It ended up being an incredibly long weekend, and I’m completely exhausted. However, things should finally start returning to normal. Or, I should probably say a “new normal”; Nothing will ever be the same again.

Surprisingly enough though, Sallie Mae did pull through, and sent a refund check for the extra $105 payment. Of course, as my luck goes, the check is made out to my Dad. D’oh! Honestly, I should have been expecting that: The loan was a Parent Plus Loan, so even though I’ve always made the payments, it’s technically his loan. It really isn’t that big of a deal. I see my parents every weekend. I just have to remember to take the check over there, so we can get it taken care of.

One last step before I’m done with student loans. Hopefully forever!

– Cindy W.

The last week and a half have been a complete whirlwind; I wasn’t even sure what day it was half the time. My sister’s fiancée passed away last Monday. Later that day, she announced through tears that she was expecting. There was last-minute travel to plan, arrangements to make, and his family to meet. Definitely not the best circumstances to meet your fiancée’s family. There were a few moments of drama, and some hiccups along the way, but all in all things went better than I could have expected.

There’s a lot I could delve into as far as what’s going on with my sister right now. But, that’s her business, and not really what this blog is about. But I would like to share the parts that relate to me, which is mainly travel, if for no other reason than to thank all of the wonderful people we came into contact with over this past week. Honestly, this entire thing could have been an expensive disaster from start to finish, but people went out of their way to make things go smoothly for us. And I am truly appreciative of that.

My Mom, two sisters and I decided last year that we would like to make an annual thing out of taking a vacation together. We’ve always been very close, but all have a lot going on in our lives; This was our way of staying connected. My two sisters have less than stable financial lives, so my Mom and I went into that plan with the idea that we would likely be splitting the cost 50/50, with my sisters each contributing when and what they could. To help curb the cost, we had the idea that we would do a big vacation one year (Disney last year), followed by a shorter, less expensive vacation the next. We were thinking we would wait until September or later for our vacation this year. That would give me time to recover from selling my house, and my older sister was planning to get married at some point this summer. Plus, with my younger sister newly engaged, there was a good possibility there would be a second wedding at some point this year.

When we realized the funeral would be held out-of-state, my Mom and I agreed that we would cover the cost of my sister going. It would be our “vacation” this year. My sister asked that we come with her, for emotional support. My older sister was unable to take the time off work. Honestly, I would have helped with the expenses regardless. And, while I wasn’t intending to spend the money right now, not having to plan for a vacation later in the year does take some stress off.

I’ve booked travel on short notice before, but never less than 24 hours. We originally thought the funeral would be on Friday or Saturday, so on Wednesday afternoon I purchased 3 tickets leaving Thursday morning, and returning Sunday night. Travelocity had the best deals, flying Delta Airlines, at $608 per person, round trip. The closest airport is 45 minutes away from the town where the funeral would be held, so we needed a rental car as well. It turned out to be cheaper to book the car directly through Avis, rather than combining it with our airfare. The advertised rate was $100, but there was another $40 in fees when I actually booked.

We’re honestly all terrible when it comes to packing for a trip, and not having been to the area before, or met any of the people we would be spending time with, we weren’t sure what to expect. Plus we didn’t have time to prepare, and everyone was emotionally worn at that point. So, we had to check 4 bags ($110 on first leg of trip). And we opted to park in a lot that was close to the terminals, because we didn’t plan enough time to catch the shuttle ($72). By Wednesday night, we found out the showing had to be moved to Sunday night, with the funeral on Monday. I couldn’t stay any longer, because of work, but as we checked our luggage and got our boarding passes that morning, we spoke with the Agent at Delta about switching my Mom and sister’s flight home to Tuesday. We were prepared to pay $200 per person, plus the difference in the cost in tickets. The Agent waived the $200 fees, and since flying back on a Tuesday was cheaper than flying back on a Sunday, gave us two $50 travel credits. I was completely blown away by that! Most airlines tend to nickel and dime you for every little thing. The Agent was kind, and helpful, and had us on our way in less than 10 minutes. My mom and sister were able to use the travel credits to check 3 bags on their return trip, so it only cost me $25 to check my bag coming home.

I looked into hotels when I booked the flights, but there wasn’t anything available in the town surrounding where the funeral was being held, and we weren’t really sure about the area. Several members of his family offered to take us in, so we weren’t without a place to stay. We decided to wait until we got there to look into the hotel situation. We learned on arrival that one town was having a Catfish Festival, one a Hog Rally, and another a Truck Rally. Who knew so much could be going on in one weekend out in the middle of no-where? Since we didn’t know anyone there, and there had been some family drama in the past, and everyone was grieving, we opted to look into hotels. Multiple phone calls later, we found a Hilton Garden Inn that had a cancellation, and could at least get us in for part of our stay (and agreed to try to rearrange any other cancellations to allow us to stay our entire trip). It wasn’t cheap ($160 per night), but the area was nice, and close enough to the funeral and family. Plus there was a restaurant in the lobby, which ended up being a Godsend: My sister refused to leave the hotel except when things were planned with his family, and didn’t want us to leave without her. The restaurant didn’t serve lunch, but at least we managed to have 2 meals a day.

Much to our surprise, the hotel was directly across the street from the Hog Rally. Even more to our surprise, a Hog Rally has nothing to do with roasted pig. While disappointed about the lack of pork, the hotel full of jolly bikers was a welcome distraction, and they were all wonderfully nice people. As an added plus, there were no children running up and down the hallways. The hotel was busy, yet somehow peaceful.

The only downfall to our trip (other than the obvious) was the car rental situation. Avis did allow me to rent a car with a debit card, for which they place an additional $100 hold until the car is returned. But a second driver can only be added if that person has a major credit card; My Mom didn’t bring her credit card, and they wouldn’t let her be added as a driver with only a debit card. They would allow us to book her a separate car. Which means we rented a car under my name for Thursday through Sunday, and then a second car under my Mom’s name from Sunday through Tuesday, which cost us an additional $150. It was ridiculous, but they would have had to take me to the airport anyways, so it just added an extra step. And it worked out well: All that was available when we originally booked was a Toyota Corolla, but when we traded cars we were given a Ford Focus, which my Mom was much more comfortable driving.

While we were away, I managed to contact one of the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) Posts in our home state. Since my sister’s fiancée had served in Afghanistan, they were willing to let us use the banquet room at their location to host a memorial this coming Friday. As all of the services were held out-of-state, we wanted to have something locally for all of his friends and coworkers. I went in yesterday to sign a contract and put down a $75 refundable cleaning deposit, but they’re letting us use the space free of charge. I am incredibly thankful that they are letting us use the space at all on such short notice, let alone not charging us.

Over the course of the past week I figure I’ve spent about $2,200; I paid for the plane tickets, parking, baggage, the first rental car, and the deposit at the VFW. My mom covered the hotels, all of our food, and the second rental car. At some point, we’ll sit down and go over everything and balance the costs back out. For now, I’m not too worried about it. Yes, it was expensive. But, I had the cash to cover everything, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I’m focusing now on rebuilding my emergency fund. I wasn’t planning to spend that money right now, but I did have plans on spending it at some point this year for a vacation. It just came sooner than expected. As my Mom said though, we plan a pretty crappy vacation.

The entire experience has been heartbreaking, and I feel so sorry for my sister and his family. I’m glad that she had the chance to meet his family. He was a wonderful man, and will be missed by many.

– Cindy W.

On Saturday evening, my younger sister was showing me the engagement ring her new fiancée had given her. Early Monday morning, she called me sobbing: She’d woken up just a little while before, and he wasn’t breathing. In an instant, all of their hopes and dreams were shattered. Death is never an easy thing. But it’s definitely an unexpected shock when a healthy 25-year-old man passes away in his sleep.

I don’t know how the next few weeks will play out, or how much I’ll be around here. With everything just taking place yesterday, there are still a lot of unknowns. His family is from the south, so the only thing we know for certain right now is that his family is having him transported home, and the funeral will take place there. At this point, it looks like I’ll be heading south with her and my Mom in the next few days, and staying there through the weekend.

Since this is a blog about my financial life, I feel I should note here that I fully expect to have some big expenses in the next few months. Last minute plane tickets aren’t cheap. Include in that a hotel room, and food, and possibly a rental car… Things can add up pretty quickly. My sister isn’t in the best situation financially, so my Mom and I intend to split the expenses. This is definitely one of those times where whatever I spend, it’s definitely worth the money. I’ll still try to find us some deals.

The whole situation is also a reminder of how important it is to keep all of your information up to date, and to keep your family informed about your wishes. As a new fiancée, my sister’s rights in the situation are basically non-existent. And yet, since they were living together, she was instantly bombarded by requests and demands from various people. She’s the contact person on some information, his parents on others, which is making every step of the process more complicated. And there is a big question mark over who is the beneficiary on his life insurance policy; His parents were hopeful to use the life insurance to pay for his funeral expenses, but there’s a possibility that he never switched it out of his ex-girlfriend’s name. Let’s be honest, most parents don’t have a plan in place for needing to pay for a funeral for their 20-something child.

The whole situation is tragic. I can’t even imagine what my sister is going through right now.

– Cindy W.

The end of March means that the first quarter of 2015 is officially gone! At the end of each quarter I like to take a look at how I’m doing on my goals for that year. Going in to 2015, I set 5 financial goals that I wanted to achieve:

1) Grow my net worth by $10,000.
2) List the house.
3) Pay off my student loan.
4) Invest $3,000 in a retirement account.
5) Earn $500 in “Side Income”.

I made a few changes to how I set my goals this year. First off, I wanted each goal to be independent of the others. In 2014, I set a main goal of growing my net worth by $10,000, and then set three mini-goals that would help me achieve that goal. About halfway through the year, I started to regret the way I’d setup my goal. If I didn’t grow my 401(k) by the amount I’d set in my mini-goal, but still grew my net worth by $10,000, did I fail at both goals? It was so confusing! So, this year, each goal is its own goal, independent of every other goal. I can fail at one, without it having any bearing on the others.

The second thing I tried to do this year was to make my goals more of a stretch. I wanted actionable goals that I could actually do things to affect. I didn’t want to just be sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see how things turned out. I want to be able to do things throughout the year, like saving more, or earning more, that will get me closer to my goals. I want to know that success (or failure) is directly caused by my actions (or inaction), not something I can’t control, like market fluctuations.

So, how am I doing?

1) Grow my net worth by $10,000. I ended March with a net worth of $15,201 which is $3,505 than the $11,696 I had at the start of 2015. I’m 35% towards my goal. Not too shabby, since only 25% of the year is gone. Of course, the year always starts off great, because of my tax refund. We’ll see how things go from here.

2) List the house. Done! Not only did we list the house, but we have accepted an offer. If everything goes well, we’ll be closing mid-May, and the house will be gone before the end of the second quarter!

3) Pay off my student loan. Done! Actually, Sallie Mae now owes me $105. Hopefully that will get straightened out here shortly. But my student loan days are officially history!

4) Invest $3,000 in a retirement account. I personally have invested $377.72 in my employer’s 401(k) plan. This doesn’t include any employer contributions, or interest/dividends/market gains. That puts me a little over 12% towards my goal. I’m way behind where I need to be. Honestly, I could easily knock out this goal before the end of the summer. However, I decided last month that I’m going to switch gears:

4-b) Pay off the car loan. Now that the student loan is gone, I’d like to focus my attention on my car loan. I ended 2014 owing $18,724. I still owe $17, 824, which means I’ve paid off $901 (or a little less than 5%) so far this year. I probably won’t be able to pay it all off by the end of 2015. Let’s be honest, that’s a crazy big goal! But, I feel like setting a crazy big goal helps motivate me to kick butt and try really hard. Even if I don’t get it all paid off by the end of 2015, working on it crazy hard all year means it will be much closer to gone when we start into 2016. I do NOT want this loan festering on for years!

I do plan on holding off until after we close on the house in mid-May, or at least until I have a better feel for how the inspection, appraisal and closing costs are all going to pan out. In the mean time, I’m going to be stockpiling all of my extra cash.

5) Earn $500 in “Side Income”. I’ve made $107 so far this year, mainly from selling things on Craigslist. We also scrapped some metal for $37, from some old screens and window frames I replaced at the house. That puts me 21% towards my goal. Honestly, with everything else going on this year, I don’t foresee me coming up with any stellar side hustle projects. But with selling the house, we’ll be getting rid of a lot of stuff. I hope to have a yard sale sometime this Spring, before we close on the house. I might be able to sell some larger items on Craigslist, although I haven’t had the best of luck with that so far this year. I still plan on making this goal, but not by doing anything that I can turn into a sustainable side hustle.

It’s only April, and I’ve already knocked out 2 of my 5 goals for this year. If I stuck with the original plan, I could see achieving all of my goals by the end of the summer. Adding the goal of paying off the car loan should only really affect being able to put $3,000 into retirement accounts. I still plan on putting money into my company’s 401(k), it just won’t be enough to make my $3,000 goal. At this point in my life, I think I’m better served by focusing on becoming debt-free.

So far, 2015 is shaping up to be a great year!

– Cindy W.

I can’t believe that March is over already! The first quarter of 2015 is gone. I can’t complain about it being April, since I am super excited about the warm weather that is coming. Maybe things will slow down once the sun is shining?

March ended up being an exceptional month for me. I listed my house. I paid off my student loan. I accepted an offer on my house. The numbers look alright, but it’s definitely one of those months where net worth doesn’t tell the whole story. I made some great strides in March!

Net Worth - 0315

Net Worth as of March 31, 2015

 

I gained $1,447 in March. I broke the $15,000 mark for total net worth. I also broke $15,000 in my 401(k)! Honestly, I couldn’t be happier with everything that happened in March. Okay, maybe if Sallie Mae didn’t owe me $105 I could be happier. But on the bright side, I don’t owe them any more!

Things are moving ahead nicely in 2015. I’m sure the next few months will be stressful, with trying to move, and finishing out the sale on the house. But things are moving in the right direction. Right now, I’m happy for every little success!

– Cindy W.

This weekend was full of excitement on the home-front. I accepted an offer on the house!

Saturday evening my Agent contacted me to let me know he had a second showing with someone who was very interested in buying. They planned to get together on Sunday to write-up an offer. Before the offer was made, my Agent sent me a form to sign confirming that I was okay with him representing both the buyer and seller. There’s a lot of back and forth, and signing of documents, when it comes to selling/buying a house. Luckily, everything is available online now, so it just takes a few clicks to get everything taken care of. I don’t have an issue with my Agent representing both parties; While he isn’t allowed to disclose any information about the other party, he knows both of our situations, and what we’re looking for. That made me feel more confident with his advice as we were negotiating; He had an idea of where the buyer stood, and knew if I was heading in the right direction.

On Sunday afternoon, my Agent called me with the offer details: The buyer was offering $58,500 for the house. She was asking that I pay her closing costs (up to $3,500), and pay for a home warranty (less than $500). She also wanted to set the closing date for mid-June.

The house is listed at $62,500. In my area, it’s pretty typical for the buyer to ask the seller to pay their closing costs, so I was expecting that. Asking for a mid-June closing date seemed a bit extreme; My Agent pointed out that most sells close in 30-45 days. She wanted a later closing to coincide with when her lease was up. It wasn’t a bad deal, but my Agent recommended that we counter-offer, to see if we could come up with something better.

In the counter-offer, we set the sell price at $60,000. I agreed to pay the closing costs, and pay for the home warranty. I moved the closing date up to mid-May. I signed off on the new deal, and it was sent to the buyer for consideration. About an hour later, I got the call from my Agent; My counter-offer was accepted!

I won’t have an exact date for closing until things are cleared with the bank and title company. There are several things that will happen between now and then. The title company will do a search to ensure that there aren’t any additional leans on my property. The bank she is using for her mortgage will come out to the house to do an appraisal, to ensure the house is worth what they’re lending her for it. The deal is contingent on financing, meaning if her financing falls through, she can walk away without losing the earnest money she put down on the offer. She also has the option of hiring an inspection company to check the house top to bottom, checking for any issues that may need to be addressed before the sale. If issues are found, we’ll come back and renegotiate the deal. If we can’t reach an agreement, she has the right to walk away. If her mortgage is FHA, they will also do an inspection before they approve the financing.

All this basically means that nothing is set in stone until we actually close on the house. But, at least I have an idea of what might happen. As it stands now, I’m looking at a possible couple grand when everything is said in done. That’s taking into account the $48,500 I owe, the 7% fee for the Realtor, paying the buyer and seller closing costs, and the home warranty. If something turns up in the inspection that I have to fix, it could wipe out any potential profit.

My plan for the next 45+ days is to start moving out of the house, and sock away every penny I can. We’re going to try to do everything as inexpensively as possible, but you never know what might come up when you’re moving and selling a house. I’d rather have some cushion for a couple of months, and then go back to throwing everything at the car loan as soon as all of this is done.

Obviously, I’m not going to walk away from this deal with a huge pile of cash. Breaking even isn’t ideal, but turning the house into a rental wouldn’t exactly have been a lucrative proposition either. If everything falls into place, I’ll walk away with an extra $500+ a month. And I’ll be free to move wherever, whenever. Free to stop worrying about the house. Free from ongoing maintenance and repairs.

And now, we wait!

– Cindy W.

Things have been a little slow on selling the house.  I was hopeful that listing the house on a Friday might mean we’d see some action that first weekend. After all, weekends are when most people go house hunting. But the days passed by without so much as a nibble.

I was starting to get worried. We already knew interest would be limited on a one bedroom house, especially since it was on a bigger piece of land. What if the house sat on the market, and no one ever even came to look at it?

Things finally started looking up going into this weekend. We had some people request information. There were two showings on Saturday. The feedback on the house was all good. I haven’t heard anything else yet. But, then again, most people view a house then go home and think about it, usually coming back for a second viewing before making a decision. Nothing may come from those first two showings. But at least there is some interest on the house.

Things are starting off a little slow. But I have to keep reminding myself that it’s been just over a week. There’s no reason to panic. We just need to stay the course, and see what happens. Worse comes to worse, the house will become a rental property. But we still have months before we need to make that decision.

– Cindy W.

On Friday the 13th, I officially paid off my student loan. I was super excited to finally be done with student loans. But, if you’ve ever heard anyone talk about paying student loans, you know things rarely go smoothly.

When I checked my account balance with Sallie Mae/Navient on Friday morning, it sat right around $1,110. Of course, payoff amount is always slightly higher than the account balance, since any accrued interest has to be added to the balance before the loan is paid off. Knowing this, I clicked through the account information, and found my “10 day loan payoff amount.” That amount ended up being about $1,113. After running my financials a few times, I decided to go ahead and pay off my student loan that day.

But when I went to the “Make a Payment” section of the website, the system would only allow me to enter a payment for $1,111.36. On the payment screen, it referred to this as the “3 day loan payoff amount.” I wasn’t too worried about the $2 difference; I figured after a few days had passed, and the payment cleared, I would go back into the system and check to see if the balance had dropped to “$0″, or if I would need to pay a few more dollars.

I’ve been a little distracted lately, between training someone at work, and selling the house, and Spring, and I haven’t gone back to the Sallie Mae/Navient website to check on my payments. So I was a little shocked today when I went into the website and realized that, even though their system showed me paying off the loan last week, they still deducted a regular monthly payment from my bank account this week. I’m setup on their monthly auto-payment so that I can receive the miniscule discount on my interest rate. I assumed once the payment cleared and the loan was paid off, the auto-pay feature would be shut off.

You know what happens when you assume things?

Instead, I’m now showing a balance on my student loan of -$105.05. That’s right, Sallie Mae now owes me money. Sigh. I’m not even sure how they came to that amount, since my regular monthly payment is $104.58. Luckily, I’m in a position where this isn’t a big deal. Sure, it’s my money, and I want it back. But it isn’t like them taking the money prevents me from paying my other bills, or buying groceries or gas for the week. It’s more of just a hassle. Which is one of the best benefits of finally having my finances on track; Little hiccups don’t create dire situations.

Right now, my plan is just to wait and see. I know that calling Sallie Mae and trying to get a refund is going to be an exercise in frustration, so I’d rather save my patience and wait to see if the system will correct the error on its own. If it doesn’t correct itself in the next few weeks, then I’ll call and try to get things straightened out. I don’t want to risk waiting until next month’s payment date rolls around, and risk them owing me $209.63 (and me being out an additional $104.58).

Just goes to show that moving on is sometimes harder than expected!

– Cindy W.

Despite all the superstition surrounding Friday the 13th, it actually ended up being an awesome day for me. Friday I posted about how my house officially hit the market. Getting all of the work done on the house and getting it listed for sale was a big goal for me going into 2015. Of course, listing the house is only half the battle; We still have to actually get it sold. I’m hoping the entire process goes smoothly, and it sells quickly (and for a great price). But, heaven forbid, no one wants it, at least we know, and can reluctantly move on to plan B: Finding a renter. My preference is for selling it, but either way we’ll be stopping the money bleed.

I’ve also been super excited about finally paying off some debt this year. I wrote last Wednesday about how, if I shifted some money around, I could probably pay off my remaining student loan by the end of March. In the long run, it probably makes very little difference whether I paid off the student loan in March or April. But emotionally, paying it off one month earlier was a definite win. I’ve had that loan FOR-EV-A. Seriously, it was my last remaining loan from my undergraduate days. I graduated in 2000. On top of that, it was a Parent PLUS Loan. Which means, since it was technically my Dad’s loan, there was no grace period on paying back the loan. I started making payments back in 1997. 1997! I’ve been paying that loan for 18 years! That’s half my life!

Obviously the idea of being done with it was super motivating. So Friday morning, I started shifting around some money. And suddenly I realized, I could totally pay it off that day. Without touching my emergency fund, or the money I have set aside for April’s bills. All it would take was a couple of clicks of the mouse.

And so, I did!

As of Friday the 13th, I was officially done with my student loan. I’ve said goodbye to Sallie Mae forever. With my house on the market, I’m one step closer to being mortgage free. The only debt I’ll have left is my auto loan.

Oh yeah, I’m coming for you next, Mr. Capital One Auto!

– Cindy W.

I’m super excited to say that, as of today, my house is officially on the market!

In hindsight, Friday the 13th may not have been the best day to pick. The Realtor had mistakenly said it was the 14th, so I didn’t make the connection until later. But honestly, I’m not much of a superstitious person, so I’m not going to let the date slow things down! I’m ready to get this house sold!

I ended up signing with Realtor #3, who I met with last Thursday. This will officially be his first listing, so he’s working very closely with his mentor. Actually, their company has a team of people who work on every deal, including the Agent, a person who handles all the paperwork (from loans to titles), and a media person, who does everything from photographing the home for listings to creating a YouTube video. I was really impressed with how tech-savvy their company is. It’s a little weird to think that people all over the world can take a virtual tour of my home. But hey, you gotta keep up with the times!

I was also impressed with the amount of information they were able to provide me when we met. The last two Realtors I met with seemed to be at a complete loss as far as what to do with my little 1 bedroom home. These agents came prepared. Turns out, there are 6 two bedroom, one bath homes, with no basement, currently on the market in my area. Square footage wise, I’m in the same ballpark; There’s every indication my home used to be two bedrooms, but one bedroom was removed to create a much larger living room. No doubt, that’s a negative when it comes to selling. But my house has more than twice the land of any other listing. And my house has been extensively updated, which definitely adds to the value.

The listing price of those other six homes ranged from $54,900 to $84,900, with most of them being on the higher end. Since home prices are set by comparison, this was great news for me! The mentoring agent felt that listing the house between $59,900 and $65,000 would be our best bet, and starting below $63,000 would probably garner more interest. That was music to Bryan’s ears; For some reason he’s been stuck on the idea that we should list at $62,500. So that ended being exactly what we did.

Another reason for setting the price at $62,500 came from planning ahead for the possibility that the house may not sell. The agents informed me that, at this time, houses in my area are on the market an average of 90 days. There are general guidelines that help them decide if the house is appropriately priced. If a house is on the market for two weeks with no showings, the listing price is too high. Also, if a house has ten or more showings, but no offers or second showings, then the house is probably priced too high. Their preference is to review the listing price every 30 days, and decrease the price in $5,000 increments if activity on the house indicates it is priced too high. That shocked me a little bit; $5,000 is a lot on a $62,500 listing! Of course, that number/time frame isn’t set in stone. We can choose to hold off on lowering the price, or lower it by a different amount. With $48,500 still owed on the mortgage, I can afford to take two $5,000 price decreases, if necessary, before I end up owing to sell the home (when calculating in commissions and other possible costs of selling).

Of course, my hope is that the house will sell quickly, and I won’t need to worry about price decreases. But I love that they prepared me for all possibilities, and let me know what I could expect if things take a little longer. They also warned me that they’re seeing a lot of buyers “testing the market” right now, and I shouldn’t be surprised if the first offer I get on the house is a complete low-ball. Someone putting in an offer of $49,900 is no indication of what the buyer is willing/able to pay for the house, but rather them testing to see how little I’m willing to accept. They recommended that I always make a counter-offer. The deal may fall through anyways, but at least then I will have attempted to find a middle ground.

I’m definitely nervous to see how this plays out. But I’m also super excited. I felt so much relief the instant we set a date and signed the papers. Everything we planned to do on the house is done. After such a long time, it feels so good to finally be moving on to the next step. Getting rid of the house will be one less financial burden, and many fewer worries and stressors. I’m looking forward to being able to focus our attention on other things.

And now we wait to see what happens!

– Cindy W.