Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Buying and Selling

So we're moving. Which means that we are selling our home, and buying a new one.

The markets here and there are quite different.

We painted most of our home beige. We moved out furniture to try to make things look bigger. We replaced some light fixtures to look more modern. We keep our house darn near spotless for potential buyers. We had our home pre-inspected and then went about fixing most of the problems we found, from the air conditioning (new coil and condenser, thank you) to the latches on closet doors. (A bonus in all of this is I am discovering that I can do all sorts of things around the house myself, like fixing the closet door that we rolled a handheld weight in front of for YEARS to keep the cats from opening. 10 minutes and a screwdriver were all it took). We have put our home at a lower price than comparable ones in our neighborhood because we do not have granite countertops and a tiled floor.

The houses we looked at in Michigan (We're moving to Michigan! Sorry... didn't mean to keep that a big secret... you all keep asking... I'll have to write a post soon on the how and why of all that) were much different. Not a single one was freshly painted. Many had lots of old wallpaper (a huge "no-no" according to our agent here) and nearly all had linoleum flooring in the kitchen (Horrors! Oh wait, so does our home...). Only a few had updated kitchens.

We have put in a contingent offer on a home, and just got the inspection back. There were quite a few things wrong with the house. In the market here, I know our agent would encourage us to fix everything the buyer asked for. Up there... we are only asking for the safety issues (one of which is HUGE... sagging ceilings in the whole home. A deal breaker). Asking for anything else would be considered crazy, greedy. (and it's not like houses up there are flying off the market. They sit and sit. In case you haven't heard, the economy in Michigan sucks)

We have spent, literally, THOUSANDS of dollars improving our home to help with the sale. I have put in hundreds of hours of personal labor. But the home owners where we are headed, where we are buying, have not. The market there is just different. The expectations are not the same.

The good news is: homes there are cheaper. And maybe that has something to do with it, but I don't think it does.

Ultimately, I think I like their way better (I'll paint the house the colors I want, anyways). I just wish it were reversed.

(We have a family that seems very interested in home... have asked for information on our yearly energy bills, etc. We're really praying an offer comes in soon. Any prayers and good vibes you could send our way will be much appreciated)


imbeingheldhostage said...

Sending all the good house selling vibes I have straight to you!
We went through the same insanity you did, only to have the people come in and RE DO everything I killed myself over. Our real estate woman was a slave driver and had us tiling a counter top on Easter :-(

Michigan is SO FAR... how on Earth are you doing searching and selling?

Amy Y said...

The differences are fascinating!! I am keeping my fingers crossed that the house for you is yours very soon and the one you're selling sells quickly.

I hope you like Michigan! I have never been but I grew up in Indiana and I have to say that Midwestern people are very charming in a lot of ways... different from the south but mostly very hospitable. I think(hope) you'll quickly feel at home in your new surroundings.

There are some fun places to visit in Michigan and surrounding areas... Chicago, for one, and Cleveland (if you like Roller coasters, check out Cedar Pointe this summer!).

Anyway, good luck and I can't wait to continue hearing all about it...

Magpie said...

I think our area is kind of halfway in between - people tidy up, but don't redecorate.

coldspaghetti said...

Michigan! Yikes! We'll miss you down here.

We moved here from Michigan, so please ask away if we can help with questions, etc...

Furrow said...

That is a surprising attitude difference. I could go on and on about damn yankees, but I won't.

BTW, the thought of painting all of our pretty colors back to beige when selling just churns my stomach. Maybe someone will like our blues and greens and ocres. I hope.

kayerj said...

I'll pray for you and looking forward to your post about the why's when you have time. I hope everything goes well and you are comforted as you leave a place you love so much.

Rima said...

Buying/selling is so stressful, isn't it? I hope things settle down soon - and you find the perfect home.

Kat said...

We fixed up our house quit a bit before we put it on the market. I know realtors in our area always recommend fixing up the house you are trying to sell but I don't know how many people actually listen. I think many times people just don't want to spend the money to fix it up, they figure they will just price it slightly lower or something. I don't know.

Prayers for you on selling your house and finding a wonderful new home. :)