It’s been a whirlwind few days around here, between all the house buying and selling, and then a visit from my husband’s parents. But I thought I’d post an update on what is going on with our housing situation.
Everything is still looking good with the sale of our current house. The inspection was last week, and we’re still waiting to hear what requests the buyer has based on the inspection results. Right now the contract is for full asking price ($214,900), with no concessions on our part. I’m sure that will change a bit once everything shakes out from the inspection, but hopefully there won’t be any major issues that come up. The closing date is June 16th, and we have to be out of here by June 17th.
And… we found a new house! We had been browsing houses online ever since January. So we had a good idea of what was available and at what price. We had found a house that stood out head and shoulders above the rest, but we had assumed that it would no longer be on the market by the time ours got under contract. But our house was under contract three days after we put it on the market, and the house we were most interested in was still available. Turns out, it had been on the market for nearly a year. It’s a wonderful house, exactly what we were looking for. The lot is more than 3/4 of an acre, and we think that’s probably why it’s been on the market for so long. The house has been well taken care of, but the yard is mostly just weeds. And it’s huge. For most people, that probably just looks like WAY too much yard work. And there are tons of other houses available that are just as nice, with much more manageable yards. But for us, this one fit our needs exactly. It backs to a park, and the elementary school is only about a 5 minute walk from the house. The house is the exact same size as our current one, but it also has a full (unfinished) basement that will eventually double our living space.
The house was priced at $214,900 – exactly the same price as our current house and 0.08 acre lot! Amazing what moving a few miles outside the city can do as far as house prices. We offered $200,000 and expected a counter offer. But they just rejected our offer outright. In a year on the market, they had only dropped the price by $5000, and are apparently very un-motivated sellers. So we offered full price, and they accepted.
Now we’re under contract to buy the new house, with a closing date of June 26th. My brother has offered to let us stay with him for the 10 days that we’ll be homeless (Thanks bro!) We’ll be paying about $16,000 in realtor fees, closing costs, and other fees. But other than that, we’re trading our house for the new one, dollar for dollar. We’re selling a 1320 square foot house with a back fence that is six feet from our house. We’re buying a 2650 square foot house (including the unfinished basement) and 3/4 of an acre. Both homes back to parks, and both have great elementary schools just a few minutes walk from the house. We are thrilled with our find – this is definitely the best house we saw in all our months of looking online. And the back yard – which likely kept the price down because it’s a negative for most buyers – is exactly what we want for our farming plans.
We are getting an inspection done next week on the new house, but it’s only 10 years old and we don’t anticipate any major problems. We’ve got all sorts of plans for our new yard. The hope is that within a few years we’ll be nearly self-sufficient as far as food. We plan to put in an orchard of fruit trees, berry bushes, and lots of vegetable plots. We’ll set up greenhouses for our hydroponics, and perhaps even get a few chickens. (Only for eggs! They will have names, and be treated as pets – no neck wringing will go on in the Frugal Babe household!)
We’ve made a few trips in the last couple weeks to the area where we’ll be moving. It’s about an hour north of the city where we live now, and only about ten minutes outside of another city. But it’s got a wonderful small-town feel that we both love. Things seem slower and more relaxed there. There’s no smog or pollution. It’s perfect for the self-sufficient, laid back lifestyle that we’re seeking. This whole moving thing has been quite the process, and I feel like I’ve done little else this year other than get our house ready for the market. But when we visit our new town, and imagine the possibilities in our new back yard, it all seems worth it.
I’ll keep you posted about how this whole process goes. So far so good – hopefully by July I’ll be updating from the new Frugal Babe Farm!