Thursday, August 8, 2013

Moving On....

Having a history of yearly (or less than yearly) moves, the last two years living in the same place has been great.  Giving us some stability and a bit of time off from always packing and unpacking. However, we've wanted to give our kids a backyard to play in for a long time and the time has finally come-

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE!!!


It is in the same town that we're currently living in, so we don't have to start all over again learning the area.  In fact, it's a great location for us, it's closer to my parents, closer to our homeschooled friends, and close to the library & park.  And still less than a 10 minute commute for me.  
 
Jon's happy.  Last time bringing laundry to the laundromat!

And it has a lawn!  Did I mention that?  A lawn!!!  Plus a pool, (leaning) playset and a built in laundromat!...  I guess most people just call those a washer and dryer, but it's still a novel idea to us :)

Moving and unpacking was crazy, as usual.  After that many moves, I have 3 pieces of advice for any DIY movers.

1)  It almost goes without saying.  Pack (and clean) early!  Weeks before, if you can.  I try to follow my advice, but life always seems to disrupt it somehow.  This year it was a trip to NY for a funeral.  Still, I had more of the house packed this year than other times.  This was the first move I haven't been pregnant or nursing in over 7 years, and man the freedom helps me get stuff done!



2)  Label your boxes like crazy.  On that first night when you are hungry, sweaty and exhausted the last thing you want to do is move every box in the house looking for aluminum foil, a shower curtain, towels and blankets.  I put the 'type' on the top, with the key items in it just under that.  Then I label at least two of the sides, along with this side up and fragile as needed.  The side labels are SOOOooo helpful when you have a big stacks of boxes and a specific box in mind you need to find.



3)  Keep a box of important stuff moving stuff with you at all times.  This box had more added to it as time went on, but this is what it started off with.  Whereever I went, this box went with me.  I put the packing stuff, bags, tools, hardware for beds, purses, wallets, keys, phones, tablets, cameras, chargers, etc in it.  I taped the sides up so that no one tried packing it on the truck while I wasn't looking

Moving on (haha... ha... ahhh...)

Closing day was new experience for us.  We had been waiting for this day for so long.. and since we knew crazy hard work was ahead of us we took that day pretty easy, and enjoyed being homeowner (and boy I'm glad we did, typing this, weeks later, is the first break I've had since then).



The night before closing my kids stayed with my parents so we could pack and get to closing on time the next morning. The walk-through went fine and while the real estate agents were in the other section of the house I starting doing cartwheels on the ugly blue carpet.  I was pret-ty happy. Jon and I stayed after the real estate agents left, to walk the property and enjoy how big it is.  If there's one thing that is already really nice, it's the land.  There's open grass, mature trees, apple trees, a little swamp area and a wooded trail... And it's only 2 acres.

The actual closing went smoothly as can be expected.  The sellers seemed a little upset about the final pricing, but we stood our ground for good reason (and are glad we did - I'll get to that in a later post, I'm sure).  After the signing, they seemed a bit happier finding out that it we were a family, similar to theirs (two boys and a girl), even telling us more about the property and how they are going to miss it.  Once we shook our hands with our real estate agent, I got out to the car as fast as I could to cry some happy tears.  This was our third attempt to look for houses since 2008, and Mike (REA) was with us each time.  So parting with him was a big moment for me.

We went back home, I posted the above cartwheel picture on facebook... and a few minutes later, we lost our phone and internet.... for two weeks!  (It was supposed to be hooked up later that day).  I HATE FAIRPOINT.  Seriously, worst customer service ever.   Last time it was three weeks, so at least they improved marginally in the last two years.



We gathered up our cleaning supplies (and swim trunks and towels) and came back to our house to meet my Mom and our kids here.  When we got to the house we found a nice basket from our real estate agent.  Not being a 'sappy' person, it's funny how much that basket actually meant to me that first night.  (Usborne & Sandra Boyton are our favorite kids books too.)


The kids hadn't seen the house in over two months, and my Mom hadn't seen it at all, so it was quite nice to finally be in the house all together.  We took some time to tour, play and just enjoy having a pool and grass on a nice summer day.

Almost all the numbers (and a lot of dog hair) found in this kitchen heater!

Pineapple anyone?  Expired May 2008 (It was hidden pretty good)
After the party was over, we stayed to clean.  I did the kitchen & washing machine and Jon cleaned the heaters.  The house was recently cleaned and looked decent... on the surface.  Digging deeper and well, I'm still cleaning.  We also fixed a few non pressing things.  I switched the direction of the dryer door, and Jon repared a casement window handle.  It seemed everything in this house needs repair.   It still seems that way actually, but we're making some progress on the little stuff, as we plan for tackling the big stuff.

The next day was for packing and moving.  We borrowed a truck from work and couldn't get it until after 4PM, so we just packed all morning.  A free truck (plus gas) is great... but it was a full size truck (TALL) and the parts we ship are often covered in oil and metal chips, and this truck was too...





We lined the truck with some tarps and boxes, but I was still a nervous wreck that everything was going to get covered in oil (motor oil) and little tiny metal splinters.  With last minute packing and not eating anything I totally lost my temper more than once about something I didn't want touching the sides, near the sides... Oy.  I was a mess.  If there is a next time (never again!) we'll just get a U-haul.



After some friends and family coming to help us (THANK YOU!) and A LOT of hard work, we returned the truck... at 3AM.  My husband I were dead tired and we crashed in the dining room for the night.



Cleaning the next day was fairly uneventful, but it was pretty sad to take down the kids wall art in our apartment.  I was able to save it on wax paper, so we'll see if it holds up well enough for a second sticking.  We were able to clean out the apartment and turn in our keys, leaving us just one place in our name.


Finally, we are home owners.
 

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