Friday, March 14, 2008

real estate stuff. kind of boring, but hey, why not read it anyway?

I have mentioned several times that we recently moved. The whole story is that we moved out of a house that we designed, built, and shared with my brother and sister-in-law for two years as a real estate investment. (When I say built, I mean that the boys acted as the contractors- we didn't literally build it.) While it was sometimes difficult to share the house (which had a normal floor-plan; one den, one kitchen, etc.) with another family, it was wonderful too. Our kids are really close (they think they're siblings) and my children, especially Sister, got a wonderful opportunity to develop a tight realationship with her aunt and uncle. It was also great because my sister-in-law (SIL) and I split the chores, cooking, etc. There's nothing quite like sitting on your fanny all afternoon and then walking into the kitchen to find a hot, delicious meal sitting on the table. I felt like a man! (I have often thought that Sigmund Freud had the "penis envy" thing all wrong. It's not the penis itself we envy *ewwww! gross!* it's all the priviledges that come with the penis! Like sitting on your fanny until dinnertime. Or laying in the bed sleeping in the middle of the night while the baby cries and mommy goes to check- "I just don't hear him as fast as you do!" Sheesh.)
Anyway, we agreed to share the house for two years and then sell it, split the profit, and go our separate ways. (Hoping to make enough money so that we each can build our own houses.) DH and I moved out because we have SO MUCH STUFF (junk) that was cluttering the house. Now that we're out of there, it looks so much nicer! We're going to rent the place we're in until we sell the house.
Of course, since we embarked on this little investment, the real estate market as tanked. Naturally. But we are staying optimistic and hope that we can still eke out some profit, considering the "sacrifice" we made. (The biggest being sharing our bedroom with Brother until he was 20 months old! That wasn't easy.)
Anyway, now we're in the process of interviewing realtors. Not exactly fun. I like meeting them, but I always feel bad because I know that when it's all over, we can only choose one and have to turn the others down. I hate stuff like that- good thing my DH handles the "call people and tell them bad news" department. It's especially hard because we have a good friend from college who is one of the realtors we interviewed, but he really just isn't as good as the others. The other realtors we've spoken to are much more dymanic, have strong marketing plans, etc. The college friend is sweet, but he's just not in the same league. So that's icky, too. This is big money- our family's financial future. As much as we'd love to give College Friend the business, we've GOT to sell this house. So... ick.
Aynway, I'll try not to bore you to death with real estate talk, but that's what's been consuming me for the last few days. Keep your fingers crossed for us!


Kelly @ Love Well said...

That is quite the adventure. I'll pray it all goes well for you.

And if it makes you feel better, we've had the exact opposite problem with Realtors. Our home has been on the market for roughly 18 months now. We've already gone through two agents because they don't deliver anything they promise, and they generally have no marketing plan at all. I'd love to have people anxious for our business, instead of the small-town real estate agents who know we have no options but to use them, even if they are horrible.

Anonymous said...

So, the big question is - would you do it again?

I know some people who have done this (except for the sharing part) several times. They move in, renovate, move out - in hopes that one day they will have the dream house, all paid for. I've often wondered if having no house payment is worth all the trouble of being a nomad while your kids are young.

One of my oldest friends does this. The third time around, she was pregnant with triplets. They moved into a fixer-upper when she was oh, about 6 or 7 months along.

Now she has 4 kids and they are currently homeschooling out of a single-wide trailer until her husband catches his breath before starting their (hopefully) final house, on his mom's property. He's a plumber, but they have lived in some dang fancy houses! And I'm sure this one will be a doozy, too.

Being a fireman is evidently the thing to be. My friend's husband does that full time and still has plenty of time to do plumbing with his dad, and throw in some bartering work on top of that. Along with other "adventures." Boy, who knew. All those years wasted in college and law school. :)

Kate said...

Wow, that is quite the saga. I can't imagine sharing a home with relatives, I think I'm too moody for that.
We did the buy, improve, sell thing twice in our last two houses. It worked out financially (knock wood) but I never felt like we were putting down roots, which bugged me.
Now that the real estate market has taken a turn I can only imagine the stress you must be feeling.
Good luck resolving the realtor search so you can start the next step in the process.
Have you ever heard that Catholics bury a statue of some saint in the front garden when trying to sell a house. Friends of mine say it works like a charm. To me, it just sounds super wrong!!