Okay, if you couldn’t guess the big reveal from the title of this blog post….
Okay, well, kinda. We really did move. But not to a different state or anything. Not even to a different city. In fact, only about 10 minutes away from our first home. BUT! We moved! And sold our first house! And bought a new house!
And wow, what a whirlwind of an experience. We have truly felt God’s hand and leading in every part of this journey and I couldn’t be happier. I could probably write a 10 page blog post about the entire thing and how God answered SPECIFIC prayers but I won’t do that (okay, I’ll tell you a few of the fun specific prayers He answered lol!) Instead, let me try and speed round answer a few FAQ’s I have gotten about the entire process.
So…without further adieu, let’s get into it!
Why Did You Decide to Sell Your First Home?
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I had a deep connection and love for our first home. I’m very much a homebody and I become super attached to the places I love – probably why I would never want to leave North Carolina! We bought that house in March 2018 and figured we would stay there for at least 5 years. Here is the inside of our old house:
However, deep down in our hearts, Ben and I knew that our first home wouldn’t be our forever home. For starters, it only had 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. We were using the second bedroom as an office. So we really wanted one more bedroom and another bathroom if we wanted to start to try for kiddos!
Another reason? Our first home was built in 1931. So it was OLD, y’all. Did it have incredible charm and character? Absolutely. Did that incredible charm and character come with a price? Absolutely.
We found that we just kept pouring money into this home for repair after repair. And the final straw was getting our foundation looked at. We knew it wasn’t in the best shape but we were NOT prepared for the incredibly expensive quote we got from the salesman in late January.
The moment he left Ben walked into the office and we looked at each other and both said “Welp, guess we are selling sooner than we thought.”
I feel like it’s always a true moment that the Holy Spirit is leading you as a couple when you BOTH feel something deep in your gut.
We also felt it was the right time considering the market. We figured this was the time when we could potentially get the most money for our home due to the low inventory available. So….we called a realtor that Ben has connections with and began the process!
How did you sell your first home?
Thankfully with Ben’s job, he has many connections with realtors. So we knew who to call right away and boy was she amazing! If you’re in the Triad/Triangle area looking to buy, I truly couldn’t recommend Sandy Sparks and her team enough!
They walked us through the entire process, hand in hand (basically lol) and told us what we needed to do to our house in order to get it ready for the market.
Did I mention that this also happened to be during a period where Ben was studying for a LIFE CHANGING test regarding his career?!? Yup. Talk about stress!
So, Ben studied. I finished painting the house. We also got the outside pressure washed and made sure to get all of the quotes we needed regarding the repairs we KNEW needed to be done. So many hours of painting!!
We wanted to go into this with the utmost integrity, being sure that we lay everything on the line knowing that the house wasn’t perfect but that we were willing to fix the repairs.
Speaking of repairs, instead of going with the foundation salesman’s quote, Sandy led us to a structural engineer…which was incredibly helpful! He let us know everything that was wrong with the foundation instead of just trying to sell us things we might not need.
We got that report and found out that the repairs that needed to be done were actually only about HALF of the amount of the original quote we got. PRAISES.
Going on the Market:
So, it was time. We got the painting + updates done. Ben passed his test (YAY!) and it was time for it to go live on the market.
We listed it on February 26th and I think we got 7 offers that day. And that night, at 9 PM we went under contract! We got an incredible offer we couldn’t refuse and after praying and feeling peace, and we went with it!
If you’re curious, on the day we moved out of our home and cleaned ourselves out – it was incredibly emotional. I kept my emotions subdued up until, I kid you not, the last 10 minutes we had in the house before the buyer did his final walk through. And then it was waterworks. Bittersweet waterworks.
Buying a Home in this Crazy Market:
First, let me just say this. At the beginning of this entire process, we straight up asked our realtors…what are the chances in this market that we will be able to sell our house and buy a house and only be able to move ONCE?
They said it would be a miracle and recommended that we have a transitional living space just in case. Hi, Ben’s parents!
So….we went into the whole “buying” part of this process with that in mind which was tough to deal with.
But, let’s get into it.
We saw 3 houses overall. The first one was a test run. The second one was the house we are currently in and the third one was a “What if we don’t get the house we want? Let’s be sure to look at our options” house.
Did I happen to mention the same day that OUR house went on the market, the current house we are in went on the market? Another crazy cool God thing.
We were driving up to to stay with my parents for the weekend so our house could be empty for showings and our realtor texted us saying that she knew it was probably a little early but this house just came on the market and she said she just felt like it was meant for us.
And of course we fell in love with the photos.
So much so, that when we arrived at my parents house, I went ahead and wrote a personal letter to the seller explaining how much we love the house and wanted to buy it!
We ended up viewing it in a 30 minute time slot on that Sunday. That’s all we got – 30 minutes! So, after prayer and sleeping on it, we made an offer the next morning.
The seller wanted to us to come up another 5K on our offer and we declined, feeling disappointed but thinking it was good practice for us for the next home we bid on.
But lo and behold, the seller came BACK to us and we ended up kind of meeting in the middle due diligence wise and our offer was ACCEPTED. Praise the Lord! We were so happy/excited/NERVOUS/SCARED.
From there, a very long (but also very short) process began of inspections being done on both houses, appraisals, trying to get the loan approved through underwriting (which was really tough considering Ben and I are both self-employed).
One thing that God completely worked out for us is that the closing dates for the house we were selling and the house we were buying were on the SAME DAY. I kid you not! So we only were technically without a home for ONE NIGHT. We thought we would be spending months with his parents looking for a home. Thank you Lord!
Things I Love about our New Home:
Oh….where to begin? I love the exterior – it’s a classic brick house with stunning black shutters and new white windows. We love the carport – we have never had a carport so it’s nice to be able to not be rained on.
The location is INCREDIBLE. It’s 2 minutes away from everything in town but it’s located on a dead end road surrounded by a natural area so you feel like you’re in a forest but I could also walk to Target LOL. Dream world!
It’s also within WALKING DISTANCE of our church. Like literally, a 3 minute walk. Which is incredibly important to us as we find ourselves pretty much always at church haha!
Only one couple lived in the house prior to the man who bought it and flipped it. They lived there for almost 50 years and were lifetime members at our church. I think that’s just so special. I can’t wait to continue the legacy and raise our lil family there.
Speaking of flipped, yeah, the guy we bought it off of completely renovated it. From the appliances, to the walls to the floors to every single inch of the house is renovated.
Of course, my favorite room in the house is the KITCHEN! So I can make y’all allll of the recipes. Here is the only picture I have of the kitchen so far lol.
I promise when I get a cute styled picture, I’ll update this post! Until then, here is Benjamin looking all cute in it.
Ben and I can’t even believe it sometimes. We walk in and are just in awe of the blessing that God has given us.
I really hope we can use this home to be able to be more hospitable to those around us. To invite them over for dinner and be generous and use what God has given us to bless others.
Also, we can’t wait to eventually make that 3rd bedroom a nursery one day 😉
Best Tips on Selling/Buying:
I’m no expert when it comes to this, especially in this market, but what I will share what I hope is helpful if you’re going through the same process or considering it!
Get a realtor that you love. Tell them exactly what you want but know in this market you might not get everything.
Make a list and prioritize your NEEDS vs your WANTS.
For us, that looked like:
3 bedrooms, 2 baths
Climate controlled laundry room
Open concept space
Being able to give that very detailed list to your realtor is SO helpful. Just be prepared that you won’t get everything on that list.
If/when you do find a house that you love, book a viewing ASAP. Houses are going so fast. I mean heck, our house was on the market for only 12 hours before it was under contract.
Speaking of those showing, be sure to look at everything in your 30 minute viewing. That will most likely be the only time you see it before you make an offer due to the many bids houses are getting. I made Ben crawl in the attic AND the crawlspace to make sure everything looked good ha! Poor guy. He’s a good sport.
Trust the process and don’t feel pressured to buy a house if you’re not in love with it! The perfect house is out there waiting for you – don’t feel like you have to say yes if you aren’t 100% invested.
Overall…..it was a wild time. We got our house ready to sell in 2 weeks. Then it was only a month before both houses went under contract and they closed. It was a FAST but sometimes agonizingly slow process.
I couldn’t have done it without of course, The Lord and His peace He provided and also my incredibly supportive husband. He is my rock and I’m so thankful for him!
I can’t wait to continue to show you guys the inside of the house. Be sure to follow me on Instagram for alll of the updates! XO – Haylie