The House – Part 1


A house is so many things when a family has “grown up” there.  When we moved to our current home, my son was 6, and I was pregnant with my daughter. My son is now 31, my daughter soon to be 24. It is a rambling four bedroom, 2800 sq. ft.  house – and now I am the only full-time resident. The real estate market is higher now than any time in the last eight years. The house next door (smaller) just sold for a surprisingly high amount.

So – I have today requested a formal independent appraisal from a firm not related to any real estate agency. I have not received the estimate yet, but assume the appraisal itself will cost about $500. In the next couple of days I will interview three real estate agents and choose the one that is most willing to meet with my requirements – (no major cost to prep for sale).

To make life more interesting, a condo that I have been watching in another city (in the mountains, close to my sisters) has just gone on the market. My sister looked at it yesterday and confirmed that it is in move-in condition. I am planning to go look at it this weekend (it is about 5 hours away), and make an offer of earnest money if necessary to hold it until I can get there.

But, my daughter has not yet been accepted at the transfer school of her choice, and it is a month before she would start there (I do expect her to be accepted, but am a little disconcerted that she has not been confirmed yet).  It would take me much longer than that to “de-clutter” 30 years of accumulated minutiae (i.e. junk – you know, 15 Christmas boxes, 1000 books, files from accounting clients over a 20-year career). Help is on the way on that front.  Monday a cousin who has been a military family (moving every 3 to 5 years) is coming to help with the tossing process.

I love this house – the modern, large kitchen, a great screen-in back porch where it sounds like you are in an aviary on early summer mornings, a great, large living room that my baby-grand piano doesn’t dominate, a two-story playscape in the woods built by the four brothers-in-law (including my husband) .  My daughter definitely does not want the house to be sold–she’s lived here all her life. But I do not love the traffic of a large city, being five hours from my family, and an old house that needs a good clean-out and painting.

It is time to make the change, now probably sooner rather than later, though hard on us all.