Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Whole Story...so far

When we started thinking about selling the house, it was more about getting close to DH’s workplace and less about money. And then we simultaneously looked at mobile homes in Cranberry and found out how much our house was worth according to our realtor. The resulting experiment had us hoping that we would walk away from this house with money in our pockets as well as free from student loan debt, not to mention owning our house outright! It was a wonderful concept that worked great on paper in February. We jumped on the market with stars in our eyes and fluttering hopes of DH removing his long commute and having cash to spare at the end of each month that didn’t go towards paying off debt.

Like most crazy ideas of mine, the stars were temporary. Reality on realty in Pittsburgh kicked in quickly and we found ourselves embarrassed by the high price our realtor had suggested to list our home. Who knows what the neighbors must have thought? We showed the house once on a Realtor Tour and once for an Open House and had zero interest for months. We used the time to finish every project we had ever wanted to do for the house, from painting the awful bright blue siding to calm beige to replacing the worn carpet in the family room. We installed new kitchen countertops and put a granite sink in the upstairs bathroom. Landscaping the outside of the house for the first time ever and tearing down the ancient basketball hoop (filled with concrete! Who knew?) completed the outside transformation. Our house had never looked so good inside or out. And still no interest.

During those months, DH applied and was accepted for a promotion that would take us to sunny Augusta, Georgia by the end of the summer. Our house selling experiment changed overnight to a necessity! We had to get out of this slow moving house as soon as possible so we didn’t have to carry two mortgages. How could our financial picture go from debt free to desperate in such a short time?

The good news that came with the promotion was an excellent relocation package that was designed to get us out of this house as soon as possible and find another home in Georgia that would work for us. The primary goal would be to sell this house to a real buyer, but if we could not find one the company would assess the house and give us an offer, freeing us from the chance of paying for 2 mortgages indefinitely. Nice package, but not as easy as it sounds.

The company DH works for hired another company to run the relocation. We had used them before with our move to Pittsburgh and we were very comfortable with the whole situation from the start. Our benefits included two house hunting trips as well as the forced buy out of our home here, so we scheduled one trip to Augusta to check out the area, planning to have our second trip to find the actual house. Instead, on the second day of our house hunt, we found and made an offer on an amazing home! We are really excited to be moving there now that we know where we are going. The hitch at the moment is getting out of this house.

The policy for a forced buy out (that is what they call it for them to make an offer and buy this house) begins with 2 appraisals from professional appraisers and pest inspection and whole house inspection. All were scheduled the first week we came home from Augusta. We learned immediately there were no pest issues, so that was good. The same week we passed the occupancy permit inspection for Plum. Later on we passed the dye test, a required test for Plum Borough. So it seemed like everything was going well, right? The following week we got the inspection report and the issues we would have to resolve in order to participate in the forced buy out. The inspector had failed our roof, our basement for water penetration, and the foundation as well as $2,000 of misc repairs that were not code required (for example, corrosion on the outside of the drain became a “possibly leaking drain” and therefore failed. None of our drains are leaking.) These repairs had to be done or deducted from the professional appraisal they had ordered on the house.

So I got to work getting estimate for replacing the roof, getting a sump pump for the basement, and arranging a visit with a structural engineer about our “foundation issues.” Last week, while DH was in Augusta for training, I had my final appointment with a basement waterproofing company and received my final estimate from the last roofing company and turned in my estimates. Then we heard that our representative handling our forced buy out is on medical leave and does not have a return date. So right now I am waiting to hear back from her replacement about whether I need to do the roofing and basement repairs in order to do the buy out or if they only need the numbers to deduct from the appraisal. Thanks to the holiday weekend I have been waiting for 4 days and probably lost the chance to get the work done before we leave.

Reading over this I am shocked by my own pessimism. I have grown a lot in recent years as an optimist, so this seems weird to me. Please don’t let’s be depressed! It’s going to work out okay. I trust that God has a plan for me and my family and we will just be turning around and pointing to Him when it all works out okay in the end. We are scheduled to pack on July 21st, load on July 22nd, and fly on July 23rd. The walkthrough for the new house is on Sunday July 24th, and we close on the new house on July 25th in the afternoon. You will be hearing from me soon now that you are all caught up.


  1. God likes to show off by doing things at the last moment. The one part of me thinks after all that maybe you arent suppose to move but then the other part says but they got a new house and anew job so obviously they are but the whole part of me knows I am not God, so I really have no clue. I hope you get what you put into your house out of it. It would be a shame to but all that money into something and have it just pay off the mortgage and nothing more. I wish you all the best and cant wait to hear more. Be blessed


  2. you are on a true journey! can't wait to hear more..