I’m still reeling. 6 or so months ago, I planted the notion in Husband’s mind that we need to get the hell out of this town. It took almost 4 months (speedy by his usual rate of coming around to change) to get that “out loud” decision so we could get to work. We were thinking something along the lines of July/August so Kid didn’t have to miss out on the last month of school, and so we would have time to plot and scheme and finish up a few things in the yard. But when we asked the realtor when was the best time to list, she said “Now”. Ok, so selling a house and asking for a 120 day possession is a little risky- you can chase a buyer off just by being really strange. Believe me. I don’t want to buy a house from a really strange person, so why should I try to sell it like one. So we throw “90 days negotiable” in there to look like we are nice, reasonable people who just want time to get their shit together, and we sit back and wait.
Actually, we spent two weekends in a row down south trying to settle on what we were spending and what we were willing to compromise on. We made a list of each of our #1, 2, and 3 MUST HAVE FEATURES, and another list of stuff we’d like but could live without. Husband decided that “The Garage MUST be big enough to park my truck in”. That was pretty much his 1 and his 2 and his 3. Didn’t care about much else as long as he could park his sissy ass inside in the winter (I said that out loud and immediately regretted it- we were trying for a NO BATTLE decision) So I amended my statement to sound more like “Okay, well you definitely deserve to have the one thing you want and verily that is what you shall have”.
That one little requirement… one thing… Husband and his full size Dodge-one-ton-crewcab-superdiesel with the big trailer mirrors and the 2” lift and the stupid ass rock guard over the moon roof… Man and his Truck succeeded in completely eliminating about 97% of every possible home on the market. The minimum garage size to park both of us inside was going to be something like 24×26 and at least a 8×16 bay door. Most of the attached garages built in the last 20 years- even the ones that call themselves “Two Car” are at MOST 22×24. With a 7×12 door. We couldn’t even find anything brand new in the next 100k price range. We were looking for something that just about didn’t exist in the current market.
So. Item #1 for the Misses- the kitchen. I must have a kitchen I can work in. I have every gadget and accessory and small appliance under the sun and I use pretty much every single one of them. I also like to bake, and generally see how much surface space I can mess up in a project- thus eliminating a further half of the remaining 3% of possibilities left behind by Husband and his Parking Panties. I was getting discouraged. And this “No Battle” decision process was starting to sound pretty tense and hostile.
On a complete whim, I expanded my online search to include a little community northwest(ish) of the city that we hadn’t already considered- actually, I had almost never even heard of the place except I thought I might have seen a sign for it on the highway once. Morinville Alberta. BAM! Like 5 listings for houses with 3 car garages and decent size lots and bonus rooms. All of them in our price range, and most of them at least 50k less than similar properties we had been looking at in our original target community. In a mad frenzy of text messaging, I set it up with our other realtor and we took our second trip down and worked the list. We spent hours altogether driving back and forth and debating the pros and cons of one community over the other and commuting and school and amenities. Morinville is small. Podunk. Honky. But, it’s 11 minutes down the road (we timed it) to the nearest large community. The schools are all “Catholic Public”, which honestly, with a 97% rate of graduation and an option to enroll in either “Religion” or “Citizenship”, I didn’t much care. By the end of that weekend, we found THE HOUSE. Big garage, big kitchen, big bonus room, big yard. Working down the list of The Things, this house had every one of the things we wanted and for close to what we wanted to spend. Our original target community was set aside and we shifted gear…
Morinville…”Google that shit” I said to myself- and plunking away on my phone I found schools, emergency services, annual property taxes and the average number of frost free days. But even the almighty Oracle Google must have the right questions to begin with- It couldn’t tell me what was going to happen next! Before we left to head home, we wrote an offer on the new house.
Lets see… we officially listed our house on Sunday night. By the time we returned home the next weekend, we had a workable offer. 2 days of negotiating and we had them up to a more acceptable number, but in return had removed a few of the conditions of sale- the comfy protective ones like “subject to an accepted offer to purchase on a home”-for us. I hung up the phone from that last call and fell apart. The next day waiting for the other guy to get back to us on the place in Morinville I was a wreck. I was shaking, I had to remind myself to breathe properly… We had just sold our house and hadn’t nailed down the next one. And this guy was taking his sweet time coming back with his counter offer.
Finally by the end of the day we had settled with him and on to Financing and other such arrangements. And then I realized along with all the big dollars we had been throwing around, we had been haggling back and forth on time. We went from wanting to move in June at the earliest to giving up our house on May 3rd. Oh shit.
Generally, I have been teetering on the verge of an all out panic-spaz-attack. I’ve spent the last week working on letting everyone know that “remember when I said we were thinking of moving? Well, we’re moving pretty much RIGHTNOW…so…wanna come over and help me pack?”
We have lived in this house longer than anywhere in the last 12 years. I have 3 years worth of crap to shuffle- and given that at least half of the previous 9 years most of my stuff has been in some version of storage, I’m only now just realizing how much crap I have. There’s no time for a yardsale, so I have to either toss stuff or find someone willing to adopt it, and the rest has to be packed. Packed. Aww crap. This is not one of those things I do well.
So, to my faithful readers, and anyone else who likes to creep me on the interwebs, and for those of you who I haven’t got around to telling in person… I’m moving. Very soon. (and will be hella busy and may not be posting so much for a little while.)