Tag Archives: relocation

We’re Under Contract…

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After four, long months of feverish house hunting, we are seriously under contract on a house!!  If all goes as planned, we should close next month.  Yay for us!!  🙂  God has answered our prayers!

To say the Florida real estate market is rebounding would be more than accurate, particularly in our area.  As soon as one comes on the market, it is swiftly scooped up.  It seems out of state investors are in full force and my only prayer is that it doesn’t lead to a repeated bubble.  At any rate, here we are.  Elated doesn’t begin to describe our feelings at the thought of being liberated from our tiny abode, otherwise known as our apartment.  I really shouldn’t complain as 1,500 square feet is not small, however my disdain for it has more to do with my desire for a more permanent situation.  I’m so looking forward to hanging curtains, unpacking all of our boxes, organizing and decorating!!

Before any of that happens, the house needs to be painted and new flooring!  So, despite a possible closing next month, we will not likely move in until sometime in May.  But, at least, things are headed in that direction!

The master bathroom also needs to be gutted because of mold behind the shower wall, so we’ll completely renovate the master bath prior to move in also.  The thought of a claw footed bathtub sounds delightful!  I think I have finally convinced my husband of their popularity and how nice it will look!  I love all things antique-y and he leans more toward trendy, although sometimes we actually meet in the middle of what I’ll call “classic” style.  Haha.

We definitely will take loads of before and after renovation pictures and I hope to have a few spare moments to share them with you!

I have a “coastal” theme in mind for the living room … a white couch with coral print accent pillows paired with turquoise or slate blue print accent pillows; a white coffee table and end tables (one end table square & one round perhaps); two coral print accent chairs… This is what my thoughts are so far for this room.  The white couch has a slip cover, which can be easily machine washed.  I’m all for practical decorating ideas.  This is so exciting to me because it’s the first time in our twenty year marriage that I’ve actually hand picked our furniture.  Most of what we’ve owned in the past has been second hand or a concession I’ve made to my husband’s tastes.  This time around, I actually have a firm idea of what I want!  Only took me twenty years!  Haha.

We will have a large family room downstairs, but we already have a couch, love seat and tables for that room.  We sold our formal dining room set before we moved so we will need a new set.  I really like the farmhouse tables I’ve seen around and would love something very durable, yet pleasing to the eyes too.  A cross between casual farmhouse and elegant every day style.  Does that exist?  I don’t know, but what I do know is we will have many family dinners around this table and that they will eventually include grandbabies.  I don’t want to worry about every nick and scratch on our new furniture.  So…that’s the idea behind that.

We already have friends who want to come visit us this summer and my dad is already planning his visit for Thanksgiving!  So, we’ve got to get settled in quickly!  🙂

The house we’re purchasing is a short sale and, honestly, there have been very few “updates” since the house was built in 1988!  It’s as if the house is stuck in a time warp.  Now 1988 was a great year.  It is, after all, the year I became a mother for the first time!  However, homes need a little TLC and updating every now and then!  The previous owners had a cat and the carpet has long done its duty.  So, that is one reason the floors need to be redone.  I have bad allergies to cats, so that’s a non-negotiable.

The 80’s watercolors cornice boards will be one of the first things to come down.  Hideous!  Haha.  I personally adore natural lighting and the back of the house allows plenty of that with all of the gorgeous windows.  So, I’m not sure I’ll want anything but blinds.  We’ll see.  At least that’s not something that requires immediate attention.

My husband and I made a list with two columns.  One for immediate items that need renovation and the other for items that can wait, but definitely need attention.  We also attached approximate dollar amounts to each area, so we have a general idea of our future expenditures related to the house.  We weighed our total investment against the average CMA in our area.  In the end, our investment still makes sense.  We showed our analysis to our trusty realtor (who’ve we’ve spent a great deal of time with over the last four months!!) and he commented that he’d never seen anyone ever do this before!  I couldn’t believe that!  Especially when one is purchasing a short sale that needs a lot of work, one must count the cost!

We’ve had every conceivable home inspection performed recently!!

We had the following inspections:

  • the general, extensive home inspection (including the pool)
  • mold & radon
  • termite
  • structural engineer (to check an area of concern)
  • well (& sent water sample to lab for testing)
  • septic (& had it pumped out)

I think that just about covers it!  Whew, what an exhausting time!  Although these inspections can add up to a big chunk of change, we feel like they offer a bit of insurance or, at a very minimum, a glimpse of what upcoming expenses may be. After all we went through with selling our previous house and having to pay so much for items that failed the home inspection, we wanted a very thorough picture of what we might be dealing with in advance!  This way, we limit our surprises!  Word to the wise…

This house is really special.  If we didn’t feel that way, we would not be willing to invest so much into it.  It’s in a wonderful neighborhood that is close to everything you’d need, yet in a peaceful surrounding.  There is a creek with rushing water that runs along the backside of the house, which funnels into a big river.  Yet, we are not in a flood zone.

Once we close and the dust settles, I will take some pictures, particularly of the back of the house.  The scope of the glass on the back of the house is amazing and beautiful!  I call the house a “diamond in the rough”.  Haha.  For some, maybe the present state of the house would be alright, but for us, we know it can really shine and be so much more!

We’re looking forward to the transformation!  Hope you’ll join me on this journey…

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Merriest of Christmases to You!

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“For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor,

                                      Mighty God,
                                                          Everlasting Father,

                                                                                                Prince of Peace.”    

                                                                                                                                      ~ Isaiah 9:6

Just wanted to pop in real quick to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year!

What makes a Merry Christmas?  What are the prime ingredients?

Is it the presents wrapped with beautiful paper and tied with elegant bows?  Is it found in owning the latest in technology?  Or can it be found under the Christmas tree at all?

I have received my Christmas gift already but it wasn’t wrapped or nestled under the glowing lights.

The greatest gift of all is found in knowing the love that God so extravagantly displayed in sending His one and only Son into this depraved world so that He would grow into a man, who would take our sins away and put us in right relationship with the Father.

That is the message of the Gospel.

It isn’t complicated.  It is simple.  God loved.  God gave.

It is up to us whether or not to receive such a priceless gift, the gift of spending eternity with God.

It’s just that simple.

Man tends to complicate matters, but the message of the Bible remains unchanged, unaltered throughout the ages.  It’s the message that you are a valuable soul and God loves you too much to spend eternity apart!

Won’t you accept Him today?

If you already have, then you have all that is necessary to have the Merriest of Christmases!  Jesus, the perfect Gift!

To top it off, on a personal note…

Our family has sold our house and recently moved 1,000 miles to be near our grown son.  We could not be happier to be spending our first Christmas together in the same area.  (More on our big move to come…)

To all my WP friends, new or old, here’s wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year in 2015!

“And, now my brothers, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospers.”  ~ III John 2

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I’m Still Here…

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So, it turns out I haven’t dropped off the face of the earth, friends!! Our family continues going to physical therapy three times a week as we recover from our car accident in May. We’re all doing fairly well…still in pain every day … but praying our way through and believing for God to bring total and complete healing!

THE BIG NEWS IS …

No, I’m not pregnant! Ha! I hope not at age 40 something! …

The real big news is … we are moving five states away (1,000 miles!) to be closer to our grown son!!! Those who’ve followed my blog for some time know how much this mother has missed her #1 son (for 5 long years now)! God has opened the door for my husband to transfer his job and we are so excited about this breakthrough for our family!!!!! Can you sense our excitement?!?!

I should specify how huge of a breakthrough this really is … First of all, for over four years my husband has been against the idea of moving. I learned a valuable lesson throughout this process…Take the desires of my heart to the Lord in prayer, leave them there and keep quiet. This has not been easy, I have to say. (especially considering how badly I’ve wanted this to happen!) But, God is faithful and I will be ever grateful to Him for opening this door for us!!

Our house went on the market today and we are praying for a speedy and solid sale!

Would you agree with me in prayer? I’d definitely appreciate it. Our prayer is for a quick sale and full asking price. There is nothing too hard for God!

We’ve been working feverishly getting our house ready to put on the market, packing extra things away, doing lots of touch up painting, etc. We laid 20 bags of mulch the other day in the front flower beds and it still wasn’t enough. Looks like we’ll need about 10-15 more! My husband only has a couple projects to complete and we will have this exhausting phase behind us! The photographer came out yesterday to take pictures of the house and install the lockbox. Exciting stuff!!!

As soon as the dust settles, I’ll return to blogging regularly but I wanted to check in with my WordPress friends! Miss you guys! God bless! 🙂

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Moving 101: 30 of my Best Tips

We have moved 8 times in 11 years and I’m fairly confident I could write a book on moving do’s and don’ts!  Most of our moves were local, however, we have pulled off a major move spanning 1,000 miles, two 26 ft. Uhauls and two personal vehicles on our own.  Quite a caravan!  We also hired professional movers for another long distance move.  (definitely the better choice!)

If you think you may be moving in the near future or even mid-distant future, begin planning now.  You will be glad you did.  The statistics are that the average family moves every five years.  Clearly, we are above average, folks!  Haha.

Here are my best tips when preparing to move:

  1. Purge.  Begin setting aside items you no longer need, want or love to donate or sell.  Seriously consider whether it’s worth it or not to pack and haul whatever the item is.
  2. The Salvation Army makes house calls!  We had quite a bit to donate during one of our recent moves and they sent a truck out, loaded it up and away our large pile of donations went…just that easy!  (Tax deductible too!)
  3. If you own your home, decide whether to sell or rent it out.  Contact realtor.
  4. Begin making necessary repairs or upgrades.
  5. If you rent, notify your landlord of move out date.
  6. Start deep cleaning.  Ask a friend or pay a professional for assistance if needed.
  7. Research housing, schools, churches, necessary businesses, etc. in your new location.  Write notes.
  8. Collect Cardboard Boxes.  Inquire with friends, stores, Craigslist, etc.  We actually got a ton of free moving boxes from someone who’d recently moved on Craigslist.  That was awesome!  (Consider offering yours after your next move.)  As a last resort, buy moving boxes.  Save your pennies; they’ll be needed elsewhere during your move!
  9. Purchase copious amounts of packing tape (you always need more than you think!), bubble wrap and black permanent markers.
  10. Designate a spiral notebook/binder as your “Moving Resource Manual”.  Write down all pertinent info. related to the move and always keep it close by.  During the busyness of the move, you’ll be organized with necessary phone numbers, dates, etc.  It’s also a great place to write “To do” lists.
  11. Techies can store a lot of info on smart phones, but you will likely still benefit from having a manual.
  12. Make a list of names/addresses of those you do business with & will need to mail a change of address notice.  For many, this can be done online.
  13. Type up a generic letter with spaces to fill in the name/address/account # for change of address notice.  This will save you time and effort.  Be sure to include the effective date and your new information and a phone # should they need to contact you.
  14. Complete a change of address form with the USPS online when you have a concrete moving date.  This can be adjusted if dates change.
  15. Transfer/cancel utility services, security company, lawn care, newspaper or magazine subscriptions.
  16. If you’re using a moving company, begin getting quotes as early on as possible so you have plenty of time to compare.
  17. If you’re moving yourself, begin asking family, friends and church family early so they can set aside your moving date on their calendar.  Remind via text, email, phone calls a week or so out.  People get busy …
  18. If you have small children, consider a friend or family member who could watch them while you assist with the move.
  19. Uhaul has this nifty service offered on their website for moving assistance.  We had plenty of help loading our Uhauls on the front end of our move, but knew we would need help on the back end.  We reserved local moving helpers for a set amount of time via their website!  We thought it was very reasonable and well worth every penny!  We had the moving helpers assist with the heavy furniture and large items and we unloaded the miscellaneous boxes ourselves.  One of the best choices we ever made.
  20. Begin using up food in the fridge and freezer in the weeks prior to moving.  Discard or donate to friends any you don’t use.  (We blessed a good friend with spices before a recent move & she was very grateful.)
  21. Start packing up items that won’t be needed in the weeks prior to the move first.  Clearly mark outside of box with black marker for easy identification.  I like to mark every side of the box, as well as the top.  That way, no matter which side is visible in the moving truck, you know right away what it is without shifting it.  Mark “Blankets” and underneath write the room it belongs in – perhaps “Linen Closet”.
  22. Some may like to color code rooms with colorful stickers. (i.e. Master Bedroom gets a blue sticker, etc.)  The problem with this is unless everyone knows the “Code”, it can prove useless.  Of course, the master code would be kept in your “Moving Resource Manual”, so you can remember too.  I, personally, never found this useful, but some might.
  23. Try, try, try hard to only put what belongs in, say a box marked “Living Room”, items that actually belong in the living room.  That said, when you’re trying to top off a box and it’s the day before the move, your standards may be sorely tested.  It just makes it easier on the other end to locate things if they are grouped in the correct room.  😉
  24. Jewelry and anything of immense value should be kept with you during the move, if possible.  Don’t risk it.  Obviously, large paintings may not be feasible, but designate a box with your name on it and label it whatever “nickname” you like, so you’ll know to take extra precaution.  Yes, you may have insurance if you’re paying movers, but heirlooms or special pieces cannot be replaced.
  25. Medications and vitamins should also be set aside and kept with you during the move.
  26. It’s a good idea to designate a box “Shower Essentials” & place towels, washclothes, soap & shampoo inside.  This will eliminate much scuffle upon arriving at your new place!
  27. Pack an overnight bag for each family member (kids can have a backpack) that includes a change of clothes and toiletries, as locating the box marked clothes for each person may take a while, depending on the size of your family/move.
  28. Be sure to keep cell phone chargers with you.
  29. Upon locating a new physician and dentist, request your medical and dental records to be transferred.
  30. Order sandwiches, pizza, Gatorade, water or sodas for moving help.  If hiring professional movers, set aside cash for tip.

~        ~        ~        ~

The above is, in no way, an exhaustive list, however, it will get you started in the right direction.  If I think of any others, I may update the list.  The main thing to bear in mind is to plan!  Plan, plan and then plan some more.  Anticipate your family’s needs and prepare accordingly.  Think of every scenario that could happen and provide a contingency plan, if possible.

They say that moving is one of life’s top stressors and I tend to agree.  However, with proper planning, the stress can be vastly reduced.  Here’s to a positive, productive and smooth moving process, my friend!

What moving advice has helped you the most?

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