Selling a House, Buying a House—Which is Going to Be More Difficult?

After weeks of small projects, our house is officially on the market. Within two days, we had our first showing, and we have an open house this weekend. Guess who is going to be cleaning like a madwoman for the next three days?

Do you know how hard it is to keep a house “show ready” with three kids, one of which is a toddler of terror? Yeah…there isn’t enough hooch in the world to take the edge off on that one. You’ll be peeling me off the ceiling before the month is out.

Now, the great part about this much activity early on in the listing process is that it has made me feel better about getting the house sold, which I always imagined would be the hardest part.

However, we have now come to the part where I’m panicking…because finding a house WE want to buy is proving to be more difficult than I thought. Sure, I can find perfect, beautiful houses, but they are four times outside of our budget. This is the plight of all house hunters…our eyes are always bigger than our wallets. However, beyond the budget issue, my husband and I are starting to have a crisis of priorities/needs/wants/desires. When we first started our search, I THOUGHT I had a pretty firm idea about what we wanted. Newer, with a more modern, open concept layout, a remote master bedroom, a great kitchen and some modicum of energy efficiency. I want that open concept because it is more conducive to family living, instead of me being across the entire house cooking while everyone else is visiting in the living room. Sounds easy to find, right?

Mwhahahah!

Here’s the problem: everything that matches this criteria, in our price range, in our area, is in new subdivisions with small yards and a little too much Stepford sprinkled in for my husband. He has visions of land dancing in his head, but I’ve been firmly on the bandwagon of finding a home that’s better for our kids’ everyday lives, and that isn’t a project for us that we will never have time or funds to complete. We keep going back and forth over price, location, priorities and arguing about how to find a compromise.

Here’s what’s not helping matters…the reality that we are leaving a house we love is starting to hit home, and as much as I wasn’t opposed to the subdivision idea, I am starting to remember why I fell in love with THIS house. Its historic southern charm reeled me in and still tugs at me. I can’t find that kind of character in a subdivision. I spend hours on the front porch, and the kitchen has MY stove, the bathroom as MY bathtub and the attic is perfect storage for my ba-gillion square feet of holiday decorations. It’s so close to everything, our commute is miniscule and the excess of windows keeps this house bright and light all the time.

But, even as I love our house, I hate it too. I hate that the boys have to walk through my bedroom to get to theirs. I hate my electric bill. I hate that summer weekends mean hours upon hours of yard work for my husband. I hate that I spend too much time refereeing between my boys over who made what mess in their shared room. It’s the perfect house…it’s just not perfect for where we are in life right now.

So, after weeks of searching, we are back at square one trying to find the balance between what we want and what we can afford. How we will find the home that will be ours until the kids graduate? We’ll keep looking, but if our house sells before we find another, we may be renting until we do.

I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, but in the meantime, cross your fingers and hope that this weekend’s open house leads to someone falling in love with this home as much as we are. If they do, drinks are on me…or my realtor J