This is a pretty significant day for me. Why? Because a year ago my husband and I were moving out of our house and going to the title company to sign the papers that officially sealed the deal. We were fortunate enough to pre-sign before the buyer signed since we were going to be out of state and that was the only weekend my husband could get off work to help me move the big stuff. Signing the paper work and receiving our proceeds check was exciting since we had completely remodeled the place ourselves, but it was also a little bittersweet for obvious reasons.
I remember vividly going to the house for the very last time on Sunday to do a last minute clean and to grab the few items we literally couldn't fit in our truck when we were there moving the day before. Unfortunately, Greg didn't have it planned out the way I did. He was excited to sell our house and move on to what the future held in store for us. I have a tendency to resist change, and I wanted the house to be perfect for the new owner. I had a long list of things I wanted to dust, wipe down, vacuum, etc. Not that the house was dirty. I had it looking "show-room ready" while it was on the market and since my husband was working out of state, it was very easy to keep the place extremely clean and tidy! But, really, the main reason I wanted to clean was because I wanted to stay in the house for as long as possible. It really was my dream house and I was a little apprehensive about living in a travel trailer for a few years. (Wouldn't you?) But my husband had other plans. He had friends he wanted to visit since he was in town and he said, "You know people always clean before they move into a house anyway. You're wasting your time." Which is true, I know. But still!
So I begrudgingly left the keys on the counter along with the folder I had filled with useful information for the home's new owner (I'm the best seller in the world, I know! lol! JK! That's the old Realtor coming out in me!) I settled into our truck and immediately burst into tears. Of course, since we've sold our fair share of homes in the past couple of years Greg knew this was coming. And as usual, he laughed at me (his way of making me feel better). He asked why I was crying and I told him it was because we were officially homeless. He, being the typical guy that he is, hadn't looked at it like that.
Now, fast forward to today, it has been one year of being "homeless". I really can't believe it has gone by so fast! The one exciting thing to think about since pretty much 99% of what we own is now in storage is the fact that if we happened to end up in a town that we absolutely loved, we could buy a house and just settle down there. Of course, that's fine to talk about. But, my husband has a tendency to get stuck in towns for long periods of time, so we haven't been able to travel and see as many places as we would like. On the flip side, we do still talk about moving back to Oklahoma. And the tricky thing is, is that whenever we talk about it, I instantly picture our former house. I still think of it as "home". How sad is that? And what's funny, is it's the little things about the place that I miss. Like opening up virtually every single wooden blind in the house every morning because I just love natural light so much. And the feel of the soft cut Berber carpet underneath my bare feet. I even miss vacuuming our swimming pool and the cute little baby frogs that were sure to greet me every morning when I checked the skimmer baskets. I miss having the option to take a bath. I miss my built in make-up vanity that my husband designed for me in our master bathroom. I miss having a dishwasher. I miss the security of having an alarm system. I even miss sweeping off the front porch and decorating it for holidays! Do you really want me to continue?
We have drove past our old home just once since we sold it. And it was when we were in Oklahoma back in March. (Or maybe it was when we were there in December...who knows!) And at that time it really helped me. The OKC area had been hit hard by an ice storm. So when we drove past our old property, there were literally tree limbs everywhere in the front and back yard. One of which that landed on the swimming pool cover and tore it. Shingles were missing from the roof and one part of the chain link fence had fallen down. Honestly, seeing it look like that made me feel a little bit better. Is that terrible? I have since learned from my former next door neighbor that the new owner has put a 12 foot privacy fence all the way around the back yard area. So I know if I drive past it again it really won't look like the home I remember so vividly.
Sheesh, I'll try to end this on a positive note. If you own a home, cherish it! I have seen my fair share of properties that people do not take care of. And it's really a sad thing. Pride of ownership is evident when one walks into someones home. And if you are reading this and do not own....well, what's stopping you?! This is a buyers market so please take advantage of this great opportunity that can leave you with one of the best feelings there is, which is saying that you own a piece of the All-American Dream.