The Reality of Moving, Selling, and Buying a Home (Part 2)
Updated: Jun 3, 2022
We land in AZ extremely excited (as promised), turn our phones off airplane-mode, and had 1 voicemail from The City of Rexburg (ID), and 1 email from Tyson's recruiter; both carrying THE WORST pieces of information that was delivered with THE WORST timing!
Tyson's work informed him that his training would be online for a MINIMUM of 3 months and even after the 3 months they would phase employees back into the office and allow plenty of time for them to make the move. The second piece of information was from the City of Rexburg saying we needed to put a sidewalk in front of our home and we would need to pay for it before selling the home; which was easily 5-10k.
I bet you can guess what went through our minds... "WHY ARE WE EVEN MOVING?" We felt so defeated! How could this get any worse?! Why couldn’t we have gotten this information sooner?! (Side note: we actually called the city after buying our house to ask about our lack of side walk. Their response: you can put one in if you want, but it’s your choice. Seriously?!) We quickly called our stellar realtor, Carlos Villagomez, to inform him of the sidewalk issue. His calm assurance and proactive nature were exactly what we needed! He was on it! Tyson and I found our place in line to get our rental car trying to reassure ourselves that this would all work out! We quickly realized the line was not moving, the 10 customers ahead of us seemed to have been there a while, the couple at the front desk was NOT HAPPY, and this rental company seemed super sketch! We asked the people in line near us what the deal was; we learned others had been waiting for 3+ hours, the people waiting off to the side were told there wasn't a car reserved for them and they'd have to wait a few more hours despite paying extra for a specific luxury car, and the people at the front desk were charged a fee for returning their car an hour late but they were only late because they had to wait in line for 2 hours! Mind you we have an hour and a half before we have our first showing that was 30 minutes away from the airport! Our day was booked back to back with showings and we didn’t have time to deal with this! I completely began to panic. Tyson was just paralyzed and somehow believed it would work out (this is how he usually responds to stress haha). So, we waited for 15 minutes. The line of 10 people didn't budge. I turned to Tyson and said, "I've had enough, I'm not doing this, I don't care if we lose money on this bogus car rental, we are going to get another rental car form some other company." Tyson went to get some quotes while I called Fox Rent A Car to see if we could get a refund. Come to find out, they never even rescheduled our original reservation and, no, we could not get a refund - OF COURSE! The good news was we got another rental car through Sixt Car Rental and had enough time to get Popeyes on our way to our first scheduled showing! Needless to say, that was a terrible experience we could have absolutely done without! SHEESHHHHH!!! Thank you Sixt Car Rental for saving the day!
As we drove to meet up with our classy realtor with an impressive professional background, Carolynn Hiron, for our first showing in a long line-up of houses, we had a familiar talk about being positive, trying to laugh it all off, it couldn't get worse than this, and making the best of the trip all while stuffing our faces with finger-lickin' fried chicken.
Day 1 of looking at homes in AZ:
We looked at about 10 homes and didn't like ANY of them.
Sidewalk update from Carlos - We either fight the city and tell them to buzz off since their ordinance requiring a sidewalk came out in 2009 and we are just now hearing about it as the 3rd owner of the home since then, or we can negotiate the buyers paying for it. We decide to sit on it while Carlos continued digging into the issues for another avenue.
Day 2 of looking at homes in AZ:
We had officially looked at EVERY house within our budget, requirements, and desired town but still didn't find "the one." There were some nice homes that we liked - but nothing was calling our name. Now what? We felt very uneasy.
Sidewalk update - We called Carlos that night with a proposal...
It didn't seem reasonable for us to pay for a sidewalk we wouldn't benefit anything from. But if we didn't offer to split it in some way, we could lose the sale.... which wouldn't be the worst thing, right?! We told Carlos we didn't actually need to be in AZ for a minimum of 3 months and we hadn't found the right house yet so if this sidewalk issue causes us to lose the sale, this could actually work out in our favor! Also, at the time we didn't have the funds to fix (or even help fix) the sidewalk anyway! So, our next move was telling the buyers that they would need to take care of the sidewalk and we wouldn't fix anything from the inspection (which came back with just a handful of minor things, thank goodness). Bold move. But it was the first and only move that felt completely right. Carlos prepared the proposal that night and submitted it the next morning.
We called Carolynn to let her know the buyers of our ID home would probably fall through and if it did, we would take our house off the market, take care of the sidewalk issue over the summer, and move to AZ in the Fall. She was very cool about the whole situation and recommended we spend our 3rd and last day in AZ relaxing and enjoying the area!
Day 3 of looking at homes in AZ:
We get a call that morning from Carlos. The buyers said they'll take the house as-is and will take care of the sidewalk!
We quickly called Carolynn, basically told her ignore what we told you last night, we need a house! She set up a second showing with our top 3 houses so we could take one more look And make a decision! She is a Saint, in case you haven’t caught onto that already! After going through those 3 homes, you’d think we could just pick one, but it just didnt feel right. We had never been so incredibly unsure of what to do! It was extremely stressful! Daylight was burning and there wasn’t much time left in AZ.
The only other option was to rent in ID (
or live with family until we found the right house. But trying to stay productive, and almost as hail mary, we drove to another up-and-coming area to look at newly built homes. We found one we LOVED but it would take 6-9 months to build! We could rent until it was built?! Maybe this was the answer!
As we drove back to our Airbnb, we dug deeper and realized we were just SO desperate for a place to call home. Building a home wasn't the right plan for us either. But, another plan surfaced in our minds! There was one house in our top 3 that was on the low end of our budget and had great potential for some fun renovations. What if we looked at that home as more of an investment property rather than it being our forever home???
BOOM. It finally clicked. That was it! We had a plan! Although it wasn't perfectly ideal, it seemed completely viable, a smart investment, and kind of intriguing! Separating the idea of a forever home and a temporary home (that could turn a profit in the mean time) is when we FINALLY felt the pressure lay off! Whew! We called Carolynn and prepared an offer that night to be submitted the next morning:
Contingency offer on our house selling (and Heavens know - that house WAS selling)
5k under asking
Close in about 3 weeks
Respond by 7 pm
The next morning, while dropping off our rental car and riding the shuttle to the airport, we spoke with Carolynn, who carried some bad news (at this point, nothing phased us); she informed us that there were 2 other offers in on that house! Our next step was the only step we could take: bump up our offer to the asking price. Our offer was submitted right after we got off the shuttle and entered the airport. Which, in all the excitement, caused me to forget my WALLET in the console of the rental car! Thanks again to Sixt Car Rental for holding on to it for me while we took another shuttle back and literally ran to the rental lot!
HERE'S A WIN FOR THE BOOKS: The offer was accepted that night! Going in at asking price was the smartest thing we could do - we trumped the other offers and got ourselves a new home! To top that, the appraisal ended up coming back 5k less than asking! Guess what we did? We negotiated with the seller to get the price down to 5k less than asking! (Which was our original plan anyway! Ha!)
Friday, June 12th - we closed on our ID house.
Monday, June 15th - we closed on our AZ house.
Friday, June 26th - Tyson's work-from-home order was EXTENDED TILL DECEMBER 31!
You should have seen our faces, we were absolutely crushed! This past weekend we found ourselves wondering, yet again, "Why did we move?" We could have stayed in ID another 6 months and saved ourselves a lot of money and headache! We loved our home in Idaho! It was OUR home! We loved our new kitchen, carpet, and a million other things we updated and customized! Our daughter took her first steps in that house for crying out loud! The worst part of all - we left the neighbors that we adored, the friendships we nurtured, and many of our close and extended family members. Feeling lonely during a quarantine is rough, but being in a new place where you don't know anyone is a whole new level of loneliness. After long talks and allowing time to grieve, we came to the conclusion that there's nothing we can do about it. We are here now, so let's make the best of it! We dug deep and found some reasons why it was a good decision and reassured ourselves that we didn't do anything wrong. I'm sure we will look back on this and see countless reasons why it was good that we moved when we did. I genuinely look forward to that day!
The reality is: moving (especially to another state during a quarantine), selling a home, and buying a home is INCREDIBLY stressful! The whole process feels like, "Hurry up and wait. In the meantime start thinking about with plan A, B, C, D, and E." There are so many moving parts, so many freaking documents to e-sign, lots of people to call, lots of people calling you, questions, high-level answers, technicalities, negotiating, lots of up in the air, constant number crunching, and PRAYER, PRAYER, PRAYER.
Now, our prayer is that we can spend the next year strategically flipping this Mild Mild West home to get as much money out of it as we can so we can find our forever home! Here's to enjoying the journey more than the destination! Let the games begin!