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We Sold Our Hillside Home... In The Most Unconventional Way Ever

Updated: Jul 29, 2023

On our way back from a "visit to the pines," which is in other words a trip to see family in Woodville, Texas, we saw what I can imagine many couples did during the summer of 2021 —another house in our neighborhood had a for sale sign in the front yard.


We had yet another conversation on whether it was right to list our house or not, given the crazy market and our future plans. We bought our hillside home in February of 2019 and if you're curious, you can read more about the wild story of getting into it here. This excerpt that kinda sums it up:


"Don't get me started on the interior paint color choices [we had] to deal with: pepto bismol pink, turfgrass green & eighties eyeshadow blue just to name a few."


THE DECISION TO SELL

Fast forward a couple of years and the renovations are behind us as we sit on our back porch with mimosas, while watching the goats, chickens, and garden thrive. We had made a true retreat out of the house on a hill, a place where we felt safe from all the noise and could grow and dream together. However, we knew when we bought it that it would not be our forever home.


Ten Years and Ten Acres

Almost immediately after we bought the house, amidst renovations even, I felt strongly that it was important to get our hands on raw land that we could build a home on later. Kyle definitely thought me a little bit crazy, and I admittedly felt a bit bizarre to suggest it at the time. But nonetheless, we spent that first year in our house not only renovating, but also hunting for the perfect hill country acreage.


The must-have list was lengthy — we wanted it to be flat but with a view, gated but not too restricted, spacious but affordable, in the country, but also conveniently located. Oh, and it needed to be chicken and goat-friendly, of course. After viewing countless properties online and in-person, and even going under contract on a stunning 13 acres with a view of Canyon Lake in Spring Branch that fell through due to lack of neighboring comps... WE FOUND IT.

A beautiful set of two 5 acre lots, one predominantly pasture land and the other with big oaks and a hill country view. It was the last of the lots for sale in Centennial Ridge, a new development in the heart of Bulverde, Texas. It was everything we were searching for and more.


Get while the gettin's good

So back to our quandary of 'to sell or not to sell' — ultimately, we decided that we'd like to take advantage of the sellers market we had found ourselves in after the year of you know what in 2020. Especially since we had this sweet log-cabin-turned-farmhouse of a gem, complete with two finished out offices, goat barn, chicken coop and massive vegetable garden we added on.


The house that made us a lot of things

If you follow my personal account on Instagram you've likely seen the work that went into polishing that gem of a house and you may also know that our hillside house made us parents. In June of this year, we welcomed our first baby, Everson Lawrence, who came on our 10 year wedding anniversary exactly. But that's a whole different blog post currently in draft form. For now, here's his 3 month old reel and I'll go ahead and warn you, it's SO cute. And speaking of cute things, this house also made us goat owners as we inherited the last of the heard of Boer goats from Kyle's grandparents in east Texas.



Fun fact: we have a goat named Roz (see GIF later in this post) that is from the original bloodline of Boer goats shipped over from New Zealand 30+ years ago.


UNDER CONTRACT AND THE DEAL FELL THROUGH

They say, if it's too good to be true it probably is... and although that's been said, it's way harder than it sounds to live by when you have something seemingly so tangible on the horizon. As was the story for many who listed their home during the real estate craze of 2021, we had multiple offers within a days of it going live. The offer we first accepted was for well over the asking price, including all the furniture (which we had as an option) and a move-out date of October 2021. The thought of leaving our hillside haven in just a few short weeks was shocking, but the financial gain we stood to earn was certainly the spoonful of sugar to help that medicine go right down. We were thrilled and could barely believe it!


Interesting inspection and an introspection interception

A huge learning for us (the hard way, of course) during the selling process, especially when you're not dealing with new construction is to: get an inspection before you list the house! Surely we're not the only ones to have felt we "unlucked out" on the inspection process —there were several things put on the report that simply were not true. Don't get me wrong, being thorough is important when it comes to inspecting a property, but even more important is portraying the listing accurately. Just to include one example, the report said that one of the windows were 'inoperable.' I went to inspect for myself only to find it opened and closed with no problem at all... frustrating to say the least.


In Kyle's words, "the inspection report made it seem like the house was about to fall or burn down!" By getting an inspection before listing, there are no surprises and if there are, they can be addressed prior to emotions being in the mix with buyers, sellers and realtors alike.


Determined to terminate

And speaking of real estate agents... be sure you choose the right one, or at least do your research, because even in a crazy market where there should be "nothing to it," having an experienced agent or at least someone who cares about your interests is so key. Let's just say I had to rewrite my own listing's property description because it was seriously lacking pertinent details and didn't at all tell the story that needed to be shared about this unique property.


Between the "scary" inspection report and the lack of good communication and professionalism on the real estate agents part, the offer we had accepted fell through and we ultimately decided to terminate the listing. We planned to hit reset and maybe try again, doing things differently in a month or so from then.

Photography by: Eddie Fowler


OPPORTUNITY CAME KNOCKING

Of course Kyle and I had some debate about if, and when to take the listing down. I kid you not, the same day we had decided for sure to yank it, we got a knock on the door. That day we were just hanging out and catching our breath from the madness that is house showings — constantly having it ready to show at a moments notice (iykyk).


We answered the door to someone asking if our house was for sale. We were like, "kinda." She let us know she couldn't get a hold of her realtor or our realtor and so she, her boyfriend had decided on a whim to drive over from Austin (about an hour away) to see if they could by chance take a peek. Of course, we invited them in and gave them the grand tour... now you're seeing why I included the word "unconventional" in the title of this blog post.


From our side, the facts are this... after we got over the heartbreak of being under contract with the too-good-to-be true deal and it falling through, Kyle and I realized that our ideal buyer would actually bring to the table these three things: 1) come in over asking price, 2) buy the furniture, and 3) agree to a one-year lease back so we had time to develop our home building project and also enjoy another year of this house since we knew we would never have another one like it. I mean, the bubble baths made you feel like you were in a magical tree house for goodness sake.


Long story, short, this deal covered all three!


Just "goat" with the flow

Another unforeseen blessing was avoiding the hassle we would have dealt with given any other situation or set of buyers, perhaps... the farm animals — our sweet silkie chickens and (very) small herd of goats. Our building timeline got changed around because as it turns out inflation will do that, and not just from the economy... but also the pregnancy! Yep, in June of 2021 we decided to get off the birth control and exactly one year later he came along.


That being said, it became evident that we would need to rent in the interim and so the buyers agreed to keep the farm animals until we had the land ready for them in Bulverde. I'll say it again, unconventional!


Making plans and making friends

As it turns out, Kyle befriended one a builder who had a small 3 bedroom house under construction, that he planned on renting. I'll let you guess who the tenants are — yep, the Rainey's, family of three. We were able to secure it before Everson was born in June and that was such a relief to not have to worry about finding a rental in a pinch.


We had to get creative since we were downsizing by about 1,300 square feet! Everyone kept saying we would need a storage unit, but I was determined to make it fit and that we did — especially because the only furniture we took was our dining table.


One Year & one baby later

It's crazy what can happen in a year. Amidst selling the house, we also had our first baby, went on our second trip to Hawaii, welcomed baby goat triplets back to back (of which I helped deliver while I myself was pregnant!). We cleared the land and finalized construction documents for ours and Kyle's parents houses which should both be well underway in the next 18 months. We tended our massive hillside garden and had countless delicious family dinners. Kyle finished his bachelor's degree from Texas State University and also got his real estate license! All this, in one year.


Moving on and moving out

There's been this internal struggle to know if we have been moving in the right direction over the last year. Big decisions behind the scenes in both our businesses and being first time parents has put those questions of certitude to the ultimate test. It's the wild and contradicting journey of digging deeper for strength while also answering the call to surrender completely. I do take solace in the fact that typically the hard decision is the right decision and it's when you aren't questioning pivotal moves in your life, that's when you should actually be worried.

Renovating Raineys

As I wrap up this wild blog post, I can't help but reiterate how grateful I am for all the support we had during this transition - it's been a whirlwind but a totally worth it whirlwind. So what's next for us? Well, we've got our sights set on some renovation projects while we also kick off our homestead building project, so definitely stay tuned.


And in the meantime, here is a snippet of a sneak peek of our new house rendering. Follow along for more! Don't forget to subscribe to my email list below.




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