Thursday, February 7, 2013

Moving On...

Last week I voiced a thought that has been rolling around in my head for many months. "I think it's time to say goodbye to Kamloops." Last fall we had briefly considered purchasing some property about an hour east of where we live, and putting a cottage style home on it. The land sold before we were in a position to do anything, but the thought of moving has stayed with me throughout this long, dark winter.

We moved to Kamloops almost seven years ago in the midst of what was a very stressful, unhappy time in our family's life. Kamloops has been exactly the right place to be in the ensuing years. Rebekah, Alexandra, and currently David have been able to pursue post-secondary education through the university here. Kellen and Anita would never have met if we hadn't been living here, and I can't imagine our family without Anita being a part of it. I have met several lovely woman I have become friends with over the course of my time here as well. We have shared walks, and talks, and copious cups of tea/coffee while knitting away at the local Starbucks. But...
  1. Our house is way too big for two people. David is planning to move out this summer, but even with him home there is a lot of unused space. 
  2. I would love to get rid of Stuff. Realistically, this is not going to happen until we are forced into action. 
  3. I miss green. There is a certain beauty to the sage brush and sand hills I am surrounded by in this desert climate, but mountains and green forests are what resonate with my soul. 
  4. This final point is huge. I would like to live somewhere that allows me to be able to drive to my kids' homes in a few hours. As my kids sort and sift and settle, it is becoming clear Kamloops is not going to meet that criteria. I want to see my kids more often than once or twice a year. 
This week we have had a couple of realtors come through our house to assess what it might be worth in this rather dismal housing market. This was the news I was waiting to hear before I posted anything about our plans. We have a place we are thinking of relocating to, somewhere centrally located between Kamloops, Vancouver and Victoria, but I will save that for another post. The point is, in order for that to be possible we need to get enough for our house that we can make the move without incurring any debt. I heard back from realtor #1 last night, and it looks like it might just be doable.

So now we enter an unenviable season of life - trying to sell our house. Our past attempts to sell houses remind me a lot of my attempts at lace knitting. Both have been dismal experiences that would make a short stint in Hell seem like a holiday in comparison. My first horrible task will be choosing a realtor. Is a good choice even possible? The one I think will do the best job (she is the top realtor in Kamloops) was wearing so much perfume that by the time she left I had a splitting headache. The unscented realtor is very nice, but she doesn't have nearly as many sales as the smelly one.

Then we will have to face the disruption of having our house shown to complete strangers. This will mean keeping it clean and tidy and looking like it doesn't hold Stuff that belongs to various kids, kids-in-law, and Jay. (My stash, of course, doesn't count as Stuff.) Even more difficult will be making it look like it doesn't hold Fergus. If you happen to know someone who would like a nice family home in Kamloops, complete with two garden boxes, two apple trees and some really awful appliances, please send them our way. It will save me having to choose a realtor!

This is a total coincidence, but I am currently having yet another go at lace knitting. This is the start of the Northmavine Hap, a pattern from Colours of Shetland by Kate Davies. In what has been a complete and welcome surprise to me, I am actually enjoying the process this time around. I have made one mistake so far (I didn't change colours when I should have, but I can live with it).




I wish there was some way my current success at lace knitting could translate into success selling this house. But even if we aren't able to sell, I won't count the whole experience as a loss. Finally, after repeated requests and several weeks of no action, David has moved his leg off the shoe rack after I pointed out loose limbs probably weren't going to be a selling feature.

40 comments:

  1. Good luck! There are few things worse than having to keep your home ready to be shown. I hope you don't have to go through that for very long. But even if it takes a year, you'll get in the habit of living ready to show the house and it'll be OK (and then there's the boon of David's leg :) ). I had a house on the market for 2 years once, really hard with young kids, but it finally did happen.

    And WHY do people bathe in perfume, it's so horrible. I'm not sure I could go with the perfume realtor; whenever she'd come to your house, you'd have to air it out for a long time. I feel your pain with that one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Two years with a house on the market? That must have been truly dreadful. I have no idea why people wear perfume. I would think someone in business would know better. Ugh!

      Delete
  2. Exciting news! I hope all goes well.

    Yesterday, my guess was that you were planning to return to school, or to take some other class, and were waiting to hear whether you were accepted. . .
    -- stashdragon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was an interesting guess! Rest assured, I have no interest in going back to school. Although that might have more appeal than selling a house! :-)

      Delete
  3. Wahhh....having you as an online friend won't be the same as face to face.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's why you will have to come visit me. :-)

      Delete
  4. I'll keep my fingers crossed that the process of selling your home is easier than it has been for you previously. We have plans to move in the next few years to a smaller home and in a different in location, so I will watch your progress with interest.
    Sarah x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the finger crossing. We will need all the help we can get! I hope my selling/moving story doesn't end up discouraging you about your own future move.

      Delete
  5. Good luck with selling your house. At least it will mean that you can start having a sort out and clear the decks for a move. I understand your desire to be closer to your kids, especially as at some point there will hopefully be grandchildren. Don't worry too much about being tidy we sold our 1st house, the day we got back from a holiday, 2 weeks dust, and all the wash in piles on the floor!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what I'm thinking - even if the house doesn't sell we will have done some sorting and sifting of Stuff. And I am encouraged by your story of selling your house amidst the chaos of just having returned from a holiday!

      Delete
  6. Best of luck, I hope things go smoothly, when the time is right it is right!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree about the timing. And I must say it does feel right. We'll see what happens!

      Delete
  7. I feel for you. I am in the middle of moving back to Vermont from Minneapolis, and selling a house is a huge trial. I found the right realtor pretty quickly (she loved my house, and has a lot of sales) but getting it ready to sell, cleaning out all the Stuff, packing—it's a huge chore, much bigger than my last move out here. The house was on the market last year for 4 months and didn't sell despite a purchase agreement that fell through and a couple of other offers that were financially short of where I need to be, so now I'm gearing up to do it all again. I did succeed in moving the cats out though! I think that was the only way. Good luck with this big task; console yourself with the thought that it will be over someday.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I hope you are able to sell your home this time around. Hopefully the market will pick up as we head into spring and you can get the 4s you need out of your house. :-)

      Delete
  8. Ruth (no longer in Ottawa but now living with trees and Canadian Shield granite and loving it)February 7, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Ah, the joys of selling...probably your agent won't be the one showing clients through, so if the scented one is good and you list with her, you shouldn't have to worry about your air quality too much (that happened to us last year after our first showing, btw, and we complained to our own agent who passed along our comments to the other agent). Don't be afraid to mention your concerns to her, though. It is a rather awful invasion of privacy, isn't it! Hope all goes well and you sell sooner rather than later! Are you going to build a new place or buy a resale?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good point about other agents being the ones to show the house. Hopefully they are the unscented variety.
      I love your description of "no longer in Ottawa but now living with trees and Canadian Shield granite and loving it." I hope I can add a similar description to my name in the not too distant future. As for what we are planning to do, we aren't 100% sure. We definitely won't be contracting out to build our own home, but there is a chance of buying a new cottage that someone else is building. Or not. It is all up in the air at the moment!

      Delete
  9. Moving is always exciting... says someone who only moved in her life a few times... always gives you a chance to go through, select stuff to take with you, to start fresh... and you know what I envy the unused space...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think moving can be exciting. Our move many years ago to the Slocan Valley was exciting. I was so happy to be going there! The last couple of moves have not been under such great circumstances though, which has made me put moving into the same awful category as going to the dentist. I wish I could send some of my unused space your way!

      Delete
  10. We've often thought about moving over the last 30 years but each time I remember going to look at other properties and all the time comparing them with what we had already and finally deciding that ours was better in the end. And I hate people coming to view mine especially on a Sunday afternoon, when you know that some people view houses as a hobby and really aren't interested in buying. Good luck with your decision.
    Patricia x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right about the people who view houses as a hobby! It is popular here to have "open houses", where the realtor opens up the house for anyone who wants to come through. They are an opportunity for nosy neighbours to come see inside your house. I won't be having one, that's for sure!

      Delete
  11. Oh, this is exciting news! If you've got the "itch" and the timing is right as it seems to be, then I believe the house will sell.

    The lace is lovely!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I've definitely got the "itch." I hope you are right about the house selling!

      The lace is looking pretty good right now, but it is early days. There's still lots of opportunity to mess it up. :-)

      Delete
  12. All the best with getting your house on the market! Sounds like a lot of good reasons to move!!
    Exciting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sarah! Living where I can get to my kids' homes in a reasonable amount of time is hugely important to me. It's exciting and scary all at the same time!

      Delete
  13. I have a friend who has moved and sold her house many times. She says brand new white towels in the bathroom that are put out for show are the secret weapon. Who knows? Sending good selling vibes your way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great tip about the new white towels! I am going to pick some up next time I go to the store. Of course, I'll have to hide them away in between showings or someone here will use them. :-)

      Delete
  14. Although moving is stressful, you have a great reason to move.....be brave......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Courage is definitely needed. Especially when I think of all the work that is ahead of us should the house sell!

      Delete
  15. What a huge decision...i wish you all the luck for selling your house at a good price and for finding the perfect new place to live. Keep us posted as things progress! Speaking of...I may have some similar news that I keep putting off posting...soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Rachel for your good wishes. Now I am curious about your news! Are you planning to move up to Canada (after all, you now have the perfect hat for Canadian winters)? :-)

      Delete
  16. I don't know why, Kristie, but I never pictured Kamloops as a desert area -- see, you taught me something today! In my head, Canada is ALL green and beautiful. I wish you much luck in a quick and profitable sale of your home. Even though the showing and selling process is stressful, I recommend you keep your focus on the exciting prospect of choosing your next home. That's always such fun.

    And the perfume lady? OMG, I almost have a headache just reading about that! If I ruled the world, not only would smoking in public be illegal, but the perfume wearers would be restricted to their own stinky homes. But realistically, if you really want to use her services, is it possible to maybe explain to her that you have a sensitivity to the perfume and ask that she tone it down on days you have meetings with her? Maybe an uncomfortable thing to do, but your right to unpolluted air trumps her right to pollute it.

    Oh, and I just saw the suggestion by someone else about putting white towels in the bathroom. Yes! That worked for us in our last house sale too. We'd been on the market for over a year. I bought new white towels and the house sold in a couple months. ~Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most people are surprised when they hear Canada has a desert area, so you are not alone. I thought about saying something to the realtor, but I don't want to offend her. Next time I will open the doors and windows right after she leaves to air the place out. And it is interesting to hear a second success story with white towels!

      Delete
  17. I wish you well in selling your house and moving to an area that you love! I dread the selling & moving process, so I hope that it goes quickly for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Nadia! I am hoping for a quick sale, but not expecting one. Dread of selling and moving seems to be something most of us suffer from. Somebody needs to come up with a catchy name for it! :-)

      Delete
  18. Wow! Best of luck choosing an agent and with all aspects of the sale/move. My wife works for a real estate company and there are very few agents in her organization I would want to work with. The top sellers have great contacts, but deal in volume and are often more interested in the quickest sale versus the best price. Too many are vultures. We bought our current home through a "superstar" agent. He offered to help us rent out our old place for no charge--and no contract, a handshake was good enough. Except he had no interest in helping us rent it. He was trying to stall us, hoping we'd run out of money and let him sell it for us. I gave that guy the stink-eye for years afterwards (we kept running into him in restaurants, stores, etc.). But there are some good agents out there. Again, good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm...It doesn't bode well that you have inside knowledge of the realty industry and say there are very few you would want to work with. :-(

      My success rate at picking good realtors to date is zero. This time I am going with someone who is the total opposite of the kind of person I have gone with in the past. I am not hopeful though. I'm sure there is some fatal flaw in this logic that will soon make itself apparent. Ha!

      Delete
  19. I did wonder if your news would be about a move ... good luck! I'm not sure there is ever a good time to up sticks, but the best time to move house is the time that's right for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And if you think Fergus might be a problem what will we do with five whippets when the time comes for us to show our house to prospective buyers!

      Delete
    2. Five whippets could definitely be a challenge! You can try our plan - we will be putting Fergus and Jenny in our car and driving them around while the house shows. Or going to the dog park if the weather is good. :-)

      Delete
  20. How exciting! A move is so liberating. I'm wishing you the best of luck!

    ReplyDelete