Hi there, Mrs. 1500 again.
Well, happily may be too strong a word, but I lost $13,000 on Friday, June 7 and I don’t care one bit. OK, again probably lying just a touch. It hurts to have lost that much money. But I did it without a second thought, because I wanted out.
WE FINALLY SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!
Longtime readers of this blog will remember we moved to Colorado in April, 2012. We thought we were buying into a nice community, but it turns out community is the farthest thing from our neighbor’s minds. This bunch of self-centered, self-absorbed consumeristic morons only get together to drink copious amounts of alcohol (often riding their tricked out Harley’s to the bar to do so). I am pretty sure they also get together to compare their latest purchases, and plan on how to catch up to or surpass the Joneses.
We closed on our house on April 16, 2012 and two weeks later were contemplating moving back to Wisconsin. We hated it that much. Immediately. It probably didn’t help that we were 1 hour from 3 different forest fires.
So in July, 2012 we put the house on the market, without listing any reason, such as a job transfer. People assumed there was something wrong with it. Nope, except it is in the worst neighborhood on the planet. We received one very lowball offer from a couple who said they didn’t like the kitchen (they didn’t approve of the granite), somehow justifying their offer of $30,000 less than we paid for it. Um, no. I am not happily losing $50,000 (taking into account the realtor fees, which the seller always pays.)
We took it off the market during the slow months of winter and made a few improvements (like removing the carpeting from the bathroom and replacing it with tile) then relisted mid-February. We had over 40 showings and again received a lowball offer from the same people. They came up $15,000, which is a lot, but they were still $34,000 lower than our asking price, and $15,000 less than what we paid. Our goal was to get at least what we paid for it. It turned out that they had not seen the house since the previous year, and just made another offer because they had to be out of their house by the end of May. They came back to see it again, and raised their offer $5,000. Still $10,000 less than what we wanted, so we said no. They chose not to offer anymore.
But we got a decent offer in late April, 2013. They found piddly little nothing things wrong with it during inspection, and we closed in early June. 3 days of torturous packing, loading the truck and moving an hour away. Goodbye Douglas County, hello Northern Colorado. The town we are moving to is very quaint, with a definite sense of community. I am already planning my bakery, and scouting possible locations every time I am in the downtown area.
So here are the numbers. We purchased for $399,000 and sold for $405,000 with $6,000 in buyer’s closing costs according to the contract. Even-steven on price when you factor that in.
We received $96,000 at closing, but put down $100,000 when we bought it, which makes it seem as though we only lost $4,000. However we paid a highway-robbery commission of $11,000 to the buyer’s agent and an upfront $2,000 to our agent. (We went looking for the cheapest deal we could find to minimize costs.) So I am not sure if we lost $13,000 or $4,000. I am going with $13,000, because if we had not had to pay that, we would have received more than we put down, making us almost even. Either way, we are out of the house and that is the best part of the day.
It is very difficult to be a frugal person in America today. It is exponentially more difficult to raise frugal children, who do not understand why they don’t have as many toys as the neighborhood kids. My 6-year-old even asked why the girls down the street have more toys that she does (which is saying a lot because she has WAAAAAY too many toys.) I soooo wanted to answer “Because their parents don’t love them as much as your parents love you.” Too much snark, plus I can see her actually repeating that to them, because she has no filter. She is 6.
Living in that neighborhood cast a pall on our lives that we should not have let happen, but we never felt like we fit in. We drove the cheapest cars, wore the cheapest clothes, and had the fewest toys for our children. Most of the teenagers in the neighborhood had zero respect for their parents. (Actually heard one kid say ‘F*** you!’ to his mom.) When we went to the park, every parent there was glued to their iPhones, rather than playing with their children or even watching while having a conversation.
We went looking for the perfect home, but didn’t do our research into the town itself. I am not sure how much we could have found out (“Douglas County residents boast the highest level of consumerism in America,” would probably not have been in the brochure.) Still, it is painful to have made such a large mistake. I moved around a LOT as a kid, even going to 3 different schools in 2nd grade. While it cured me of my shyness, it wasn’t a pleasant experience, and I didn’t want to put my girls through that.
In our new town, whenever we go to the park, the parents play with their kids or watch their kids play. I saw one mom on the phone, and from the snippets of her conversation, I could tell she was trying to get off the phone so she could play with her child.
Of course no place is perfect, but this new one seems a lot more like “us”. If losing $13,000 helps us find “home,” it will all have been worth it. We were ready to move from Wisconsin. While it is a really wonderful place filled with amazing people, their weather just stinks. 7 months of winter? No thanks.
Next week, I will show you what our new house looks like. We found a tiny fixer-upper with good bones but ugly as sin. Prepare to be unimpressed.
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