Hubs and I have been doing some spring cleaning. It started two weekends ago with getting rid of a bunch of boxes. Hubs has a (bad) habit of saving boxes from stuff, mainly tools and electronics. His logic is that the box would be helpful if he ever needs to file a warranty claim. The problem is that he doesn't bother to sort the boxes and throw them out after the warranty period has expired. So last weekend we sorted through all of those and threw out everything.
This past weekend we moved upstairs and sorted through all of our clothes to donate to charity, throwing out anything we hadn't worn in the last year. This wasn't too bad because we usually do this at least once a year. I sent a bunch of my heavy sweaters to charity since I don't see myself wearing them anytime in the near future (thanks, perimenopause!) and (finally) got hubs to throw out some of his old (terrible) concert t-shirts from his 20s (he'll be 39 this year.......). We also sorted through a a few boxes of stuff that I don't even know why I've held on to for this long. Some of the gems that I found included a 3.5" floppy disc containing pictures from my college graduation (which took place in 2003), my tax returns for 2000-2007 (I have every tax return since too, but they are digital files), a few letters that hubs wrote to me when we first started dating, a card from my grandma (who passed away in 1996), a bunch of old pay stubs, and an entire box of random stuff that needs shredded. I was feeling pretty good at this point.
Then.... hubs mentioned the crib that has been stored in the guest bedroom closet for four years. I felt that all too familiar kick to the ovaries as soon as he said the word. I took a deep breath and asked him to put it in the pile for charity. He was argumentative for about three seconds and suggested that I would be better off to sell it rather than just give it away. I suggested that unless he wanted to deal with the fallout of a breakdown that he would put it in the damn charity pile and not mention it again. So he did. Yes, it probably would have been more reasonable to sell it. But here's the thing, I would have to think about it, about everything we lost, when I created the advertisement to sell it. I would have had to think about it when I researched how much to sell it for. I would have had to think about it whenever people contacted me for more information. And worst of all, I would have had to meet a person, likely a pregnant woman, to actually sell it. Before I lost the nerve we loaded everything up and I hauled it to the charity store's donation drop of. The whole way there I was certain that it would be a 40something woman
who would demand to know why I was donating a new in box crib. Mercifully, the person manning the donation station was a teenage boy. He asked what was in the box, I told him that it was a crib, he gave me a confused look, and I followed up with "you know, the thing a baby sleeps in."
So yes, I could have got money out of it, but no amount of money was worth it to me to put myself to the torture. And you know what? It feels good to be rid of it. I didn't even cry. Well, that's a lie, I did briefly tear up, but it was over finding the card from my grandma and not from anything to do with the crib.
This all brings up the elephant in the room. Why are we spring cleaning? Well, because it's spring (even if winter is making a last ditch effort to hang on for a bit longer). Just kidding. There's a bigger reason. We're buying a house! When we walked away from the other house, we decided to take a bit of a break from looking for a house and restart our search in month or so. Frankly we were disillusioned with the whole real estate business and had a bad taste in our mouths because of the sellers of the house we walked away from.
We walked away from the other house on a Sunday morning. Later that afternoon I was mindlessly browsing real estate listings and came across a listing for a cute little house that we hadn't seen previously (the house or the listing), despite the fact that it had been on the market for a while. Upon closer investigation it met all of our "must have" criteria except central air conditioning. As luck would have it, there was an open house going on for that house literally as I was looking at the listing. I anxiously showed hubs the listing and told him that I thought we should go to the open house. Now, my husband is not known for being spontaneous nor flexible, and once he gets something in his head, it's hard to change his mind. So I fully expected him to say that he didn't want to go since we'd already agreed to take a bit of a break from looking. Shockingly, he agreed to go without argument (though maybe this had something to do with me telling him that I was going to go with or without him).
We got there and had to park down the block because the open house was so busy. Once we got in the house we got a good feel immediately. Our initial impressions were that the house was small but had plenty of space for our current needs and room to expand (it has an unfinished basement), that it was in need of some updating but not major remodeling (think circa 1970s wallpaper). Suddenly central air conditioning didn't seem like such a big deal. We left the open house and couldn't get it off of our minds, but we also wanted to make sure that we weren't just falling for it because we were rebounding from the other house. We agreed that we'd see a few more houses and then schedule a private showing with our agent to see this house again (well, our agent's colleague....remember that our agent was on vacation in Italy). Basically we said that if it was meant to be, the house would still be available in a week.
The next week we couldn't stop thinking about the house. We went to see a few other houses but they didn't measure up to the cute little house that we'd seen the previous weekend. Finally, we went back to see the little house and were able to give it an intense looking (something you can't really do when you're at a packed open house and the seller's agent is present). We decided to make an offer right then and there.
Our agent (who is fabulous) wrote the offer from Italy and sent it to us to electronically sign and it was off to the seller. Long story short, we went back and forth with the seller a few times and finally agreed on a fair price for both parties. Next up was the inspection. We ordered the standard home inspection, but also a Radon test. Radon gas is extremely common in the area of the United States that we live in and is the leading cause of lung cancer in non-smokers. Houses can easily be retrofitted with a mitigation system that safely and effectively removes the gas from the house. The inspection went great and only revealed a few extremely minor issues that we decided to not even bother to ask the seller to address. The Radon test came back elevated so we asked the seller to install the mitigation system. Unfortunately (for us) we sent that request to the seller the Tuesday before Easter and apparently the seller is deeply religious and indicated that she wasn't going to even look at the request until after Easter. I must admit that my patience was stretched quite thin. We found out on Friday that the seller agreed to install the radon mitigation system. Apparently our agent really earned his commission for this sale because the seller's agent is notorious for being difficult to work with, which was definitely the case in this sale. We close and officially get the keys to our new house in early May.
I can't wait! Our life is different then we envisioned it, but it feels good to know that we'll be settling down soon. It's also nice to envision a space for what we need and how we will use it as opposed to viewing the space as potential for family friendliness and growing into the space. Oh, and our plan is to rough it with window air conditioners this summer and then have central AC installed next summer. :)
Do me a favor and keep your fingers crossed that there aren't any curve balls that delay closing! We're informing our landlord of our intent to terminate our lease at the end of May, so there's not a whole lot of spare time to play with.