Cameron and I have always daydreamed about owning a piece of land, larger than an acre at least. He was dreaming of at least 20. I'd settle for 5-10.
I was on my way to a new hairstylist after work one day, taking backroads through the countryside. Due to the nature of my company, we're located out in the country, surrounded by agriculture. It's a great commute once I get out of the downtown Sac congestion. Especially this time of year when all the rice fields are green.
Using my car's bluetooth, I was on the phone with Cameron when I noticed a For Sale sign advertising 9 acres. I just happened to mention it to Cameron. By the time I arrived home after my hair appointment that night our silly daydream seemed like it could be a (small) possibility. Over the next 24-48 hours Cameron and I daydreamed about what life would be like, what we would do with the land and how nice it would be for me to have a 5-minute commute, for once. We went as far as to look at land for sale online. That's when we discovered that prices weren't out of our reach, depending on how much we could get for our current home. We even spent that Friday driving around looking at these pieces of land. And the more we looked into it, the timing seemed to be on our side, as the Sacramento housing market was on fire. That's when we decided to give ourselves a 2-year deadline to make this dream a reality. I figured we had until London started Kindergarten to make such a move. Once she was in Kindergarten I wouldn't want to uproot her. We decided to take a few primary steps.
The first step was to find a good realtor and to complete some major projects on our house:
- Finish the Office
- Paint the interior of the house
- Complete a raised bed in the backyard
We found our realtor online based on some good reviews he had received. One night we met with him and found out we could sell our home to get what we needed to purchase some land. And we spent the next month focusing almost every evening on completing these projects.
But we soon found that land, without a home already built on it, was going to be hard to get a loan. See, we'd planned on purchasing land and a doublewide, then building a dream home a few years later, after the land was paid off. And it seemed everything we had seen for sale was being taken off the market, but not necessarily sold. And then a few of our neighbors put their homes on the market. So we sidelined the idea for a while.
Until I went to go get a pedicure before my girls Vegas trip. I happened to run into one of our neighbors' whose home was for sale. It had sold, they'd be closing in a few days. And they had gotten near their asking price. Suddenly, we were back into full-on dreaming mode. But this time we modified the amount of land we were looking for (we'd been looking at 5 acres or more) and made sure it had an established home on it. And we flew back into focusing all our spare time on the house.
By now, the planter was completed, as was almost all the painting minus a few high corners and all that was left in the office was putting up crown molding. Then just picking up, decluttering and cleaning would be needed to put our house on the market.
And what we were seeing for sale looked promising. Almost too promising, as between the time we emailed our realtor that we wanted to see 4 properties, until the time we'd scheduled to see them (3 days later), 3 had gone into sale pending status. We'd end up seeing the one that was still active and one that was a sale pending but was accepting backup offers. About an hour before we were to meet with our realtor we decided to see if we could see one more place, that we had originally written off. It had been overpriced originally, but a price reduction had us interested in it. Turns out, this last minute addition was exactly what we wanted.
It's a relatively new 4-bedroom home (built in 2006) sitting on 20 acres just 6 miles from my work. After a few days of back and forth counter offers, we entered into contract, with the stipulation that we accept an offer on our house within 15 days. We went into contract two Sunday evenings ago. We put our house on the market last Tuesday evening. We had planned to not let any one see our house until an open house scheduled for this past Saturday, but one realtor begged ours for a showing on Thursday evening. Friday morning we had an offer, over asking price with the stipulation that we not have the open house on Saturday. A little back and forth was done and we accepted the offer mid-Friday morning.
I have to say I am in still in shock. We're moving. We are selling the first home we ever bought and built, the home we brought our babies home to and celebrated their first Christmases in. We celebrated London's 1st, 2nd and 3rd (kind of) in this house. But Sydney won't even celebrate one. We'll be celebrating her 1st birthday in the new home. How crazy is that!
I'm so excited for the possibilities and the potential our new home brings, and with all the work to get our old home on the market, it doesn't even feel like home any more, it is so depersonalized. I'm proud at how quickly we sold it too - it means we made good decisions with it every step of the way.
But I am sad to leave our wonderful neighbors and our daycare. This will be hard. But we will do our best to stay in touch with both. I can't even imagine how Sydney is going to take the change.
So please bear with me the next couple of weeks. I'll try to keep you updated as much as possible on all that goes into moving and I promise to show you pictures of the new house and land once we get a second chance to see it.