Well, it seems to be official: we are closing on our new home on Thursday and moving out of this hotel on Friday. Finally! It will be a full six weeks since we left the townhouse, and six MONTHS since we started the whole buying/selling/moving process. Along the way, we’ve changed our minds a few times and learned a lot about what we really want. Or at least what we think we want right now 🙂
Since we’ve been under contract and I don’t have any chores (one good thing about hotel living!), I’ve had a lot of time to think about life in our new home. The house is 40 years old and mostly renovated, but there are many projects we’re considering for further updates. We’ll have about half an acre, so that means we can add yard projects too.
I have my goals for 2015, my goals for the second half of the year, my goals for the fall, but I want to add some goals for life in our new home:
- Grow stuff. The yard needs a lot of clearing and planning, but I really want to try to get some fall/winter crops planted before it’s too late. It might just be some container gardening a la The Barefoot Budget, but I’m hoping we can grow some lettuces at the very least.
- Bake bread. Yes, I’ve been mostly low-carb, and I want to continue that, but I also want to try some new bread recipes and really understand the nuances of bread. I’m excited to try this low carb recipe, as well as this hearty, seedy braided bread on a rainy Sunday morning 🙂
- Prep meals. I loooove seeing other people’s posts about meal prep/planning. I’ve dabbled in it a bit in the past, but I want to really commit to it now. It’s just so appealing to think about spending a few hours on the weekend getting myself ready to eat healthfully during the week. Also I really want an excuse to buy these.
- Stick to a budget. We’re going to try something different this time. We are quite committed to earning travel rewards via our credit cards (which, yes, we pay off in full each month, like the grown-ups we
are try to be), and I don’t want to give up the free flights and hotel stays. Instead, we’re going to use those credit cards to buy gift cards each month. We’ll get them for our usual grocery stores, gas stations, Starbucks, etc, as well as our favorite clothing stores (anyone else obsessed with TJ Maxx/Marshall’s?). Once the gift cards are used up, that’s the end of our ability to spend in that category for the month. I’ll keep y’all updated on our success/failure here 🙂
- DIY. Jack and I are the worst about doing-it-ourselves. We will pay anyone for anything. (The one thing I refuse to pay for is house cleaning; it just makes me feel super lazy to not clean up after myself.) But this time around, we’re going to force ourselves to in-source. There’s no reason we can’t learn to tile our own backsplash and fix up our own yard. We’ve done much harder things together and love the sense of accomplishment.
Here’s hoping my motivation and excitement will continue once we’ve actually moved it 🙂
You’ll be glad to know I am in a much better headspace today than during my last couple of posts. We moved on Friday and are settled in at our awesome little hotel. (Seriously, if you travel with your pets, this is the BEST brand we’ve found. They don’t do doggy happy hours or anything, but they’re super pet-friendly AND you get a kitchen and yummy free breakfast daily!) All of our stuff is in storage. I had no idea how much the move was hanging over me. I thought all my stress was from not having a house to move into and from work, but apparently a large part of it was being unsettled, with everything in boxes, and trying to get the townhouse ready for the move. Now that it’s finished, a weight has been lifted!
I’ve come to understand that now is not the best time to be on a diet, so I’m chilling on my Lose Ten by Summer’s End goal. Yes, it might be just excuse-making, but everything is too chaotic for me to be successful. I’ve found myself stress-eating for the first time in my life. It sucks. So I’m just trying to be gentle with myself, and make mostly smart/healthy choices. The good news is that I continue to stick with my running, I’m working out again, and today I’m going to hot yoga for the first time in probably three years.
My goal is to just enjoy the rest of the summer. We haven’t gotten to do much of that, since we were showing the house and then packing it up and looking for a new one. We are going to make an offer on another house today (fingers crossed that third time’s a charm!) so I’m hopeful that’s the end of the house hunting. Our hotel is really close to my family, so I plan to spend as much time with them as possible. I also plan to work from the pool, enjoy the greenway, eat tons of salads from the Whole Foods right down the street, and do some hiking on the weekends. We’re here for at least a month, and since chores are basically non-existent, I might as well take ALL that time for being good to myself 🙂
What are your plans for the rest of the summer?
I’ve been avoiding this space recently. I have written a couple of posts and ended up throwing them away, since they mostly ended up sounding really whiny. My thoughts have generally been pretty whiny as of late. I’m over myself right now!
We are set to close on the sale of our home this Thursday and will be moving into a hotel the next day. I’ve been well aware that this date is approaching, but the reality is sinking in and is starting to concern me. After the deal fell through on our first potential house, the search continues – we’ve looked at too many to count and were in negotiations on one, but things got weird and the listing agent was acting really shady. So we walked away from that one before wasting any more time (and money!).
It’s sort of been interesting, watching myself unravel a bit through this process. On the one hand, Jack and I are prepared for this move as we have been for no other. We could have moved out this past weekend, we are so packed up and organized. We have basically nothing to do this entire week, until the movers come Friday morning. Who can say that? I’m thinking it’s because this is the one thing we actually have control over, so we’ve been over the top with it.
But other than packing up, the rest of our lives feels up in the air. I think we are both suffering from decision fatigue, as well as feeling unmoored. As our home search has expanded, we’re starting to wonder whether we should buy an older home to renovate, so we can get closer to what we want. But if we’re already tired of deciding things, would that be a smart move? We have a friend who builds and renovates houses, so he would be a great partner and would surely help us to narrow down our choices. But can we handle six months in a rental, with our stuff in boxes? Would we destroy our marriage by having to choose the exact right backsplash or the most perfect paint colors? Is now a good time to even make the decision to make a bunch more other decisions? I don’t know! Work is draining me, not finding a new house is draining me, thinking of all the money we’re going to waste in our temporary quarters is draining me most of all…
What was that I said at the beginning, about being whiny? Ugh.
Have you had any experience with building/renovating a home? Is the process worth it?
I just realized I didn’t do a review of my goals/progress for last month. It was a crazy month, but still, this makes me feel pretty scatterbrained.
Anyway. We didn’t get the house. The appraisal came in waaay under the agreed-upon price. There was no way we were going to make up that big of a difference with cash at closing, and the crazy seller wouldn’t budge. Good luck to him with that, btw. Now we are starting all over again, with the super fun difference that we’re moving in a week and a half. To a hotel. I love me some hotel stays, don’t get me wrong. I loooove hotels. But living in one, for at least a month, with three dogs and two people who mostly work from home (work from hotel?) — that is no luxury. It’s also a giant waste of money, as was the cost of the home inspection and appraisal we just paid for on the house we didn’t get. Good times!
I’m also pretty much failing on the lose ten pounds goal. I’m up, I’m down. I have a few really good days and then blow it all when my boss takes us out or I spend the weekend in Louisville. I’m struggling with balancing my eating while working from home. I mean, I’m literally five feet from my fridge. I need to be better about going into the office (or at least not working in my kitchen).
At least my running is going pretty well. I ran four days in a row last week, which I never do, and the second two were better than the first two. I have to say though: this summer is a bitch down here in Atlanta. The temperature got into the 90s in May and hasn’t gotten out. It’s suffocating. It’s sticky. It’s NOT FUN. It’s not even pleasurable to be at the pool because it’s pretty much been like bath water since early June.
We also had a reasonably frugal month. We’ve been really good about not going out and not buying lunch. We didn’t buy any clothes. We had our wine at home. We ate through most of what we had in the pantry and freezer and really limited our grocery budget. Good thing we did that, since this move is going to be much more expensive than we had planned. (Did I mention we have to live in a hotel for a month???)
This is much less formal review of my 2015 goals because I am not feeling very formal right now. I am feeling a little beat down instead. Remind me never to change jobs, go on a diet, and buy a new house at the same time again, ‘kay?
I still don’t have a functioning laptop 😦 I am writing this via an iPad. The attached keyboard does not have a functioning U key. It’s surprising to me how much this tiny inconvenience makes me not want to write at all. #firstworldproblems #modernlife #imadiva
Anyway. The past few days have been a flurry of activity regarding Project Downsize. We’ve seen a few condos, made an offer on one (too bad it was already under contract), and met with two listing agents to get their thoughts on our townhouse. I think we just missed the great condo deals that were here earlier in the spring. The affordable ones are flying off the market, under contract the same day they are listed. This bodes well for selling our own home, but has been frustrating in the search for our downsizing.
The reality of this search has been eye-opening. We have talked and planned and discussed thoroughly the desire for less space and to split our time (and money) between an intown condo and a mountain cabin. But it was not until we went to visit the first listing that it really started to sink in what this actually means. It’s going to be a big change. It’s not really the space that’s an issue. We really are fine living in much less room. We loooove to get rid of clutter and throw stuff away. We want everything to be useful and have a purpose. We like the fact that being in less square footage means we’ll be closer together 🙂
It’s the neighborhoods that are the issue. They will be a downgrade. We are super spoiled right now, and we love our ‘hood. We spent a lot of years in less-than-desirable areas and it makes me uncomfortable to think about returning to that. It also means we’ll be going from fairly new construction to something that’s 30, 40, 50+ years old. That makes me nervous about potential problems that come with age. Our last home was 90 years old and was a constant heartbreak.
It’s been surprising to deal with this unease. I know change is scary, but I was unprepared for this anxiety. I really felt we had this completely figured out. I don’t want to say I’m second guessing ourselves, but there is a seed of doubt. We keep saying that it will all be worth it when we are out there cabin-hunting. But for now, as we’re hustling to see crappy condos that people are getting into bidding wars over, it’s not really much fun.