Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When you buy before you sell...

This has been on my mind several times in the past 2 years, and is on my mind again - what it means when you buy before you sell. Two years ago, after several months and several extensions, we closed on our current home. We did so assuming that although it had been several months and we had pushed back the closing several times, that my husband's home would sell relatively soon after.

It has now been 2 years that we have had his house (for the most part) on the market. This leads me to what happens when you buy before you sell... You end up with:
  • 2 mortgages
  • 2 sets of utility bills
  • 2 houses to maintain & upkeep
  • 2 gardens to keep weeded & watered
  • 2 lawns to water & mow
  • 2 driveways to keep clear of snow
  • 2 places to insure and stress over
  • and ultimately one home too many!
To be honest, at times it has been a little much, but we've definitely been managing alright overall. For the most part we have had renters in, so many of the responsibilities have been theirs - taking care of the grass, snow, utility bills, and most of the mortgage. And when we haven't had renters in, then our arrangement with the seller on our current home has enabled us to pay less than we might like, but still make utilities and payments on both houses fit within our budget.

So this leads me to the next thought that has been on my mind lately... cleaning. Oh, and repairing. Yup, the last renters we had weren't exactly the best. There might be only patches of grass left in the backyard. And there might be a bathroom that smells like there is still a dirty dog hiding somewhere in it (don't worry, I checked under the washer & dryer that live in that bathroom, and although there was some mouse & (shockingly) dog poo (and pee?) under there, along with a random assortment of dingy dirty socks and rags, there wasn't a dog hiding there). And there also might be smear marks scattered over the walls.

But life wouldn't be worth living if it didn't teach you things now and then. And boy have we learned some unexpected lessons from this last set of renters. And I expect that I'll be learning some new things as we repair and clean in their wake (I may have a father-in-law who was in the garage door business, but I certainly have never replaced a garage door spring!). Really though, I can be nothing but thankful that they moved out and left the place in as 'good' of a state as they did, because it could have been a lot more painful and a lot dirtier!

So please bear with me as I spend my time over the next few weeks pulling mammoth weeds in the flower beds, touching up paint, stripping floors down & re-waxing them, and any number of other fix-up tasks to get the place looking beautiful again so we can leave it vacant and staged for a couple of months, and leave my house & garden to tend themselves. Some of the before pictures are a bit too disgusting to share (namely what I found under the washer & dryer), but I'm sure I'll share some of what I'm up to as the place gets back under my thumb :)


  1. Wow! I can't imagine having TWO mortgages and double of all of that stuff! Hope you sell soon, so you can put that money to good use elsewhere.
    Don't work too hard!

  2. Life is funny that we!! The hard things we go through, make us better though!! Even though it's not fun when you are going through them. I pray the house sells soon!!!


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