House on the Market? Part 2

Moving is a great time to edit your belongings.  So as you prepare to pack sort items in piles to take, piles to sell, piles to donate and piles of trash.  It is a good time to be ruthless as you sort because you will be paying by the pound to move these items or if you are moving yourself you will be picking up these items to load and picking up these items to unload.  During a prior move I vividly remember unloading boxes and watching my wife throw away items from the box I had just lifted twice, so try to avoid this.

Be sure as you start your pile for trash you separate what is recyclable and what is bound for the trash heap.

You may question what to keep and what to discard because you are unsure how items might look in your new house.  I will mention this later also… if you buy a house you truly like, most of the items you truly like will work in the new house.  Your taste is reflected in your house and in your belongings and they will go together.

For the items you want to sell, garage sales and craigslist.org are the best way to deplete your pile of things to sell.  Any household items that are left, please look at your local charities to donate.  Often they have a large need for exactly the items you have and typically they will come pick them up.  Any remaining items can go to Goodwill or Salvation Army.  Getting a receipt will get you a tax deduction.

After the movers pick up our remaining boxes of belongings and delivered them to our storage unit (in our home town), this is where our story bogged down.  For a year our stuff sat in a storage unit packed away, unsure if it survived the move.  Our storage unit was very nice, large with access on both ends.  However after a little Internet research I put mice traps and bombed the unit twice in the year for bugs.

Systematically during the year we would need an item from the storage unit.  The movers did a great job of packing, labeling the contents in each box and wrapping all items in excessive amounts of paper, all of which is recyclable.   Ultimately when we unpacked the contents of our 4000 sf house that had been stored for a year, not a single item was broke which was a real testament for the skill of the packers.

After a year on the market our real estate broker presented an offer that we could accept.  The timing of the sale was not great, we loss a large sum of money but we were getting ready to take advantage of someone else’s bad timing when they sold to us.

Over the years in our house in Florida we had completely gone through the interior and exterior of the house.  When we were shopping for a new house I guess you could say we were looking for a house that we could recycle.  Not one that was perfect, or decorated like Crate and Barrel, a house that had location since that you can’t change.   We knew we wanted a large yard, our preference of bedrooms and baths in a house with good bones.  We searched for the entire year we had the Florida house on the market.  However we were lucky that we were not under any timeline since we had our other house in the area.  The negative part of that year was the cost of maintaining the house the Florida house as well as the home town house and paying for storage.

Finally we found a house that was a short sale.  The house was pricey for a short sale but it was easy to see the potential.  Bad decor along with poor maintenance and neglect turned away most buyers away from this diamond in the rough.  Paint colors, bad wall murals, bathroom vanities with amazingly bad taste, loose tiles, an unmowed lawn with a lot of dead grass, along with leaks around hot waters heaters had most people running form this house.  We bought this house, a house to recycle!

We were fortunate that we could stay in our other house and begin work on the new house right away.  We gave ourselves two months to get initial projects before we moved in and then we would put our old house on the market.  This is where our true recycling, re-purposing and reuse began on a large scale.  See the next installment for more details.

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