I am under contract in under a week! Or rather, my house is. The first week brought in 4-5 viewings and by Thursday night, an offer was sent to my realtors, Bob and Sharon. They always thought it would sell fast, but in six days? Impatient as I was for the whole process to finish up, I am also astonished it went so quickly. Four more agents have called since then, and I am in the fortunate (for me) position to tell them that the house is now “PB” (pending, taking back-ups). At the same time, my offer on a house has been accepted on contingency of my sale. No one really wants to have that condition – what if my house doesn’t sell? – but since my house is already under contract and the other owner is very eager to sell, it has all gone quite smoothly. Over the weekend, I have sold and bought a house, more or less.
It’s that “more or less” situation that is tricky. The buyers have ten days to change their mind and I’ll be nervous until those ten days have passed. I’ll probably remain slightly nervous until we close on both houses, but that’s the name of the game in real estate. Four weeks from now I should be moving households again. At least most of my stuff is already packed and stacked in the garage. It’s time to eat down the pantry and fridge and find a way to pack up even more kitchen items. I’ll have four-five days for the transition, thank goodness, because I plan to haul all the boxes marked ‘Fragile’ myself. I told my son that he will be on call that weekend to help. I’m not trusting whatever fragile items that made it through the fire and storage phase to unknown movers, no matter how good they are. I’m not even sure how much I trust my son to be gentle with my delicate glassware, but I’m enlisting him to help, nevertheless.
The entire negotiation process went fairly smoothly. My buyers asked for my new refrigerator and the custom-made cabinets next to the fireplace. I, in turn, asked my seller for her stainless steel refrigerator. It looked quite new when I saw it and it matched the other appliances. She agreed. We’ve all signed the papers. Now come the inspections. I’m not too worried about my house. After all, it’s been completely rebuilt inside and already had to pass numerous city inspections over the last few months. The house I’m buying is an older one – same age as me, actually – so I’m praying that there are no major issues. From my amateur perspective, it all looked very clean and turnkey. Here’s hoping.
Other than the normal anxiety that comes with house selling and buying, I’m feeling excited about the change. The house is almost exactly what I wanted to begin my empty nest years. Just no fireplace, but my realtors know a fireplace guy who used to be a firefighter and is very good at installing and building fireplaces. If it’s not too outrageous, I’m getting one. It may seem foolish in Texas to spend money on something we can use only 2-3 months of the year, but I love the coziness of a fire on a dark and dreary night. The living and dining rooms are open plan (some owner in the past must have torn down a wall), the galley kitchen is fairly large, the bedrooms have good-sized closets, and the backyard is big enough for the dogs and small enough for me to take care of easily. Best of all, it’s in an older Austin neighborhood and there’s a magnificent tree in the front yard. Nice and mature. Just like me.