• Christa Rainey

That One Time We Moved

Part 1: Little Did We Know, No Seriously - We Knew Nothing

Maybe this blog should be titled "How NOT To Buy, Sell, & Move." Pace yourself, this will likely be a long one even though I fully intend to give you the short version.

[WHEN THEY TELL YOU TO HANG IN THERE]

Here's a little back story if you don't know the Rainey's - and if you don't care, don't let the virtual door hit ya... (sorry, that's rude...sorry. I'm on edge just thinking about this turn of events). Here goes.


Kyle and I both grew up in places where locking your doors wasn't a thing - if you had junk, you didn't haul it off, you had a burn pile. We've been married for almost six years and have lived in 2 apartments in the city, 2 rental homes in the country, and two years ago we bought our first home in heart of suburbia.


At the time, I had a dream job in the corporate design world. Soon after we made that move, corporate drama happened and my title & office abruptly went from multi-talented designer with a walnut desktop to a rebellious question-asking female in a windowless cubicle.


The newness of the new house quickly wore off after we realized three things:


1. Raising Kanga (our Vizsla dog) in a relatively small back yard wasn't the smartest idea. Come to find out, her breed is the second faster there is. Yeah, lottttts of energy.

2. It was kind of unfair to move Roo (our 5 pound Papillon dog) into the city and away from her country squirrel friends and low profile windows.

3. Our dog's breed names are hard to pronounce and our dogs are our babies and you take care of your babies and you want a good life for your babies and... that's a run-on sentence. I digress.


Coming home from a job I suddenly hated didn't help either.


We knew the home needed to appreciate in value for several more years before making money off the sale - and we did not appreciate that fact. And that fact didn't change the fact that we still wanted to move.


If you know Kyle, you know he was looking every weekend for things in our price range with room to run around and a place to run my online interior design business.


On the weekends, instead of binge-watching we house-hunted.

Instead of movie nights we requested home showings.

And then one Saturday we saw it.


A not-awful-but-odd colored mint green house on a hill in the hill country. A patch of heaven on a few acres with a loft and living room fireplace - surely it wasn't priced right. Surely for the same we were paying for our house with neighbors on top of us, surely, this couldn't be ours.


That Sunday we went to look at it. Seemed to all check out. And as usual (and as expected) some features weren't as good as the pictures and some features were better.


We had a pre-approval letter and that Monday our offer was accepted. And then it began.


PART 2: Packing, PODS, & Pathetic People

The original plan was to have a simultaneous closing (as in, it was all set to happen). Well, that didn't happen. Closing on the new place got pushed back, closing on the old did not. Leaving us with no choice but to pack it all up, put it all into PODS, and pray the pups would understand a two hour drive for a two week stay with Kyle's parents, without us.


And just like that... we were dogless and homeless.


But hey, no rain, no flowers.


But boy did it start pouring. Turns out, the people buying our house were not a good representation of the human race. And because over annunciating words makes for a more dramatic effect, I would describe them as pa-the-tic! We paid for a deep clean of our house only to get feedback that the kitchen pendants weren't "dusted all the way" and there was "gum" on the tile floor.


Hold up... first of all - we don't, our guests don't, who spits gum out and leaves it on the floor?!


Second of all, these are CONTINGENCIES of purchasing the home?! Mind you, the buyers are moving from out of state.


Oh it gets better... after we wake up from our hotel-stay the morning of closing and go clean the (NOT GUM) but putty, off the floor - they do a final walk-through and let everyone involved know: "They found... a cigarette butt in the flowerbeds and just didn't feel right about buying the home..."


Allow me one more rant... A cigarette butt?! It was from the movers! THAT'S A CONTINGENCY?! Gah! I'm pretty sure THEY'RE the ones smoking something!


Deep breaths...


Well, we got through it. And by that I mean, multiple checks to them were written and they finally signed. Not without the help of our amazing realtor, Robert Elder with The RoPax Group.


Part 3: Hide-and-Seek

Politely put, we were dropped in the grease by our lender...THE FRIDAY BEFORE CLOSING. But again to save the day, our realtor, suggested his go-to-lending team. Tracy Tylman with Supreme Lending. She began waving her magic wand... no, that's not true - it was pure, dedicated, competent, & efficient hard work from Tracy and her team and Robert and his that helped move the lending process forward. As she put it, we were all in one big cirque du soleil performance - taking turns jumping through hoops to make it happen!


ACTUAL FOOTAGE OF US TRYING TO DO REAL ESTATE IN OUR TWENTIES



Now, as much as I would like to say it was all downhill to Hillside (that's the name of the street of the "new house" we didn't know would be ours or not). I would be lying if I said the next phase was easy.


You see, Kyle and I have a strict 'no-supsense-allowed-policy' in our house. As in, if you have something to say, say it. The whole "cutesy hiding from the other person somewhere in the house thing," is simply not permitted. Okay, so I hate suspense. Okay, so as a kid I couldn't play hide-and-seek because the suspense would force me to jump out of hiding and lose the game. I hate suspense.


Well, little did I know, the next 2 weeks would be one big perpetual game of real estate hide-and-seek.


"Hang in there" - "We're getting close" - "Not yet"


Not a fan of these phrases. Especially since one thing after the other held up the loan... one example: Kyle and I had to get up at 5am, make a home depot run for lumber to bring the staircase temporarily up to code, a code that didn't exist in the area.


But, when you're dogless and homeless and sick of the suspense - you cirque du soleil! 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻


Part 4: The Cottage

While we waited on underwriting to make up their mind, we rented a vacation cottage. Yes, the sweetest farmhouse cottage you ever did see. Complete with a cozy stone fireplace and fresh eggs from the chicken coop on site.



If we ever needed a home away from home - we found it.


The perfect haven for cranking out a lot of content for the website launch I had been promising. Oh, I didn't mention that was going on during all of this? Uhuh.


It was the perfect transition as we got to enjoy views of the hill country we hadn't realized we missed so much. We learned a lot about each other. Like a seesaw - when he was up emotionally, I was down - we played the game.


When we finally had a tentative closing date set, we got a call from Kyle's mom that the dogs were in escape mode: Kanga was repeatedly lunging at the fence and Roo was digging out of the backyard.


Separation anxiety much?

Roo After 2 Weeks of Separation

So the morning of closing, while Kyle packed up the cottage, I drove 5 hours round trip to pick up the dogs and got back just in time to sign the dotted line.


But of course, not before the seller's failed to clean the house nor removed the rest of their belongings. We paid our mover's to haul a full moving truck's worth away and still needed a full dumpster to get it all gone.


Just wow.


But you know what... I'm writing this blog from my dining room table overlooking the hill country. And I've learned that while I can complain about a list of things that aren't perfect - I have decided, I won't. I can't. I can't complain.


I have a husband who pursues our dreams relentlessly and two amazing animals that love me unconditionally. And now, I have a house that is ready for me to make it a home.


Part 5: Reunited We Stand, Renovations We Demand

When you're a plan-ahead fanatic and also a rabid designer freak.... you do things like: order flooring and lighting before you close on your new house...


It was like Christmas when these babies arrived except - there was no tree and I couldn't hang them because I didn't have the right house to hang them in. So I guess it was more like Hanukkah: the celebration of light!



Not by a long shot was the dysfunctional & hideous lighting the only eye sore the place had. And who better to point that out than a relative, right?


Smirkingly my brother inquired about the exterior paint (in his older brother voice)

"So... what color would you call this?"


My reply, without skipping a beat, "Oh that color is called temporary." 😏


Everyone laughed. Because everyone knows neutrals are my thing and the outside of our new house was anything but neutral. Yes, I would describe it as the result of a hippie that overdosed on Andes mint chocolates. But that's just me.


And don't get me started on the interior paint color choices the seller's left us to deal with: Pepto Bismol Pink, Turfgrass Green & Eighties Eyeshadow Blue just to name a few.


So you get the idea. We're renovating.


If you want to follow along, please subscribe to my email list (CLICK HERE) and follow @arrange.studio on social media for updates on the inevitable flooring fiascos, pains of painting and sawdust sagas.


I leave you with a sneak peek of our design materials. Thanks for reading!

Sneak Peek of New House Finishes

No seriously, thanks for reading.

-Christa

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