So, here’s my house that was, or is for a few more weeks…
If you’ve been following this, you know I’ve been looking at houses in the Olympia area. Early last week I wanted to go see a house that seemed like it would be just right. Rick and I had visited it and the neighborhood and yard were nice, it had a nice porch and lots of potential garden space. The pictures online of the inside of the house looked really pretty. It was small, and affordable – but when I asked my realtor to go see it, it already had an offer. And she told me even if I had been faster, they wouldn’t have taken a noncontingent offer.
It seems that lately, any house I see in my price range that’s really good is gone instantly, within days. The market is picking up here, but more importantly, there are a lot of people looking in lower ranges, including investors waiting to snap up good deals. And the inventory in this price range is mostly not that great. So when something good does appear, it doesn’t last long. This was kind of frustrating, and pushed me into action.
So, Thursday I listed my house for sale. After looking at the comps, we listed it about $10,000 higher than I originally expected, and figured we had time, no problem. If I had to wait a while, that would be OK. It was in the middle of the price range of the MANY similar houses in this area, all built by the same builder. Mine has a couple of advantages – it has been very well-maintained, it has an ideal location on a greenbelt, near parks, and very good schools. And, I’ve put a lot into the beautiful landscaping, deck, and stream:
Well, it sold in three days. We had the good luck of two interested buyers showing up to see the house at essentially the same time – and they could see that each other was interested. By the end of the day we had one full price offer and one just under full price. Woohoo!! And the family that bought the house is really perfect for it. The two kids are just the right ages for the two smaller rooms, they can walk through the park to their schools and to their Mom’s house (shared custody), and while they were looking I had fun listening to the kids playing Billy Goat’s Gruff on the little bridge over the stream :)
And then I thought, omg, I have to find a place to live!! Wednesday I am leaving for a week and a half’s business trip, and I won’t be back until March 1. And then my brother, sister-and-law and I are headed to Mexico for a vacation March 8-15. I set closing for March 21, so this should be entertaining :D
The universe was smiling on me, though. I went onto Craig’s list to see if I could find a temporary rental in Olympia. It’s a little easier than most towns to find month-to-month because of all the students and the legislature. However, both are in session now and there’s not much to be had. I had one (1) choice in a reasonable price range. I called her up and, amazingly, it’s perfect. All utilities and wireless are included. She doesn’t mind my cat, doesn’t care that I don’t know whether I’ll be there one month or eight, doesn’t need any forms filled out or a rental agreement. Just wanted a single professional woman who doesn’t smoke. ~waves hand wildly
I went over there to check it out. Turns out she’s kind of an ex-hippy commune type (which I like), but really has it all together. She has these cute little houses on her property in which various seemingly very nice people live and all help out. There is a beautiful forest with walking trails, expansive grounds with amazing multi-tiered ponds and waterfalls with a patio for relaxing, barbecue, vegetable gardens, orchards, etc. I think this is going to be a really nice place to spend the summer while I’m looking for a house – it’s not far from the center of town.
So, the first week in March I’ll be moving my stuff in there, what I can fit. The rest will go into storage and wait until I find a house. It will be a little bit of a challenge living in 650 square feet – but good practice I think, for the downsizing I’m planning. And with lots of outdoor space to enjoy, I won’t miss my own so much. Plus, I kinda miss people too. This way I don’t have to have room-mates, but I can enjoy some company when I feel like it.
I realized when driving back, that I won’t miss this neighborhood AT ALL. It is soulless suburbia, filled with traffic, strip malls, cookie-cutter houses, and SUVs. It doesn’t hold a candle to the nice feeling of living in a quirky place where people care about nature and cooperative living, funky little houses with interesting people in them, farmer’s markets, good politics, and lots going on. We were in a little restaurant with great coffee and interesting food the other day, and I was struck by the three scruffy-looking 20-somethings among the students who were earnestly engaged in a discussion about… how many delegates their candidate had received in that day’s primary (Obama, I’m guessing). That’s Olympia all over. I’m looking forward to it!