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On 8/30/2021 at 7:56 AM, Ms. Spam said:

I am kicking myself I didn't buy way back a year and a half ago. The same small three bedroom 1200 square foot new houses I looked at back then at $179,000 are now $215,000. Only high end houses seem to get price cuts. But ones in the middle area are like over priced. I could buy a shit hole as our former president coined still for like 30K but will it have floors and walls? LOL

That is uber expensive for 1,200 square feet. We had bought our 1,980 square foot (3 bedroom/2 bath) house for $139,000 back in 2004 and it is now valued at around $239,000. I can't even imagine how small those bedrooms are at 1,200 square feet. Our old apartment was 1,200 square feet with just 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and the 2nd bedroom was really small. 

 

Do you live in Austin, or something?

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I'm starting the same process. I need to clean my patio and make some repairs! We finally got the laundry room ceiling fixed from the winter fun. Dad's going to help me do a dump run when we start painting the condo. I've got to get it sell ready.

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One of my biggest problems with cleaning is that I get blamed (and rightly, to a degree) but my sections of the house are small and quickly get taken over. My wife has piled so much stuff in the basement that it’s hard to do anything. I’m trying to reorganize it because I’m working from home permanently now, and it’s my office, but it’s hard because there’s so much crap I can’t do anything with. Garage is the same, my tools are incredibly untidy, but I literally can’t access the place where I had them organized. So it’s impossible for me to do anything, and my space for them has been cut down to about 20% of what I had, while the number of tools I’ve purchased for different jobs has increased. 
 

Sometimes I wish we could afford a bigger house, but the market here is insane - we could easily sell our house for $325-350, even though we paid $175 just 7 years ago, but to get into something bigger, we’d be looking at 450-500, and that’s a big stretch on a single income. Insurance claims is not super lucrative. I hate the idea of going through the process again, too. Maybe in a few years if things smooth out with the housing market. 

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Yeah with thie market it makes it harder to make a leap to the next level. We did that almost 8 years ago, and we almost doubled what we paid for this house compared to what we sold for. That old house has now almost doubled again in value, but this one has more than doubled and you can't enter this price level now without equity or a trust fund. Fortunately we actually aren't upgrading much. I don't think this house will sell for what we paid for the new one but it'll be close (within 10-15%). Can you get a storage unit for all the basement stuff? I normally hate paying for those but it sounds like it would be worth the piece of mind.

Our neighbors go on the market next weekend, so that will give us a taste of what we can expect. They found me an entire apartment's worth of moving boxes today. They will move out about 2 weeks after us so I plan on giving them as many of our boxes as I can unpack by then. I am going to miss them a ton, but knowing they were leaving made it easier to go.

We now have a good chunk of the house packed, the garage cleaned out, and the yard 75% done. Feeling good.

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We moved just the absolute bare minimum to the new place like a month ago and have been living there with it. We came back to Houston today to spend this week cleaning and packing and, frankly, I don't even want like 70% of this crap anymore. We just have SO. MUCH. CRAP. I want to grab my winter clothes, books, planner supplies, and keepsakes and just be done with everything else. 

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I hear you. The temptation to light it all on fire is strong. I'm making a Goodwill run tomorrow and my entire trunk (its a wagon) and one back seat is filled.

Some people finally took this freaking board monstrosity off my porch after trying to give it away for 2 weeks, and finally found someone to buy the cargo hitch box I've been wanting to sell since we no longer have a car with a hitch. (I had to get a roof box this summer for our summer travel and it was an ordeal because there is a shortage.) While cleaning out the garage I was reminded that our Boomer parents have dumped some "antiques" on us and I want them gone, so I signed up for OfferUp to try to get rid of them. So far I have one asinine low ball offer and one flaked offer. Sounds about right. I'm debating getting rid of this antique sewing table because it's actually kind of cool and I could put it in the formal living room, which is actually going to be more of a library than a living room. I think formal living rooms are kind of dumb, but its a spot to put my piano, and maybe I will appreciate it more when the kids are older.

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The new house has a formal dining which we're going to use as a living room/den. And we're going to use the current living room/den into a library/"formal" dining, meaning we're putting in "built-in bookshelves" and that's where we're going to put the 10' table we just inherited with the house. Since we don't host many/any fancy dinner parties and only the occasional holiday (with Trevor's tiny family because mine is too big), mostly the table is going to be for homeschooling, games, and projects. It'll be great if we start a small in-house co-op, which is an idea that we're toying with. 

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We have a family room and a living room, but nothing is formal. Really, one has a TV, and one doesn't. It's nice because we can put the kids in front of the TV and still have a cozy spot to go talk. My wife loves sitting at the kitchen table, but I prefer softer.

I made a lot of progress on my basement yesterday. There's stuff that needs to come back and I need to find a spot for it, and there's still some stuff just in the middle of the floor, but I was able to get stuff moved around so I have a distinct work space that is separate from the mess. I have my desk back in a little alcove next to the bathroom, and my (music) keyboard is behind me to create a barrier. It feels really nice.

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End of Sunday and the dining room is definitely more full with boxes, and my kids are mostly down to the bare minimum of clothes that they could live out of a suitcase and just their bed linens. Our room is close, as well. This leaves the bathrooms, the laundry room (30% done), kitchen, and the bonus room/office to pack. We are taking 3 days off work this week to pack and finish up the project list. If we do well, we might be back at work on Friday (not holding my breath). My husband painted one pantry door before we realized it didn't look very good. So we decided to patch and paint our old doors instead. They don't look perfect but I doubt anyone is going to look that close, either. He also painted and patched one of our double doors to the bonus room and that turned out pretty good, too.

That eggshell and teal room I showed pictures of likely needs completely repainted. I also may run a roller on the eggshell walls in my son's room, just because eggshell and little boys don't mix. (His other walls are navy blue and will look fine with some touch up paint over the holes where there were nails and screws.)

The back yard is unfortunately not growing in very well. I think the birds keep eating the grass seed. Some areas have grown in nicely but there are big patches. The tiny strip we left the dog is very brown. May have to throw down some last minute sod. If we did the entire area we would have to spend $1k.

Our neighbors put their house on the market this weekend so our street has been a zoo. Tons of activity. I did take the opportunity to go check out their place and see how it looked compared to ours. I was surprised, their house is actually a little more beat up than ours and our previous owners must've upgraded the bathroom themselves because ours looks nicer. Their yard is absolutely gorgeous though, and backs up to a greenbelt (but the lot is smaller). I think our floor plan is better, as well, although they have us beat by 200 sq ft.

So today my husband was working on the door in the driveway during a very long showing. The realtor noticed and wanted to talk to us. She correctly guessed that we were getting our house ready for market and proposed an off-market sale. I asked for her card, mostly to shoo her away. I went back in the house and texted our realtor. Meanwhile, they stayed outside and my husband had to come get me. They wanted to come in the house to check it out. We said no, the house was a mess from packing and painting. (Also hello COVID.) We did take them into the backyard, though, because their main concern about our neighbor's house was that they thought it was too shady from the greenbelt and they didn't like the yard. (They're clearly insane.) They apparently liked our backyard. We told them they could check out the house by using the old listing pictures, we hadn't changed much other than furniture and art work. They were kind of pushy and I didn't appreciate it. I suspect the real issue is that they can't afford the neighbor's house because its listed under $1M but it will definitely go for over. They are hoping to dangle an off-market sale and rip us off, just like our old jerk neighbors behind us tried to do to the ones across the street that are now on the market. We told them that we plan on pricing similarly to the other house. They can wait until the end of the month for when it goes on the market.

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We got to do our final walk-thru on Friday morning. The homeowner decided to give us the grand tour, which was highly unusual. He also disclosed all the DIY work he did that they did not disclose in the actual disclosures paperwork. I think I see why they didn't do a Pre-inspection. We only had time for a major systems inspection (heating, roof, stuff like that) with a verbal report instead of a full inspection. They were nowhere near moved out and had 2 large pods in the driveway. That crap better be gone by Tuesday. I think they are leaving us a mess with a lot of holes in walls or unwanted items like ugly shelving and a desk that is bolted to the wall because he's just going to run out of time. We are going to have a ton of touch-up work before we can get settled. We also figured out that the fridge swap is going to be a giant hassle because we will have to take the doors off of the fridge to get it out the front door. We asked for a 2nd walk-thru Monday night to make sure they don't royally screw something up moving out, and I think we are going to re-measure the fridge again because it may come down to less than half an inch to be able to fit our fridge in that spot.

My husband is freaking out because we are not living out of suitcases yet. I've got the kitchen 80% packed, and will probably finish by Monday because I need to run the dishwasher and get out the paper plates and other nonsense. I've finally given up on emptying the freezer, but we will move our little deep freeze on Tuesday night and get it plugged in and cold for when we start to move in. We are going to have the movers move our fridge for us, but we will get the other fridge out and to our house when we do the moving boxes.

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The Saga of the  Skywalkers Moving 2 Miles down the road

Tuesday: get keys, eat take-out dinner on the floor. That's about it.

Wednesday: get U-Haul to do the stuff the movers won't. Got the wood pile, green house, and the yard tools moved. Also moved the fridge and it was indeed a hassle. Removed the doors and all. Got like 5 boxes moved, turns out those are hard even with a dolly.

Thursday: the real deal. An hour in, they sent us a 4th guy and a 2nd truck. Filled both. Took them 8 hours of work. At the end, they just piled all the boxes in the garage. This may have been a mistake. Pictures below. Also the movers discovered the fridge handles come off super easy and this probably would've saved us an hour on Wednesday. Put beds together and go to bed.

Friday: called in to work. No internet and too much to do. Mr Skywalker went to fix up the backyard at the old house while I drove all over God's green earth picking up, dropping off kids and attending virtual doctor appointments. I am already over these half-day Fridays that my daughter's school started last year disguised as planning periods. Before the teachers got one Friday off a month to do that. Carpet installers don't show up until 11:30 and stay until 7 or 8 at night and leave a giant mess in the driveway and on the porch. 2 boxes unpacked at new house.

Saturday: internet doesn't work at all. Previous owner used fiber. Comcast will send a tech first thing tomorrow morning. Mr Skywalker goes back to the old house to finish up the backyard and clean up the driveway. I go and take the kids to pack up the pantry until they make me super crazy and I haul F Troop to a soccer game. Mr Skywalker stays until dark. Dog is neglected and sad.

Sunday: I head over to old house to finish cleaning out pantry and clean stuff like our filthy oven and microwave, and because movers and carpet guys also tracked up the hardwood floors. Mr Skywalker stays to let Comcast in. Turns out previous owner disconnected it from the house. Also meet a guy to sell an antique typewriter for $200. Cha-ching! Mr Skywalker loses it with kids, brings them to old house and brings breakfast and tells me to go home so he can paint. He paints until 11:30 at night. It looks pretty good, just a few spots that don't look great but its because there are big patches in the wall where he was going to run internet lines and speaker wire. I get maybe 5 boxes unpacked while kids bounce off walls.

Monday: head to house to make sure there is nothing left and check out the handiwork, find tons of crap that needs to come with us or stored in the garage. Our realtor meets us to get the key, realizes its still a mess and tells us to go home while she cleans. She finds out stagers are not coming at 10 but at 2:30. This is also annoying because we could've brought in the cleaning lady on Monday morning instead of Tuesday morning like we wanted but the stagers insisted on blocking out the whole day on Monday. Stagers don't leave until like 8 pm. Mr Skywalker goes back to house at 9:30 to get crap I told him to get earlier and ends up nailing caps on fence posts at 11pm. Mr Skywalker hates the staging. Lady uses excessive dragonfly paintings and put a blue painting in a red bathroom.

Tuesday: Mr Skywalker grabs one last thing from backyard and terrifies cleaning lady while I go into the office to install test data loggers on an airplane. Cleaning lady showed up at 7 AM, pictures are at 3:30 today. I may go by tomorrow to make sure cleaning lady really cleaned everything before we go to market on Thursday.

My poor husband is exhausted, and I'm a stressbox. Our daughter tells us life is hard right now. Our son is bouncing off the walls at home but doing well at the 2nd new school and is even starting to try out gen ed for math and specialists. Dog is trying to eat trash constantly. It is raining cats and dogs here so letting her out us difficult.

Pictures:

1. 2 moving trucks at new house.

2. Boxes in garage

3. and 4. Front and back yard. Backyard is not as grassy as we hoped but we threw more seed down. It is green, at least, which is more than I can say for most of our neighbors.

5. Formal dining room at new house. Just need a new table that seats 8 but I love it!

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House is on rhe market eeek. Lots of views on Redfin, and I think 12 showings scheduled within the first 4 hours of going live. I think its going to do well. Fingers crossed that no one trashes it during the showings. We've had a lot of rain the past several days and we have new carpet. Agent has made it painfully clear that people need to take their shoes off but as we learned with my neighbors showings, people are ***holes.

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