Tag Archives: for sale

Ups and Downs of Selling a Home

Our house has been on the market for nearly a year now. We had one offer back in February, but the buyers weren’t pre-approved and were asking a little lower than we could go. At the end of August, our contract with our realtor was ending, and we were planning on taking the house off the market for a couple of months until trying again in January or February. However, on the last day of our contract we got a call for a showing. We had hardly any interest all summer, so we said, “Sure. Why not?!” We extended our contract for a week to give that showing a chance to respond. But they were just starting the house hunting process.

Then, on the last day of the extended contract, we got another call for a new potential buyer. The husband came and looked at our house on Wednesday; he said that he had looked at over 200 homes and ours was one of two homes he was going to have his wife look at it. She came and looked on Sunday and really liked it. Their realtor said we were at the top of their list. We were really excited because we have an opportunity to house-sit for a couple that’s working out of town (and only pay utilities)! We thought, “This will be great when Bryan goes back to school for nursing! We might even be able to save a bit and pay for his education without a loan!”

Then they decided to look at a few more homes, “just to make sure.” Talk about nerve-racking. We prayed and prayed, and asked others to pray. They looked at several more homes and we were still #1, (inner sigh of relief) but (inner gasp) there was one more home they wanted to look at it and couldn’t see until Thursday. So, they looked at that home and ours one more time on Thursday night. They spent an hour and a half at our home on the THIRD showing, and we thought for sure we would have an offer in the morning.

We waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, at noon, our realtor called. He had just gotten off the phone with the other realtor, and after ALL that, they chose the OTHER house! Needless to say, I was disappointed.

At the same time, I know that we serve a sovereign God who is in complete control. I’m not sure why He allowed us to get our hopes up, or even have this couple be interested if they weren’t going to buy it, but He did. So, now we have to decide if we go ahead and take it off the market for a while, if we leave it on the market, or if we switch tracks and try the For Sale By Owner path.

Meanwhile, if you know anyone looking for an adorable 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in a quite neighborhood in Taylors, SC, with great neighbors, send them our way! Currently listed at $125,900. It’s Move-in-Ready, at a great location, dining room, den, new carpet, fresh paint, newer roof, newer heat pump, great floor plan, low maintenance, approximately 1550 sq. ft., plus rocking chair front porch, screened in back porch, fenced yard, 0.3 acre corner lot, cul de sac! Make us an offer!

Whirlwind Week Recap

I haven’t updated since last Friday and even before then, it’s been hit and miss for a while. This might be a bit random and stream-of-consciousness, but here goes…

Bryan’s job has been interesting, to say the least, over the last several months. They’re short-handed and still adding on more projects, which has made it virtually impossible for anyone on the team to meet deadlines, even when working 60 to 90 hours a week with no overtime compensation. So, we had a tough decision to make. After much prayer, seeking of counsel and deliberation, and a final discussion with his superiors, he handed in his resignation and his last day will be this Friday. In some ways, it’s scary; in another way, it’s a relief. I know it sounds crazy to leave a job in this economy and time of year without having something to fall back on, but I know he’ll work hard to do odd jobs and make ends meet. He’s definitely proven he’s a hard worker! (So, if you need odd jobs done, let us know!)

About two weeks ago, we put the house on the market and sold one of our vehicles. The one-car-household thing may be a slight challenge with Bryan looking for a job, but it should be okay. We praise God that we are debt-free, except for the house. This helped with our decision. We’ve limited our expenses and will be shopping at Aldi and the Farmer’s Market more regularly, and we’re committed to living simply. My long-term goal is for him to be in a job that he loves, something like photography, carpenter-type projects, or be able to learn graphic design and/or web design. So, if any of you need a photographer for your holiday card this year or hear of someone looking for a wedding photographer, let us know! Meanwhile, there are still items for sale on the Sale page of this blog! (hint hint)

I’m praying that the house sells quickly and that my job remains stable until it does, or at least until Bryan finds something else. Whatever happens, we know God is our Jehovah Jireh (the Lord will provide) and our El Shaddai (God Almighty). We’ve been studying names of God in Sunday School with our fourth graders for the past year and a half. It’s been a great study and we’re thankful for the continual reminders.

Here are some snapshots to capture the past bit:

Jan and I went to the Saturday Morning Market downtown. Check out all the beautiful peppers! And this wasn't even half of them! Who knew there were that many different types of peppers! I didn't buy any of these, but I did get a ton of mustard greens, turnips and turnip greens, beets and beet greens, butternut and yellow squash, green onions, West End Coffee Mistletoe Java blend and Great Harvest Bread! All for about $30 (and $12.50 of that was the bread)! It was Jan's first visit to the market; we'll definitely be coming back!

I had an amazing workout with Judy at the gym last night, followed by a dinner of a turkey/ham sandwich on wheat bun with lettuce and mustard, organic carrots, and a giant Fuji apple. Bryan also made apple pie, but there's none left for a picture.

I had lunch with some friends/coworkers at Sushi Murasaki downtown today. It was amazing! We had miso soup, seaweed salad, and two huge plates of sushi. My favorite is the Genji roll, but they serve a special on Tuesdays that came in a close second: all I remember is that it had the word "sexy" in the title (notice the roll that's missing a few pieces; it was warm and tasted like it had cheese on top). Everything was delicious! I even liked the BBQ Eel this time! I wish I could take pictures of food for a living! Maybe someday...along with my other million and one dreams.

Dessert was bite sized fried cheesecake (pomegranate on the left, mango on the right). Yum! And just the right size!

Tonight I made a pumpkin smoothie (aka milkshake) for dinner before our 8PM volleyball semi-finals (which we won - yeah!-so we'll be in the final game next week). The "smoothie" had 2 cups of prepared pumpkin, 2 scoops vanilla ice cream, and 1 cup milk, plus cinnamon, fresh ginger, cloves and nutmeg blended together; then I topped it with my most recent trail mix. It could have used a little more liquid and maybe a few dates for some added sweetness. I think next time I'll try fat free yogurt or a frozen banana instead of ice cream or plus the dates. The trail mix went very well with it.

Fresh Ginger in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

There’s more going on, but I’ll spare you the details tonight. God is good all the time! And I can be calm and joyful as a result! He’s been so good to bring songs and scripture passages to mind. Isaiah 26:3 has been a good one, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” Another good reminder is in Philippians 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” The Philippians passage has been a strong tower for me this week.

Someone said, “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know Who holds the future.” Who holds my future? Thankfully, not me. The Creator God, who knew my goings and my comings, my thoughts and my steps, before the foundation of the world–He holds my future! And so, we wait and trust, knowing that God is our loving creator, gracious Redeemer, friend and defender, provider and keeper to the uttermost.

Ready to Go, Willing to Stay

God has been so good to us! We’ve had a very busy few weeks couple of months, but even through some difficulties, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The Lord has been teaching us so many things through church, teaching the names of God to our fourth grade Sunday School class with Dave & Rachel, various discussions and times of prayer, and personal study. I’ve been reading a really good book recently, called Turn Away Wrath by Rand Hummel. It’s a simple layout and easy to follow with practical illustrations with good use of scripture references to backup the key concepts.

Bryan’s job here is changing gears in a fast way and we’re not sure how much longer he’ll be with the company. So, we’re looking for a job for him, either here or wherever God has for us. We’ll see what the Lord does. Either way, we have to be ready. If he’s unable to find a job for a while, we have some reserves and no debt, but I’d like to keep our savings growing and I’m not sure we’d be able to remain status quo without his income contribution. So, we’re being flexible and getting ready for change (which can sometimes be a little scary).

We’ve been able to sell one of our cars. This was a great story: we actually sold it to a couple in our church who needed a second vehicle. We put it up on FB and the blog late on Friday night, got a call Saturday, and signed the car over on Sunday, with cash in our pockets. Praise the Lord! The hope is to sell the other one too and buy one vehicle, like a small SUV, wagon, or truck, that would be good for hauling stuff, if and when the need arises.

I also started a new side business selling JuicePlus+ (check out the JuicePlus page on this blog for more details). I’ve done a lot of research on it (and so have lots of medical journals and doctors). It’s a great product! I thought that the more I researched, the more I’d be disinterested and become more and more skeptical, but the opposite is true. I love that it’s made from whole foods (17 fruits, vegetables, and grains)! I love that it’s organic (tested twice to ensure there’s no pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, etc.)! I love that it’s cheaper than a cup of coffee each day (about $1.39 per adult per day, and you can get a free children’s subscription with every adult’s)! And I love that it fits with my lifestyle (still wanting to be a personal trainer and stay-at-home mom some day in the future)! Oh, yeah, and I’m still training two PT clients (they’re so much fun!).

We’re also downsizing. We’re selling a bunch of excess furniture, accessories, etc. (Check out the For Sale! page on this blog.) And we spruced up the house with new carpet, fresh paint, and decluttering. The new carpet has made significant improvements; it was a TON of work though. We saved a bunch of money by tearing out the old carpet and removing the toilet so they could lay linoleum in the bathroom. And we moved the furniture ourselves for an additional savings. And the house is officially a wallpaper-free zone! If the next house we want to buy has wallpaper in  more than one room, I’m pretty sure it will be a deal breaker for me! Way too much time and effort to remove it!

We made a long weekend vacation to Colorado over Labor Day weekend to see friends and visit their church. Redeemer Bible is a church plant from our church here, Heritage Bible Church. Heritage does Shepherding Groups every other Wednesday night. It’s a chance to be involved in a small group and get to know each other in a more intimate and caring setting. We usually meet in homes and sip coffee or tea as we share what we’re learning and pray for one another. Over the last three years, God has moved in the hearts of about 75% of the small group we were involved in to move out of Greenville and help other churches. Some moved to Atlanta and Michigan, others are moving to Ohio, some are praying about other church plants in DC and NYC, and many have already moved to Brighton, Colorado. Our trip to Colorado was wonderful! We brought along some of our best friends, and really enjoyed ourselves. And who doesn’t love Colorado?! We spent a good long vacation there last October and helped the pastor and his family get settled into their new home. It’s our dream to be able to be out there.

So after all that, last night we met with our realtor and the house will be going on the market today! Again, we’ll see what God does. In the meantime, we are ready to go yet willing to stay.

One thing that’s unique with our situation is that we have an amazing realtor (Mark Hoagland of Keller Williams Realty) that I’ve known for years (back from my Ohio days) who now goes to the same church as we do. After he took pictures of the house, we sat down to a delicious dinner. We finished the evening with hot tea and signing documents. Check out the menu:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 Sweet & Spicy Chicken (I used the sweet & spicy rub I’ve talked about so much and baked the chicken for 40 minutes in a 400F oven), Roasted Garlic and Parmesan Cauliflower (chopped up half a head of cauliflower, sprinkled it with 1 tsp. of minced garlic and 1/3 block of fresh parm and baked at 450F for 30 minutes), Fresh Salad (prepared by the realtor and his wife, it included fresh lettuce, tomatoes, avocados, sunflower seeds, and a balsamic vinagrette), and Whole Wheat Pitas (served with butter, fresh mint, feta cheese and sliced radishes).

The MLS# is 1211903 (click on the number for the listing and pictures of the house). In the meantime, we ask you to pray with us for direction and God’s timing. Thanks so much! Ready to go, willing to stay, and enjoying the journey along the way!

~Melissa

Living Simply

I’ve recently been seeing a theme in some of the blog posts I’ve been reading.

The Zen Habits Blog is one I’ve been following a lot. One of the author’s sold all their possessions, including cars, and moved to an apartment in SanFrancisco, where they ride bikes or walk everywhere. Here’s a bit from a recent post:

“I’ve been finding that simplifying things means I can savor life more fully.

“Savoring life starts with a mindset. It’s a mindset that believes that excess, that rushing, that busy-ness, that distractedness, isn’t ideal. It’s a mindset that tries instead to:

    • simplify
    • do & consume less
    • slow down
    • be mindful & present
    • savor things fully

“It’s the little things that make life enjoyable: a walk with a loved one, a delicious book, a chilled plum, a newly blooming tree.

“And by simplifying, we can savor life to the fullest.”

Another blog I found through the Zen Habits blog is the Smaller Living Blog. Check out her Beginner’s Guide to Decluttering here for some great tips.

I also ran across an article about what The American Dream really means (hint: it’s not about huge houses and fancy cars – it’s about owning a small piece of the world that’s paid for and enjoying life to its fullest). It’s an interesting little PDF that doesn’t take long to peruse.

All this combined with my regular Scripture reading has added up to us deciding to sell a bunch of our stuff and live more simply. Our goal is to be able to pick up and move wherever and whenever God would have us to. So, I’ve posted a new page on this blog: the “For Sale!” page. Post a comment on the “For Sale!” page if you’re interested in anything. If you live near Taylors, SC, just pay and come pick it up, or I can meet you. If you live further away, I am willing to ship items at the purchaser’s expense.

Thanks for helping us on the journey to a simpler life!