
My house isn’t really show ready anymore, although it could be soon. It is full of Christmas, and 3 kids at home, and packed boxes, and packing materials. It’s like we finished all the hard stuff before we got too close to the holidays, which was wonderful.
So here’s the plan. First, Christmas! Then next week we are going on Tuesday to measure for carpet and other things. We plan to continue packing as if it’s going to happen. There isn’t time to wait for the appraisal before we start. We plan to close on the sale January 6th, close on the farm January 10th, and be moved by January 15th. We have carpet replacement and a cleaner scheduled for the 11th. That gives us 3 days to move everything! ah!There are a few other exciting things. We have been chatting with the current farm owner often. She has agreed to leave the barn cats and the chickens for me. So I will be moving in to a working farm (just chickens but still). That is so unbelievably exciting for me! One of the cats is super sweet and the kids love him. The other three are young and skiddish but I’m sure they will come around.Our plan is to get goats within a few months. For tax purposes we need to have them before 2018 but we want to get started sooner rather than later. We will raise goats for meat for ourselves and also to sell. We will keep the eggs for ourselves and for our neighbor who started this whole deal, but if we have extras I will sell those as well. We will seed the back with coastal and bale that for our goats and also for sale. Eventually (probably when the youngest goes to school, which, if you remember, is when we were first talking about moving) we will get horses as well. We wouldn’t mind having cows but right now we have a great source for beef (a friend) that is less than raising our own. It seems so crazy that this has all happened so fast. Christmas will make exactly 1 month since we first jokingly talked about doing this. When we move it will be less than 2 months from that first conversation. Crazy.The thing is, it is just so perfect. Right now we live 2 houses (3 large lots) down from my in-laws. We love being close and didn’t want to move far away. The new house is 1 minute 30 seconds away from their house. The house is zoned the same as ours now so my 1st grader will not be interrupted mid year, and my kiddo going to kindergarten next year will get the same teacher my oldest had. We are really no farther from town and church. There is no addition to my husband’s commute. Actually, you could argue it takes about a minute off based on the country road he takes to the highway. We have the 10 acres we wanted. We have the fencing (and while she took down the electric wire, she left the posts so we have those to reuse). The fencing is mostly goat ready (which is big because goats require specific fencing to not escape). We are set up for my dream of one day having horses with the loafing pens, round pen, multiple pastures, and 6 stall (electric and water) barn. We get the chickens and cats so we don’t have to worry about setting that up. We don’t have to worry about coops/yards/boxes for the chickens because it’s already there (AND the chickens already know where to be). There is water out to all of the pastures and she is leaving the troughs that are currently being used. There is a shop for my husband’s tools (we have a shop here that is full… the new one is bigger). There is a fenced garden (I didn’t have much of a garden this year, but I had a fenced garden here that I loved the year before). It just feels like we aren’t losing anything. The house is smaller and needs work, but we don’t mind that. So we get to keep everything we love about where we are, and translate that to actually being on farm. It’s like we kept saying, we wouldn’t move unless it was perfect and… it pretty much is. So that’s what is going on in my life. The other thing is that the kids are out of school and I don’t have a triple jogger so I can’t go run with all of them, but realistically I wouldn’t be running anyway. I plan to get started the first week of January when school starts again. I’ll have another post about this but basically I’m going to take it easy since I’ve been off for so long. I don’t know that I will start with a MAF test because we have so much else to do. I’ll try to run 3x a week, but I won’t freak out if I miss my Saturdays. There is much to do. Once we are in and established I will get more serious about MAF testing and getting on a schedule.