September 28, 2022
I said things were about to crazy, and crazy they got! The past four weeks have been filled with aches and pains, ups and downs, and backs and forths. But with every bit of good news, every annoyance, every sigh of relief, and every headache, it’s at least been clear that we are at least finally and unrelentingly moving forward in moving to Disney.
Here’s a weekly blow by blow since my last post.
FIRST WEEK OF SEPTEMBER
Our house had been on the market for two weeks. After hearing for well over a year about how hot the market was, it was frustrating how long it seemed to be taking to get any nibbles. Waking up early every morning to clean, then going nowhere all day in case a potential buyer wants drop in, is not a fun way to live for days on end. (We have pets, so if someone made an appointment to come by, I had to be available to grab the animals and get them out of the way for the showing.)
My wife’s six month lease at an apartment in Celebration was set to end in a few weeks. Obviously we hope to be in our own home soon, so signing another lease was out of the question. So she would be heading to a hotel where she could pay month to month or even week to week.
I needed to head down at some point to help move her stuff to a storage unit. That’s when I had the idea that if I’m going to Florida to move things into storage anyway, why not just bring everything from our Tennessee house with me? That way when the house did eventually sell, we’d be ready to close as soon as the buyer wanted.
So as I’m breaking everything down and getting a U-Haul packed up, that’s of course the moment we finally get an offer. Now, as I’m on a time crunch due to only having the truck for a certain number of days, and packing almost everything we own into it, I’m also having to negotiate with the buyer.
I won’t get into all the offers and counter-offering that went on. But in the end we came to a fairly good deal… with one not so good catch. The buyers didn’t want to close for 60 days! That would be the second week of November. Everything has already taken longer than we’d hoped, and now we were looking at being stuck here after Halloween. But without as much interest as I’d hoped for, we decided to sign the contract, making our leaving Tennessee all but official.
SECOND WEEK OF SEPTEMBER
Almost immediately after signing, my son and I climbed in the U-Haul (thankfully equipped with cruise control!) and started our drive to Florida. I was sore and a bit beat up from all the packing. But there was no rest for the weary. As soon as we arrived, we had to pack up the apartment. And unfortunately for us, the elevator was out, meaning everything had to be carried down three flights of stairs! After that it was time to unpack everything into our storage unit in the heat of the Florida sun. It was miserable couple of days, but at least it was finally done.
There wasn’t a lot of time for fun, but one of our nights there was my son’s 19th birthday. So we took the opportunity to head to Disney Springs, do some shopping, and have a meal at House of Blues.
All too soon it was time to head back. We’d been looking forward to some well earned rest for the remainder of the week on our return. But we got a message from our agent saying the morning after we returned the buyer’s inspectors would be coming for the all important examination of the home. We didn’t really leave things in great shape as we were in such a rush when we left. So as soon as our flight landed that evening I started cleaning, while hoping that no major problems would be found.
Two days later, we got the verdict…
THIRD WEEK OF SEPTEMBER
The buyer had two issues they wanted fixed or the price of the house dropped a ridiculous amount! One was something legitimate, that was an unknown problem found in the inspection. The other was the only somewhat major issue I had not had taken care of (a crack in a driveway wall not connected to the house itself). Rather than putting even more money into the house, I decided to leave this for the buyer to deal with in whatever way they wanted. The buyer’s estimate was for tearing down the driveway wall and rebuilding it, and tearing down and rebuilding the other issue. Our agent suggested we have her own guy give a second opinion. He said neither issue required a complete rebuild. Both could just be repaired. And for a third of what the buyer asked for!
Long story short, we agreed to repair the unknown issue, but would not pay for the driveway wall since they saw that when they made their original less-than-full-price offer. While that was the “long story short” version, it took several days of stressful back and forth to get there. Then came the actual repair work. And sure the bill could have been a lot worse, but every dollar going into the house at this point is painful!
If things weren’t bad enough, my son and I ended up getting colds. (Not COVID, thank goodness!) Normally, just an uncomfortable hassle. But with everything else it just felt like everything that could cause stress, was!
FOURTH WEEK OF SEPTEMBER
That leads to this week. Now that the inspection period is over, things feel pretty set in stone. There should be no reason for things to go south at this point. So we can finally start looking into buying a house for ourselves!
Our plan was for me to finish two things here this week: my car is dead (another unexpected problem!) and needs to be towed to a repair shop, and we need to talk to the bank about getting a pre-approval for a mortgage. After that, I would leave the son and the pets here at the house in Tennessee, while I headed to Florida and started touring homes with an agent, with the hope of finding something soon so we could close in early November right after our house up here closes.
That was a nice upside of the long close the buyers asked for. We get to keep this place while looking for a new home. No worries about where the animals would go while we were searching in Florida. Right? Of course not! Just today the buyers asked if we’d be willing to close three weeks sooner in mid-October instead! So today has been a rush to figure out a new plan.
And if you happen to be in Florida yourself right now, you know it’s a terrible time to to be doing anything. Hurricane Ian is bearing down on the Orlando area. My wife spent last night sleeping in her office at work (and will do so again tonight) so she can help care for patients and not get stuck in her hotel. Cell networks are either down or congested. So this discussion is happening however we can reach each other!
After our interrupted talks, and a lunch with my parents to see if they’d be willing to babysit a teenager and some animals, it looks like we can make the early close work. Counterintuitively, closing early means we won’t have our own place until later. I was originally going down next week to start looking. Now I have to stay here and finish emptying the house. I won’t be able to start house hunting until mid-October. The upside is our credit will look even better with the loans we took to make repairs paid off, perhaps saving us some interest on future monthly payments. And we’ll be able to devote ourselves full time to looking for a home, rather than having to continue dealing with selling this one at the same time.
So, yes, this has been an absolutely crazy, no-fun, painful few weeks. But everyday brings us that much closer to our goal. And with today’s change of plans, that goal is so, so very close now.