Monday, February 24, 2014

Moving Up the Moving

After selling our Bend house in record time (72 hours!) our next Adventure in Williams-Land was to decide what our next move was going to be.....literally. 

Door #1--renting in Bend until the end of the school year, quickly became a non-option.  After multiple online searches, voicemails, and rental magazines....God made it abundantly clear this was not the plan.  Most options never even called back, and the few that did required a 9 or 12 month lease, or had no immediate openings and would put us on a waiting list for three months.  But......we were not exactly sad about this!  After over two months of long-distance family, we were not looking forward to another four months.

Door #2--buying a house in Salem was going to be nothing short of a miracle, due to the short timeline we were on since the Bend house sold quickly.  Bryan and the kids drove over the mountain in the snow, timing their departure just exactly between three MAJOR snowstorms that hit most of Oregon and Washington.  Our new realtor was a little squeamish about house-hunting in the snow, but we offered to drive our four-wheel-drive SUV ourselves.  By the time we started out, there was already 12 inches of snow and it was still falling.  Pretty sure we were the only house-hunters that weekend!  Bryan even had to help push out the car of one of the owners as they were leaving.  But.....God provided the miracle indeed, and we found a house that was practically perfect in every way.  The kids were even claiming their bedrooms and deciding where furniture would go!  AND this house was under-budget for our price range and essentially move-in ready.  We made an offer, counter-counter-counter offered (nail biting along the way) and within another 72 hours we signed for a new house!  Perfect location, perfect house, perfect price.....our God is PERFECT!

Door #3--clearly, abundantly clearly, God's plan is for us to move to our new permanent house and live TOGETHER.  So Door #3 never even got opened.

So, we're moving the entire family at Spring Break, instead of waiting until the end of the school year.  The kids are adjusting well to this idea, and while sad to be leaving their friends in Bend, they are on board with our new adventure in moving up the moving timeline.  Moving day will be the Friday before Spring Break, so we'll have a whole week to unpack and get to know our new neighborhood before they'll have to start school.  (Clarification: "we" means I go to work and leave lots of honey-do lists, ha!)  And hopefully, having two months of school before Summer Break will allow them to make friends before summer....actually, mom is hoping before the end of the week.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

SOLD! what?!

If you're just joining our latest episode of Adventures In Williams-Land, scroll down a bit and catch up on the various stages of the current transition we're smack in the middle of.  Over the past few weeks we've been moving through the different steps involved with a job change and eventual family move 150 miles over to the valley.  After surviving the holidays and re-claiming some semblance of routine in January, our next step was to begin the early process of putting our house on the market.  The plan was to wait until March, with the goal to move in June; but, our realtor advised us the last thing we'd need would be pressure to HAVE to sell on a deadline, so she suggested we list the house now--while there's not a lot on the market yet--and list for top dollar "just to see what will happen".  We agreed this would be a good approach, giving us the flexibility of time--so we wouldn't be in a last-minute-bind, and the flexibility of finances--so we could lower the price as time went on.  Sort of a "shoot for the moon" approach.  We signed the papers, cleaned like mad, stuffed things into closets, and took beautiful photographs.  Our realtor said we'd know within a couple of weeks whether our "moon" was shooting too high. 

In less than 72 hours we already had an offer.  FOR FULL PRICE.  Hello moon! what?!  The good news is that's one giant item checked off the list.  And now we have a clear budget on what to look for in a new house (and a nice chunk of "moon" to pay for it!)  The bad news is the family has to move out by the end of March (but more good news: we have 60 days instead of the usual 30 days).

Door #1:  Bryan and the kids get a rental in Bend until school is out.  Pros:  finish the school year, finish Graeson's taekwondo training (black belt in May!), not have to change schools in the middle of the year.  Cons:  need a 3 bedroom, within budget (still supporting two separate households), and month-to-month rental with no lease.  This door does not seem to be open to us, since no such rental currently exists in Bend.....mostly the no lease requirement.  And the biggest concern:  it's already been two months of long-distance family, and not only is it emotionally difficult, driving over the mountain every weekend (in winter) is a safety risk.

Door #2:  Buy a new house in Salem, we all move at Spring Break.  Now that we've sold our house, we can buy a new house in Salem!  We'd planned to take our time looking, but if everyone will need to move anyway, maybe moving only once instead of twice, isn't a bad idea.  We've contacted a realtor and plan to start scouring the neighborhoods this weekend.  Pros:  if the timing falls into place, we could potentially sell/buy at the same time and all live (together) happily ever after.  Cons:  we're on a short deadline, and we'd have to make an offer within the next two weeks to allow for the necessary closing time requirements.  We'd have to figure out a new plan for long-distance taekwondo, and kids would have to change schools......but, they'd have to do that anyway, we'd just be doing it earlier.

Door #3:  Get a rental in Salem, move at Spring Break.  While it is humanly possible for five people to live in my two-bedroom apartment, this is not going to make one big happy family.  This will in fact make one big grumpy family.  So we'd need to look for a 4-bedroom house for rent, which is "possible" but a little difficult to find.  If Door #2 does not appear that it's going to open in the next couple of weeks, then we'll know it's time to entertain Door #3 and we'll readjust plans yet again.

So.....we're definitely learning flexibility!  My even-keeled husband has informed me I am not to cross more than one bridge at a time (he's the rational one, that man-o-mine!) and so we're trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves.....or truly we might drown in all the "what-if's" surrounding us.  So for now, we're making a list of houses to see this weekend, and we're collecting boxes.  That's the only door that's in front of us for now......but stay tuned for our next episode!